Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Winning Recipe

Genesis 4:1-5 “Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have acquired a man from the Lord.” Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.”

Last Sunday, Pastor Kyle continued his sermon series in the book of Genesis. He feels that he is a pretty good at knowing tasty things to eat. But, when the smallest thing is off in a recipe, it can ruin the whole dish or morsel. This principal runs true in life also. The culture has always esteemed “the first born”, birth right. But, it is Adam and Eve’s first born child Cain that was rejected and that reflected in his offering; not the first and not the best. Everybody knows and admits that nobody is perfect, but we always find someone in the “law chain’ that we are not as bad as. Yet, do we give our Lord God our first and our best, or our leftovers and going through the motions? In reality, we all have broken God’s law as sinners against a just and holy God. Bottom line: Sin is a capital offense and God doesn’t grade on a scale. Nothing except the “right thing” with the “right attitude” for the “right reason” is what God desires and is looking for. Never give the least possible or “less than our best”. Sacrificial giving with a willing attitude with joy is a blessing for all.  

Genesis 4:6-7 So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”

Despite everything, God still showed Cain compassion and grace. If and when you “get it right” - living up to God’s standards, God will accept your offering. Unfortunately, Cain rejected the counsel of God and in raging anger committed murder. The point is that Christian fall, but get up; meaning repent, get “right” and get on because the Lord is the God of the second chance. The mercy and associated grace of God is not some kind of “get out of jail free” card that gets you out of Hell and leaves you as the sinner that you are; walking void of God and His holy Word. This walking void of God is a blind spot in the eyes of the unrepentant. It is wickedness to willfully disobey God and be fine with it. Get “right” with God in the heart first. It begins with repentance.    

Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?

The 1828 Webster’s dictionary defines the word real “repentance’ as: sorrow or deep contrition for sin, as an offense and dishonor to God, a violation of his holy law, and the basest ingratitude towards a Being of infinite benevolence. This is called evangelical repentance, and is accompanied and followed by amendment of life. Repentance is a change of mind, or a conversion from sin to God. Repentance is the relinquishment of any practice, from conviction that it has offended God. Repentance leads to a change in life that turns towards the sovereign God of Heaven and earth, which includes an apology and obedience to Creator Father God; giving God the first and the best of our time, talents and treasures with a cheerful heart. That is the winning recipe. In the case of Sin, good does not offset bad; God offsets bad. The wages of sin is death. Jesus Christ offsets bad by His atoning sacrifice for them in our place. God gives us the chance to change our life and pass down the winning recipe ( the gospel of Jesus Christ and godly principles for living) to our children, to our family and friends, to our neighbors, acquaintances and co-workers, who desperately needs the Lord of lords and the Savior of the world. The fundamental question is: What legacy do you want to leave behind?

1 John 3:11-12 “For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.”

In Christ, Brian

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