Weekly Devotional June 12, 2021

The Wheat Field Murder!

Genesis 4:1-8 (NKJV)

Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have acquired a man from the LORD.” Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. So the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” Now 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 killed him.

This was the first case of sibling rivalry. Each wanting to do better than the other. In doing so they could claim superiority over the other. If you look at it closely, sibling rivalry is silly and impossible. Both came from the same seed. How could either one be superior? They may be different, but neither is better than the other.

The envy Cain had for Abel was the cause of his anger. The envy and anger themselves are not a sin (James 1:20), however as you can see, they will often lead to sin. Anger while not a sin, certainly is not an example of righteousness.

The act of killing someone is not a sin. If it were, God would have sinned when He told the Children of Israel to go into the land of Caanan and kill every man, woman, and child in the land. Had the Children of Israel followed the command of God they would not have sinned. However, they disobeyed God because of the doubts and desires of their hearts. Sin can only come from the heart, not the action. Sin is an attitude, not an action.

Cain also experienced the first instance of jealousy. Again, while jealousy is not really a sin, it did lead to a sin and often does. What jealousy is, must be considered a useless and time-wasting act. In this case Cain was jealous because God chose Abel’s gift over his. It was the gift God chose, God didn’t say Abel was better than Cain. Cain’s jealousy was a vain act.

In Jude 1:11, God inspired Jude to use this as a warning to those who seek to make a profit off Christianity. We have many who preach and teach who are not called to do so. These people are not representing God, they are teaching false teachings to profit from the people.

God doesn’t charge people for coming to or being members of the church. Churches need money to pay for the things needed to run the church, but God has never put a price on anything He does in the church, neither should we. The gift of money in the offering should come from the heart of the individual, not the mandate of the pastor.

When trying to find a new church, always talk to the preacher and your teacher away from other people. Ask them why they started preaching or teaching. If their answer is not, “God called me to do so” then always challenge anything they do that involves the receiving of money.

There are wolves in sheep’s clothing in the church now. Ask God for guidance and be careful.

By the way, “God called me to teach/preach His word.”

Weekly Word Definition – Foreigner

A person born in or coming from a country other than one’s own.

The noun Foreigner has 2 senses:

1. a person who comes from a foreign country; someone who does not owe allegiance to your country.

2. someone who is excluded from or is not a member of a group.

What is the difference between Foreigner and alien?
  1. As nouns the difference between foreigner and alien is,
  2. a foreigner is a person from a foreign country.
  3. an alien is a person, animal, plant, or other thing which is from outside the family, group, organization, or territory under consideration.
Who is considered a foreign national?

A foreign national is a person (male or female) that is a legal resident of a country other than the United States. This person may come to the United States throughout the year, whether on vacation or on business, but their primary home is in another country.

Luke 17:17-19 (NKJV)
So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?
Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?”
And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.”

There are people from all over the world that have been promised a place in Heaven. God will not discriminate against anyone who has the faith needed to become a Christian.

Those who desire to go to Heaven must do so through faith in Jesus Christ. Just because we are from the most powerful country in the world today, does not insure us a place in Heaven. Just because we belong to the original church or the largest church in the world does not matter when it comes to going to heaven.

There are no natural citizens in Heaven. There are only foreigners. We cannot buy a place, win a place in Heaven.

Just as the foreigner in verse 19 above, only our faith in Christ will give us a place in Heaven. We are born into this world and people are born into many different countries, however, according to Christ (John chapter 3), we must be born again to go to heaven. We can only reach Heaven through faith and the healing powers of re-birth.

Have a nice day, foreigner.

Weekly Devotional – June 5, 2021

Honor Your Mother and Father

Mark 10:19 (NKJV)

You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ “

The man Jesus was talking to here came running down the road where Jesus walked and knelt down before Jesus. This was a rich young man who (in the eyes of those around him) was living a life of luxury. The young man had heard Jesus as He taught, and the young man wanted to inherit eternal life.

Many people would be skeptical about what the young man thought eternal life was. Jesus didn’t care what the young man’s motives were, so Jesus began to explain.

Jesus’ first statement was “You Know the Commandments.” Then Jesus began telling the young man what he couldn’t do. Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not bear false witness, do not defraud. These are the things Jesus told the young man he couldn’t do. But Jesus also told the young man one thing that he must do.

Did you know that not honoring your father and mother could keep you from going to Heaven? In fact, there is more. Look at Mark 7:10. Now think back at all those times you were mad at your father or mother because they would not let you do what you wanted to do.

Why should there be such a discussion concerning my opinion of my father and mother? The idea of God looking at my treatment of my father and mother is daunting.

Your father and mother are your first line of authority in your life. How you treat their authority is an example of how you will treat all future authority. If you disobey their authority, then you will be reluctant to obey all other authority.

If you won’t listen to your parents, all others can expect the same. You may listen to them and obey them, but they will always be waiting for you to disobey.

Paul further explains the difference in this statement as a commandment. Paul tells us that it is the first commandment with promise. All the other commandments Jesus quoted were negative statements. “Honor Your Father and Mother is a positive statement. Positive statements give hope and promise to the world.

God has given the world a way to gain His favor.

If you have always honored your parents, you are certainly on the right road to eternity. However, if you are at odds with your parents, there is still time to make amends so there is hope for you after all. Provided you don’t wait.

Weekly Word Definition – Image

A representation of the external form of a person or thing in art.

synonyms: likeness · resemblance · depiction · portrayal · representation · statue

Genesis 1:26 (NKJV)

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

The general impression that a person, organization, or product presents to the public. “she strives to project an image of youth.”

synonyms: public perception · public conception · public impression · persona · profile · face · identity · front · facade · portrayal · depiction

Romans 6:4 (NKJV)

Therefore, we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

To be buried with Christ in Baptism, is to be immersed under the water so that we may imitate the resurrection of Christ. Just as Christ died on the Cross for the sins of the world, we as True Believers are dead to sin and have risen from the waters of baptism a new person. This new person is free from the bondage sin uses to keep us from the life of Christ. This new life is a newness of mind, spirit, and soul.

Romans 8:1 (NKJV)

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

In this verse of scripture, Paul is using the word flesh to represent the Sin Nature. The sin nature does not walk in the ways of God nor Christianity. The sin nature is the constant urge to do things that are not pleasing to God. To do things that waste the short life span we have and to deprive us of the opportunity to worship God.

When Paul refers to the spirit, he could be referring to the Holy Spirit. When we walk according to the spirit, we are following the guidance of the Holy Spirit that lives in us (John 14:17) The Holy Spirit that comes from God and is part of God.

The sin nature is gone because we are dead to sin, and we have put on the New Man because we now have God living in us and the sin nature was replaced by God’s Divine nature (1 Peter 1:4)