Your Terms or God’s?

Genesis 4:1-8 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. 2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. 4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: 5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. 6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. 8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

How many times have you read this account, dear lady? I don’t think I can even count the number of times in my 34 years of salvation. I’ve heard countless messages on works-based salvation using these very verses as well. We see in today’s text that Cain brought the fruit of his own hands rather than obeying God and bringing a lamb to be offered. He was probably a very good gardener and took pride in his ability to produce such beautiful fruit and vegetables.

Let’s take it a bit further. Notice in verse 7 that the Lord told Cain that if he had done what was right, his offering would have been accepted. As well, God said that if you don’t do what is right, sin is at the door. So Cain knew what was right and what was wrong and he chose to do wrong.

Are we any different from Cain? Granted, we may not have murdered our brother, but do we not know what is right and yet don’t do it? I’ve been guilty and the Lord really dealt with me on this very issue. It’s known as the sin of omission. We may think we only sin when we actually commit the sin but that is not the case at all.

James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

So what about those sins of omission? They come in different forms – different scenarios. It may come by way of a God-given gift, like Cain had – which was tilling the ground. Cain could have purchased a lamb from his brother for his offering to God. But could it be his pride got in the way? Maybe he thought his brother was a goody-two-shoes. Or maybe Cain was jealous of his brother’s relationship with God. We don’t know. Had Cain been saved, he could have purchased the lamb from his brother and then given a surplus of the fruit of his hands to a hungry family. That would have been pleasing in God’s eyes, amen?

What God-given talent has the Lord blessed you with, dear lady? Are you a good cook? Do you like to prepare meals? How about using that gift to feed a Senior Saint who is sick? If you know there is a Senior Saint in your church who is sick, and you have the ability and talent to help but you don’t qualifies as a sin of omission. I’m referring to the woman who sees the need, has the ability to help with the need, but it’s just not “convenient” to do so. That’s a sin of omission. God puts opportunities in front of us each and every day. Do we seize the moment or reject it because it’s not convenient?

Genesis 4:11-13 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; 12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. 13 And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.

We always hear that Cain’s punishment was banishment and he was sent off as a fugitive and vagabond. But look more closely. Notice that the ground would no longer produce for him? Here was a gardener, a farmer by trade, and now that gift had been taken away from him. 😦 He no longer would be able to feel the soil between his fingers and see all of his hard work come to fruition. How said is that?

Serving the Lord through our gifts and talents is not something we do when we feel like it. Serving Him requires sacrifice on our part – picking up our cross and following Him. It’s when it’s NOT convenient to make a meal that we should make the effort to reach out – I’m sure it wasn’t convenient for Christ to go on the cross to die for us, but He did.

How is your walk with the Lord? Is it only when it’s convenient? This is exactly the area in my own life that needed work. God showed me that I was coming to Him on my own terms – when it was convenient – and in my own abilities. I wasn’t being obedient nor was I allowing Him full reign. I don’t want the Lord to take away the gift(s) He has entrusted to me so they may bring Him glory! I don’t want to be a Cain! Forgive me, Lord, for my self-centered walk. Thank You for Your patience with me and Your never-ending grace!

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