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August 1, 2021 | Javan Shashaty
Watch our most recent mid-week message here.
This past weekend, we continued our “Origins: The Beginning” series as Pastor Doug taught us about the first family of humanity in Genesis 4. In this message, we explored what went wrong between Cain and Abel, how jealousy and isolation poison your soul and lead to bitterness and regret, and we learned what happens when our understanding of stewardship and worship are out of whack.
Watch the video below to see a few highlights from the teaching and share it with your friends via social media. To watch the message in its entirety, click here.
Let’s recap some of the key talking points from Pastor Doug's teaching this weekend:
If You Don’t Know Who to Honor, You Will Honor Yourself: Cain did not have a proper understanding of stewardship; he couldn’t grasp that everything he had in this world belonged to God, and therefore it is only right to give back to God the very best, the first fruits, of what He has entrusted us with. Abel had no problem giving “of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat,” but Cain was only willing to give “an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord.” It specifically omits any mention of being the freshest, ripest, most vibrant and succulent fruits of the ground. This is not an accidental omission; it’s a clear indication that Cain was not willing to give the first fruits, the best of the fields.
So who was Cain truly honoring? The bottom line is that if you see what you have as yours, it will be very hard to give the best of what you have. Why? Because it’s yours and you’re entitled to it; you deserve it. But if you see it as God’s, then it’s easy because you recognize the generosity of our God and worship Him for it. You recognize that you will not be left wanting after giving this offering because He provided all that you have, and He is faithful.
Remember, worship is a choice; it’s a test that reveals who is truly being honored in your life and who is sitting on the throne of your heart.
Comparison Is the Thief of Joy: If you let your unmet expectations fill your heart, they will lead you down a road of anger, regret, jealousy, and bitterness. How does comparison do lead us down such a dark path? Because we deceive ourselves into thinking that someone else has a more enjoyable, more blessed, better life or circumstance than we do. It turns us bitter toward them, our own life, and God. This self absorption leads to jealousy, angst, a desire to be in control of things that are often out of our control.
Fighting Sin Is a Choice: God knew that bitterness was beginning to take root in Cain’s heart, so he warned Cain, saying that sin was crouching at His door. The Lord implored Cain to overcome the lure of sin in his life. You see, there is always an escape, there is always a choice—even today—to do right and walk in the way of the Lord. When we make decisions in life, we always have the option to choose God and His way, to be obedient to the Lord, or to choose sin, to choose the opposite of God’s way. He always provides a way to overcome sin and He will never tempt you beyond what you can handle. “When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure” (1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT).
Cain got the warning, was told that he could overcome, but he didn’t listen. He gave in to sin and killed his brother. And then, when given the opportunity overcome sin by confessing and repenting before the Lord, he instead addresses the Lord with a nasty attitude and an unrepentant heart.
Even at Your Worst Moment, God’s Grace Is Still Offered: Cain deserved nothing from the Lord except for his rightful punishment and banishment. He didn’t deserve any mercy. He caused unspeakable brokenness in his family by murdering his brother (in this Adam and Eve lost two sons, not just Abel), lied about it, and talked back to the Lord with an extremely disrespectful attitude. He fully deserved his punishment; and yet Cain believes that God, the Ultimate Judge, had handed down a punishment that did not fit the crime. He claimed that it was too great for him to bear. And what does the Lord do?
Through special divine protection, the life of Cain was to be left unharmed. In this, the mercy and grace of God is made evident, even to the first murderer—who despite believing his punishment was too harsh actually deserved death for taking the life of his brother.
God Wants to Redeem Your Pain With a Promise: He spares Cain’s life. Why? God wanted Cain, who was clearly unrepentant, to experience the consequences of his sin and come to a place of brokenness and repentance. As believers, there is a great lesson we can learn from Cain . . . we must be mature enough to accept consequences when we fall short and embrace the Lord’s mercy and grace, and the lessons He wants us to learn in them!
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
Quote to Remember: Sow thought, reap an action. Sow an action, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character, reap a destiny.—Pastor Doug Sauder
There will be no midweek service as our campuses will be closed on Wednesday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day. We pray everyone stays safe and enjoys the holiday.
As we continue to make our way through the first act of Genesis, this weekend Pastor Stephan Tchividjian will share from Genesis 5. In this message, we’ll take a look at the generations from Adam to Noah, examining the life of Enoch and what it means to walk with God as we discover the importance of having spiritual fathers and mothers to teach us how to walk with God.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.