Monday, November 21, 2011
The Story of Cain and Abel: Part 1
Cain was the first child born on earth. The coming of the first baby, is always an important event in a home—but the birth of the first child in the human family, was an event of great importance. Mothers have many dreams and hopes for their babies. Perhaps the first mother (Eve) had her dreams. She might have dreamed to have been expecting that her son would be the "seed of the woman" referred to in the promise of the bruising of the serpent's head. When she saw the beautiful new-born child, she said joyfully, "With the LORD'S help, I have brought forth a male child!" She forgot the pain of her travail in her joy that a child was born. It is sad to think how this first mother's dreams would be disappointed. Instead of becoming a godly man, his life an honor to his parents—Cain proved to be a wicked man, who brought sorrow to his home! Eve conceived a second time and had Abel.
At the beginning of the story of the human family, we find both good and evil. What Adam and Eve had found in the garden, they brought with them into the world. Two children of the same parents, have in their hearts dispositions that differ in every way. They had different tastes, which led them to different occupations. Cain become a farmer, tilling the soil, and thus providing for his own necessities. Abel, with peaceful tastes, became a shepherd.
The two sons differed still more radically in moral character. Cain developed wicked traits. He was energetic, ambitious, resourceful, a man who made his mark in the world, a builder of cities, a leader in civilization—but a man of bad temper, selfish, morose, cruel, hard, resentful. Cain was the kind of man who today wins the world's honors, who gets on in the world, grows rich, is enterprising, becomes powerful and rules over his fellows.
Abel was quiet, affectionate, patient. The world now would call him easy-going, not disposed to stand up for his rights, meek, allowing others to trample over him and tread him down in the dust. Abel was the type of man described in the Beatitudes, poor in spirit, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, merciful, a peacemaker, unresisting, bearing wrong without complaint, not striving for mastery. Abel was the kind of man that Jesus was—who, at the end of the ages, appeared as the true Seed of the woman, whose heel was bruised by the serpent, but He bruised the serpent's head, conquering by love and goodness, and not by evil.
Both the sons were worshipers of God, though here, too, they differed. Cain brought of the fruit of the ground for his offering; and Abel brought of the firstlings of his flock. Some suppose that Cain's offering was unfit in itself, inferring that God had already instituted the offering of blood, as the only acceptable worship. We do not learn this, however, from the Bible narrative; we are told only that the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering—but unto Cain and his offering He had not respect. Then in the Epistle to the Hebrews we are told that it was Abel’s faith which made his sacrifice more excellent than Cain's.
We learn at least—that God must be worshiped in the way He has commanded. We learn also that God’s acceptance of worship, depends on the heart of the worshiper. Cain's heart was wrong, and Abel's heart was right. God cares for the right form of worship; He looks into the heart and is pleased only when He finds love, faith, and true devotion there.
"Cain was very angry." Why was Cain angry? Was he angry with God for not showing respect to his offering? Did he think God had treated him badly? If the anger was against God, how very foolish that was! What good could it do? It would be most silly for us to be angry at the waves of the sea, or at the storm, or at the lightning. Would the waves, the tempest, or the thunderbolt mind our rage? It is infinitely senseless, to be angry with God!
Or was Cain angry with Abel because he had pleased God—while he himself had failed to do so? It seems, however, from the record, that he was angry with Abel. Why? What had Abel done? He had done nothing, except that he was a better man than his brother. Was that reason enough why Cain should be angry?
Superiority always arouses envy, opposition and dislike. We must not expect to make ourselves popular—by being great or good. To show your intelligence and ability, is only an indirect way of reproaching others for being dull and incapable. It was Abel's favor with God—that made Cain hate him. Envy is a most unworthy passion. It is utterly without reason. It is pure malevolence that reveals the worst spirit. Cain was angry with Abel, because Able was good.
“Merciful Father, Loving God! Help us to know that the existence of Good and Evil in this world does takes control of our life and will lead us to death and destruction, unless we turn to Jesus, the One who has destroy evil and provided love, mercy and grace for us through His own sacrifice and goodness. Show us how to live in Jesus…just as He lived. This we pray and ask in His name, Amen!”
A GRATEFUL RESPONSE:
I would like to thank everyone for their wonderful responses and comments to last weeks stories.
God Bless, Vic.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Heb 10:25 reminds us and encourages us with these words: "Not FORSAKING the assembly of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but EXHORTING one another; AND SO MUCH THE MORE AS YE SEE THE DAY APPROACHING". Don't forget to assemble with the brethren today and worship the Lord our God in Spirit and in Truth with praises and adoration.
God Bless Everyone, Vic.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY: 11/20/2011
THE RESULTS OF DISOBEDIENCE
Afterwards, the Bible tells us God planted a beautiful garden and He placed the man He had made in this lovely garden and told him to take care of it and keep it looking nice.
And God made beautiful trees grow right up out of the ground, trees that were filled with good food to eat.
In the middle of this beautiful garden, God planted two very special trees. One He called the tree of life and the other He called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
God told Adam He could eat the fruit on every tree in this garden, EXCEPT for the fruit on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. "If you eat of this tree," God said, "you will surely DIE!"
Now THAT sounded like a very important command to obey, didn't it? Do you think this Adam listened? Well, let's find out. The Bible tells us that God brought every animal and every bird to Adam to see what he would call them, and Adam named each bird and each animal.
God saw that the man was all alone and needed someone to help him. So God made Adam fall into a very deep sleep, and, while he was sleeping, God took one of the ribs from his side, closed up his side, and used Adam's rib to make the very first WOMAN.
Adam named this very first woman EVE and she became the mother of all living things.
One day, while Eve was walking in the garden, a snake spoke to the woman and said, "Has God said you cannot eat the fruit of every tree in the garden?" Eve answered the snake and said, "We may eat the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God has said, we are not to eat of the tree in the middle of the garden. We are not even allowed to even TOUCH it, or we will DIE."
"You will not die!" the snake said. "God knows that the day you eat the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden, you will become wise as gods, knowing good and evil."
Then Eve looked at the tree and saw that the fruit on the tree was beautiful and good for food. She knew that if she would eat this fruit, it would make her WISE. So she picked the fruit off the tree, took a taste and handed it to her husband to eat. When Adam ate the fruit, too, they both saw for the first time that they were naked. They ran and picked fig leaves from a tree and used the leaves to make something to cover themselves and hide their nakedness.
Suddenly, they heard the voice of God walking in the garden, and Adam and Eve were frightened. So they hid themselves from the Presence of God, by crouching down among the trees in the garden. And God called to Adam saying, "Adam, where are you?"
Adam KNEW he was discovered so he answered, "I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked. So I hid myself." God KNEW what they had done, but still He asked, "Who TOLD you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree that I commanded you not to touch?" And Adam answered, "The woman that you gave to be with me, gave me the fruit to taste, and I ate it." And God asked the woman, "What have you done?"
Eve answered, "The snake tricked me and I ate the fruit."
God turned to the snake and said, "Because you have done this, you will crawl on your belly and eat the dust of the ground all the days of your life." Then he turned to the woman and said, "You will have much sorrow and pain when you have children and your husband will rule over you." And to Adam, God said, "Because you listened to the voice of your wife and ate of the tree which I forbid you to eat from, the ground will grow thorns and thistles to stick you, and you will eat of it in sorrow all the days of your life. You were taken from the dust of the ground, and you shall return to the dust of the ground."
Then God took animal skins and made special coats to cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve. And He drove them out of the garden so they would not eat of the tree of life also.
And God placed angels with flaming swords at the tree of life to keep Adam and Eve from returning.
Gen 1:20-31 and Gen 2 and 3.
CONSIDER THIS: God made man from the world but placed him in a special garden to live. But when they DISOBEYED, they were cast out of the Garden and back into the world. God made you special, just the way you are, and He has a very special plan for your life, but God expects OBEDIENCE from each one of us.
A VERSE TO LEARN
"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul" (Genesis 2:7).
Dear God, when we become too proud, help us to
remember that we am only made of dust. Teach us to
OBEY Your voice and help us to do what is right.
In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.
Friday, November 18, 2011
STORY OF ADAM AND EVE:
Do you know how the very first man was made? Listen, and you will learn.
THE FIRST MAN
In four days, God created so many things. Now there was day and there was night, and there was a beautiful blue sky, and there were oceans and rivers and lakes, and there were grass and plants and trees, and there were the sun, moon and stars. God saw that all He had made was good.
On the fifth day, God spoke again. This time He said, "Let birds of every kind come from the waters to fly above the earth."
***And there WAS!***
The sky was FILLED with robins, and sparrows, and eagles, and blue jays, and ducks, and every kind of bird that could fly.
And God created great whales and filled the waters with every kind of fish and living creature. And God blessed them and told them to keep having more birds and more fish to FILL the sky and the seas. This all happened on the FIFTH day of creation.
Now on the SIXTH day, God commanded the earth to bring forth every kind of cattle and animal imaginable.
***And the earth OBEYED!***
There were tigers, and giraffes, and zebras, and horses, and monkeys, and cows, and bears, and dogs, and cats, and squirrels. There were animals of EVERY kind!
***And God saw that it was GOOD!***
Then God spoke again. This time He said, "Let us make man in our image and let man rule over the fish in the sea, and the birds in the air, and the animals on the land." And it HAPPENED - just like He said. He created the very first MAN.
And God blessed man and told him he could eat the herbs in the field and the fruit on the trees. He gave grass to the animals and the birds to eat. God saw everything that he had made and***it was VERY GOOD!*** That was the end of the SIXTH day of creation. So God finished making the sky and the earth and every living creature to fill the sky, the seas, and the land. And God made man and commanded him to take charge of all the birds, and the fish, and the animals.
HOW did God make man? Oh, that's a WONDERFUL story! The Bible says that God shaped man out of the dust on the ground. Then God BREATHED His own breath right into that first man's nose, and you know what? Right then, that first man came alive. And God named this very first man ADAM.
Then on the SEVENTH day, God ended His work and took a wonderful REST. And God blessed that seventh day and made it HOLY.
CONSIDER THIS: When God said “Let us make man in our image”, It was God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit speaking to each other. God wanted to create man in His own image, which we means man was shaped from the dust of the earth but he became a “LIVING SOUL”, like God. Man received what no other creature received.
TODAY'S HYMN: Words and music by Twila Paris in 1984. Inspiration came from John 1:1. Two verses with refrain.
"WE BOW DOWN"
1. You are Lord of creation and Lord of my life, Lord of the land and the sea.
You were Lord of the heavens before there was time,
And Lord of all lords You will be. REFRAIN
We bow down and we worship You, Lord.
We bow down and we worship You, Lord.
We bow down and we worship You, Lord.
We bow down and we worship YOu, Lord.
Lord of all lords you will be.
2. You are King of creation and King of my life, King of the land and the sea.
You were King of the heavens before there was time,
And King of all kings You will be. REFRAIN
We bow down and we crown You, the KING.
We bow down and we crown You, the KING.
We bow down and we crown You, the KING.
King of all kings You will be!
TODAY’S BLESSING: May God bless us and remind us that whether He send sunshine or rain, it is how we perceive them that counts. Give God all the glory!
TO BE CONTIONUED TOMORROW!
Thursday, November 17, 2011
The Story of Creation
The Bible begins with God the Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. It tells the true story of how God made all things. He filled the world with perfect and good things. He made the world for you and me. I wonder . . . How did God make all things? How did He give us life?
As far back as I can remember, I have always loved stories, especially stories from the Holy Bible. I have never outgrown my love for these wonderful biblical stories, not even now at age 74. Let’s start with a look at creation in Genesis 1 and the world He made for us.
God Creates the World
‘In the beginning, there was no land or sky or sea or animals. And then God spoke in the darkness: “Let there be light!” Right away there was light, scattering the darkness and showing the infinite space. “That’s good!” said God. “From now on, when it’s dark it will be ‘night” and when it’s light, it will be ‘day’.” The evening came and the night passed and then the light returned. That was the first day.
On the second day, God added to the earth and over it He carefully hung a vast blue sky. He stood back and admired His creation. “That’s good!” said God and the second day was over.
The next morning God looked around and thought, “the earth needs to be a bit more organized.” So, He put all the water in one place and all the dry land in another. When He had finished that, God made plants to cover the land. Flowers appeared. All sorts of trees and grasses began to grow. “That‘s good!”, said God and that was the end of the third day.
On the fourth day, God looked around and though, “the daylight still needs a bit more work and the night is just too dark.” So, He made the sun to light the sky during the day and the moon and stars to add a bit of sparkle to the night. He hung them in the shy. “That‘s good!,” said God, and that was the end of the fourth day.
The next day, God turned his attention to the water he had collected in the oceans. “I want these waters teeming with life!” As soon as He said it, it was so. In no time, there were millions of small fish darting through the shallow water and huge fish swimming in the ocean. God made birds, too. He sent them soaring through the air. “ That’s good!, “said God. The dusk fell over the water and the sky grew dark and that was the end of the fifth day.
On the sixth day, God added creatures to the land. He made lions and tigers and bears. He made rabbits and sheep and cows. He added everything from ants to zebras to the land. But there was still something missing. So God added Man to enjoy and take care of all that He had created. God looked around and was happy with all He had made.
After six days, the whole universe was completed. God said, “It’s very good”, and that was the end of the sixth day.
On the seventh day God rested and enjoyed looking at all He had made.”
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT:
Do not be fooled, God created the earth. It did not happen by chance. It takes just as much faith to believe that statement, than it does to believe that we came from slime. In the past, and to a certain extent today, scholars had a tendency to understate the importance of biblical creation because they did not understand the science behind it. Rest assured, there is much scientific study and explanation behind much of the events in Genesis - including creation. Note that God created the earth from nothing (without form and empty). Note that God created LIGHT on day one. He did not create the sun on that day. The sun was not created until the Fourth Day (Gen 1:14-19). Note that the light which God created was “GOOD”. God called the light “Day” and the darkness “Night” The word “day”, as used in the Bible most of the time, means a solar day, a calibrated 24 hour period. Creation marks the absolute beginning of the world we live in.
A HYMN: Words by C. F. Alexander (1848) and music by L. O. Sanderson (1935):
“All Things Bright And Beautiful”
1. The little flow’r that opens, The little bird that sings,
God made their glowing colors, He made their tiny wings. REFRAIN
2. The cold wind in the winter, The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden, He made them every one. REFRAIN
3. He gave us eyes to see them, And lips that we might tell,
How great is God Almighty, Who has made all things well. REFRAIN
REFRAIN: All things bright and beautiful, Creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful, The Lord God made them all.
Today’s Blessing: May God take care of you, through everyday, over all the way.
PRAISE GOD and GIVE HIM ALL THE GLORY! BE BLESSED TODAY, Vic,
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