January 7, 2016

Today you should read: Genesis 4

Cain and Abel are the first offspring born of Adam and Eve. The first people on the earth born into sin and we see consequences and destruction from that sin almost immediately. Cain murders his brother Abel out of anger and jealousy. It certainly doesn’t take long for sin to begin its destructive work in man. Another first time event we see in this passage is the act of man making an offering to The Lord. Later in the Mosaic Law, offerings are commanded by God and elaborately prescribed for men to carry out.

One question I always had about this text was about these two offerings; why did God accept Abel’s offering and reject Cain’s? Was it because he preferred shepherds to farmers? Maybe God liked meat over vegetables? (My kind of guy). What was the determining factor in His acceptance of Abel’s offering? The only indication we have comes in the description of each offering. Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as his offering, but Abel brought some of the FIRSTBORN of his flocks as his offering. In this distinction lies the answer of God’s decision.

Abel brought the FIRST and the BEST of what he had and offered it to God, while Cain simply brought SOME of what he had. Cain failed to offer God the first and the best of his crops which indicates that he hadn’t fully trusted God with his heart.

This principle of First fruits is continual throughout scripture and is extremely important for us to understand and apply to our lives today. God doesn’t just want SOME of our life; He wants ALL of our life. He doesn’t just desire us to surrender portions of our will for our lives to Him; He demands the complete and total surrender of our entire being to His Lordship. One of the ways we exercise this submission to God in our lives is by giving Him the FIRST and BEST in our offerings to Him: Our money, time, talents, gifts, etc. are offerings we give to God for His glory and in worship.

Spend some time today reflecting on this truth.

Are you worshipping God with your first and best offerings to Him?

Are there areas in your life where God simply gets some of you but not all of you?

I challenge you to prayerfully seek God in this area today and commit to being obedient to God fully in your offerings to Him.

By: Matt Mofield

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Author: cpclexington

Lexington & Richmond KY

12 thoughts on “January 7, 2016”

  1. I find it super interesting that the second half of the chapter basically outlines the downfall of Cain’s lineage. My Bible has a note indicating that the ultra-nasty character of Lamech is pretty much the end of the line. I’m really curious what the significance of this is?

  2. I had always tried to figure out why God did not accept Cain’s offering, but it makes sense after reading your explanation, Matt.

  3. Today’s reading reminded me of a conversation that occurred with a customer of mine years ago. Over lunch one day someone commented that a certain person was out “raising Cain” (not to be confused with a chicken joint) over the weekend. My customer said he was aware of the meaning of the expression but had no idea the origin of it. It provided a perfect “on-ramp” to explain the story of Cain & Abel and the devastating impact of sin on our lives. I was grateful that God used this story as a vehicle to share the Gospel. Thanks for the commentary Matt.

    1. Thanks for sharing that Jim. I needed that reminder… to be on the lookout for those unexpected and unusual opportunities to share the gospel through the stories already within it.

  4. Several generations later, the same anger and jealousy has continued to grow in the heart of Lamech that was found in Cain. And yet God gave the gracious and timeless counsel that, if you’ll worship Me, “If you do well, will you not be accepted?”

    How precious is that first step of obedience!

    “And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” – Genesis 4:7

    And yet there is another that seeks to be your master…this fight we must fight daily.

    See the Godly Seth. How I wish to be more like him, and less like Cain or Lamech. See the fruit of the heart that seeks the Lord, as we realize our terrible shared similarities with Cain. The people began to turn to God for mercy and grace in hope…”to call upon the name of the LORD.” – Genesis 4:26

    Thank you for Jumpstart today!

  5. Thanks, Matt, for the reminder to bring the first and best to God.
    The importance of creating a godly lineage struck me today: 26 When Seth grew up, he had a son and named him Enosh. At that time people first began to worship the Lord by name.

    Can you imagine the conversations that had to go on between Seth and his parents to communicate the need to worship the Lord? At least they knew the name to worship and could intentionally pass that on, but how great the pain of the fall from not having to teach each other, “know the Lord,” because they both knew Him, to having to make sure that Cain thing didn’t happen again…. Ugh.

  6. Good morning CPC this is the scripture that stuck out to me today. Genesis 4:7b Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.” This is eye opening to know that sin is waiting on us daily when we get up to control us. I wonder if it’s just me that don’t realize this at times and find myself having a bad day because I didn’t prepare to master sin as I awoke. This makes me think would if I were on the battle field in a war would I leave the barracks without putting on my gear and taking my weapon? No that would be crazy to enter a war zone with no protection nor weapon to fight. Why do I or we do this on a daily basis? When we become born again believers we have the armor of God & the Holy Spirit to fight against temptations and sin. The Holy Spirit is living inside the saved but a lot of times we don’t yield to it. I once heard at a youth conference that the Holy Spirit is dynamite (dunamis) power but we must ignite the wick or in other words allow the Spirit to do it’s work in us in order to see the power at work in us. Have a great day CPC!

  7. Thanks for the challenge today Matt. It is definitely my prayer to give God my first and my best, not in my power but His. Not just today but every day. Also, knowing that even when I fail that there is Grace.

  8. My desire and prayer is to always give God my first and best. As I was reading and rereading the verses 13-15 stood out. After all that Cain did to get banished from the land and God. God still protects him from getting killed. No matter how many times we fail Him, He still watches over us.

  9. What I noticed was how quick Cain was to be angry with God. I think it is a good reminder when we find ourselves frustrated to take a step back and question whether we are giving God our best. Thanks for the challenge Matt!

  10. I love reading how our gracious God warned Cain of the dangers of sin. How many times has God graciously warned me in advance that a path I was on wasn’t a good one…How amazing the life of Cain could have been if he had answered the Lord by asking for his help in doing what was right and defeating sin instead of continuing on in anger. I pray I and we could always stay at that place in our lives of dependence and obedience to God’s advice and leading in our lives.
    Thanks Matt for today’s message and thanks for Jumpstart!

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