The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Note: Today's message is based on God's word to Cain when he became angry that his offering was not accepted. Today's Scripture account is from Genesis 4:1-16.
"Then the LORD said to Cain, 'Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it'" (Genesis 4:6,7).
Over the past year our sweet little cat Dottie, now nine years old, has had a change of personality. When making extended trips our neighbors look in on her to see that she has adequate food and water, but last summer she pulled quite a surprise. After Marion spent time giving Dottie some TLC and reassuring her that her family would soon be returning she then turned her back and walked toward the door.
Suddenly out of nowhere she heard a loud swish and then felt the heavy pounce of a furry animal complete with clinching claws and teeth that clamped like a vice grip on her leg. Obviously Dottie didn't want our neighbor to leave and she let her know it in the most unfriendly fashion. Interestingly she planned her attack when Marion was least expecting it with her back turned away. Now when she or Doug looks in on our "innocent" little cat they don't turn their backs. They watch to see that she doesn't position herself into a crouching position since they want no surprise attack again.
Dottie's aggressive behavior brings to mind our Scripture text where God warns Cain, "Sin is crouching at your door…". It is the first recorded conversation God had with Adam's descendants and is a timeless truth with perpetual application to each generation. Every believer would do well to heed God's warning and make this personal application:
"Sin is crouching at my door and Satan wants to have me."
This is the first record of temptation and sin among Adam's fallen descendants. It provides a pattern of how sin works in the lives of all of Adam's children and reveals the tragic consequences for the transgressor, Cain, and all his family.
As I note the progression I see a caution for my own life as a redeemed believer. I am again so powerfully reminded of the need to stand firm in my faith. I must call on God for His sustaining grace to resist the sin that results when I give into the daily temptations Satan hurls at us.
"If you do what is right." God has revealed His will for our lives so we can know the right way. We have many other Scriptures telling us the right way, "He hath showed thee…" (Micah 6:8); "This is the way, walk ye in it" (Isaiah 30:21); "This is the will of God…" (1 Thessalonians 4:3). Truly His "Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path" (Psalm 119:105).
"Will you not be accepted?" Foundationally being accepted by God begins by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. This is God's appointed means of beginning to "do what is right." Then we pursue the things of God and grow in His grace and knowledge. "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good" (Titus 2:11-14).
"But if you do not do what is right." God's warnings are expressions of His love. When we violate God's will as revealed in His Word, we give the enemy a foothold into our lives for further activity and progression of sin. A grim outcome is revealed in Ephesians describing the latter stages of this progression: "Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more" (Ephesians 4:19). With the flood of evil, pornography and perversions of all sorts sweeping through our world many are at this stage. Deeper and deeper depths of depravity can be expected and the evil acts that accompany it.
"Sin is crouching at your door." The word for "crouching" conveys the posture of a four legged animal as it prepares to attack its prey. That's the nature of sin and its crouched position is persistent. We must ever be alert, practice self-control, and stand firm, for our "enemy prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8).
"It desires to have you." Sin continues its desire to enslave you and me. A foundational step in overcoming sin is realizing this. You do well to recognize the enemy's tactic since he desires to have you as well.
"But you must master it." In the New Testament Paul wrote, "For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace" (Romans 6:14). In the pursuit of godliness we must, by God's grace, master our sinful nature, something as descendants of Adam we all must do.
We often hear the phrase, "No one is perfect" and, yes, that is true. Only God is perfect. But we can be a righteous people if Christ lives in us, if we apply the Scriptures to our lives and commune with God through prayer, and if we resist the "charm" or deceit of our enemy. Stand firm, my brothers and sisters. Resist the enemy who seeks to do evil and engage the Holy Spirit who seeks to mature us in the faith.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, thank You for Your indwelling Spirit that replaces my sinful nature with that of a spiritual nature. As I walk in Your ways year after year, I'm keenly aware that sin is crouching at the door of my heart, always ready to make habitation if invited to come in. Alert my eyes to the strategic warfare of Satan. I want to be vigilant in guarding my heart against his cunning assault. I want to heed the many warnings You give us in Scripture as well as godly messengers who keep watch over our soul. With Your blood applied to the doorpost of my heart, I am purified by Your holiness, and want to stand firm to the end! Amen.
Harvest Time in Lancaster County
Another team pulls a wagon where the bunched corn is stacked to be hauled to the corn chopper near the barn. Notice the young boy driving the team. The children are taught the work ethic and responsibility at an early age.
The corn is pulled up to the silo where it is loaded into a chopper that chops the corn stalk and all, then sends it up into the silo where it will be used for animal feed.
The other major harvest we are seeing is alfalfa, which is actually harvested through the spring and summer as well. In this case a man is using a round baler while his wife works ahead of him pulling the rake.
We regularly get behind the farm equipment.
In this case the farmer is moving a hay rake.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental ResourcesClick on the link to open and play.
(In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)
"The Battle Belongs To The Lord" Video
"This Is My Desire" Video Reuben Morgan
"My Desire" Video Jeremy Camp
Today's "old barn" photo was taken by Doris High. She has a collection of this type here. I suppose I have had an interest in old barns ever since I was a kid going to my grandparent's house in Harwood, Missouri back in the sixties. There was a big old barn along the way that looked like it was ready to fall over at the slightest wind. But it endured all through the years we made that trip and I wonder if it's still standing today! Doris also has another photo that brings back a memory from the same trip. We crossed a rusty old bridge that I always dreaded, fearing it would fall into the Osage River when we were crossing it. I also wonder if that old bridge is still being used!
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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