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Cain – Worship On My Terms

WomanI’ve been posting about the offerings of Cain and Abel. What we’ve seen is that Abel was God’s designated prophet. If Cain’s gift was to be accepted, he had to bring it to Abel. This would have required Cain to humble himself.

“You mean I have to go to my little brother for God to accept my offering?”

The truth is that there’s only one way to worship God acceptably – God’s way. Cain had a problem with that.

Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
Genesis 4:8

The result was that Cain killed Abel. Cain’s thinking was that God wanted him to worship through the prophet. But what if there was no prophet? Then God would have to accept an offering from Cain’s hand.

Cain wanted to worship God on his own terms. He thought that God would have to accept his offering regardless of how he brought it. But that wasn’t the case.

Cain became the world’s first murderer. He was cursed for this sin.

The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.”
Genesis 4:10-12

What was Cain’s response?

Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is more than I can bear. Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.”
Genesis 4:13-14

Cain said that his punishment would be unbearable. Why? Not only was he driven from the land, but he would be hidden from God’s presence.

Does that sound like an angry, hardened reprobate to you? I don’t see any of that as he stands before God.

He is starting to understand his situation. He can no longer fulfill his calling – being driven from the land. He can’t find forgiveness in the presence of God. The only advocate that he could have gone to – Abel – is dead. It even dawns on him that he deserves death.

His answer to God sounds sorrowful to me. He sounds more humble that Adam and Eve did when they sinned.

This shows the mercy of God. The conversation between Cain and God still sounds like the interactions of a father and a wayward son.

We serve a God who always desires restoration over judgment. The outcome of this event is no different. Cain was sorry for what he had done. God had a remedy.

In my next post you’ll see how the story ends. It’s probably different than you think.

Question: How has God’s forgiveness affected your life?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

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Posted by on March 21, 2016 in Spiritual Walk, Worship

 

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Four Mistakes that can Kill Worship

Heart CellEvery weekend thousands of Christians around the world attend church. They think that they’re worshipping God. Unfortunately, in many cases, they’re doing just the opposite and God isn’t pleased with them. Learn from their mistakes and offer true worship to the Lord.

I invite you to read the Gospel of Mark, chapter 7, verses 1 through 20, which is the basis for this post. Here are the four worship mistakes commonly made by modern Christians.

Making sure the outside is cleaned up, and not the inside. Most people get all cleaned up and looking their best for church. That’s just normal. You want to look nice when you’re around others.

It’s far easier to hide the dirt that can accumulate on the inside. As we live and interact in the world, we can pick up thoughts and attitudes without ever knowing it. Over time, they can lead us off track in our Christian walk.

We need to continue in the repentance and forgiveness that only comes from time in the presence of Christ. That’s where our true beauty should come from – a life that’s kept clean before God.

Saying all the right words, and not living them. You may not want to hear this, but every service, churches are filled with liars. How can I say that? Think about the songs we sing.

“Lord, you are more precious that silver…Nothing I desire compares with you.”

The whole time we’re thinking about what’s for dinner. We sing passionately about how we would do anything for God or how deeply we want to know Him. Yet, once we leave the church, we don’t think twice about it until next week.

In many cases we act like the fact that we’re singing the words, automatically makes it true. To live a life of worship, our lives need to line up with our “Sunday personas”.

Preferring to follow a set of rules rather than cultivating a relationship with God. Sometimes we get the idea that just because we don’t murder, cheat, steal, or do drugs, then we’re okay. We read the Bible and pray for our needs every day, because that’s what a Christian is supposed to do.

What about simply spending time in God’s presence because He’s God? The Father wants us to get to know Him personally. He wants to speak to our hearts and enjoy our fellowship.

Being a Christian is not just a choice to do good things. It’s a living relationship with a holy God. Worship is not a chore to complete. We are to become worshippers.

Giving money in the offering rather than giving yourself. This is one of the biggest mistakes that we can make. Thinking that we own everything except what we willingly give to God.

God is the Creator of Heaven and earth. It’s all His. It’s my responsibility to acknowledge that fact. I am His. My greatest act of worship is to, willing, give myself to Him. Only Christ is worthy to receive an offering like that.

Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.
John 4:23

Don’t waste your life being a superficial believer. Enter into a lifestyle of worship. True worship is not a matter of what you do on Sundays, but who you are all week long.

Questions: What’s your definition of worship? Have you ever had to deal with these issues in your walk with God?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2016 in Legalism, Spiritual Walk, Worship

 

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