“You’re either giving a Cain or an Abel offering; there is no in-between.”~TB
I have assisted my dad with this blog for almost 4 years. At first, I started as the editor/poster, adding the role of ‘writer’ along the way. In the beginning, it was my job to suss out the errors and formatting– general editor stuff. Occasionally, my father or mother would politely ask me to check my work. Back then, I thought what I was doing was the stuff of legends. I was assisting my father (and God), sacrificing my precious time for their pursuits. So naturally, as a foolish young person, I didn’t really take their feedback seriously and kept on my way. It was until a couple of weeks ago when I was formatting the blog posts for my dad’s upcoming books, that I had discovered not only was there a ton of errors the work was amazingly shoddy given my abilities.
Change with Humility
As I read the older blogs, the sting of conviction hit my gut as my mind recalled all of the editing conversations I had had with my dad years ago. See, he wasn’t forceful or persistent with the comments and yet, I would shove the notes aside as if my work was precise and perfect. Oh, youth! I was foolish to believe that I was helping my father and God when in reality it was they who were helping (and still are) me. As I laughed and repented for my foolishness, I was immediately reminded of the story of Cain and Abel. In the story of Cain and Abel, Abel did his best with his offering, and Cain perceived that his offering was great when it was not. But unlike the arrogance that blinds humans, God sees all and knows all.
Perception is not Reality
The jealousy that Cain felt towards Abel had nothing to do with his brother, but really it was Cain’s unwillingness to take responsibility for the crap that he himself presented to God. At that moment I realized, my work– or rather offering to God– was that of a Cain offering. In my arrogance, I believed that what I was doing was phenomenal, but really it was shoddy and unacceptable. Friends, we either give our best offering to God– an Abel offering. Or, we give our ‘meh’ offering to God– a Cain offering. Deep within our hearts, we know when we give which, so do not fool yourself into thinking God cannot spot the difference. Instead of devouring our brothers and sisters because of our lazy, corrupt thinking, spend your days working honestly as if God is standing next to you so that your daily offerings are deemed acceptable to the Lord.
Are you giving an honest offering or are you honestly fooling yourself?
Enjoy the reading
1King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came with all the armies from the kingdoms he ruled, and he fought against Jerusalem and the towns of Judah. At that time this message came to Jeremiah from the LORD :
2“Go to King Zedekiah of Judah, and tell him, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I am about to hand this city over to the king of Babylon, and he will burn it down.
3You will not escape his grasp but will be captured and taken to meet the king of Babylon face to face. Then you will be exiled to Babylon.
4“‘But listen to this promise from the LORD, O Zedekiah, king of Judah. This is what the LORD says: You will not be killed in war
5but will die peacefully. People will burn incense in your memory, just as they did for your ancestors, the kings who preceded you. They will mourn for you, crying, “Alas, our master is dead!” This I have decreed, says the LORD .’”
6So Jeremiah the prophet delivered the message to King Zedekiah of Judah.
7At this time the Babylonian army was besieging Jerusalem, Lachish, and Azekah—the only fortified cities of Judah not yet captured.
8This message came to Jeremiah from the LORD after King Zedekiah made a covenant with the people, proclaiming freedom for the slaves.
9He had ordered all the people to free their Hebrew slaves—both men and women. No one was to keep a fellow Judean in bondage.
10The officials and all the people had obeyed the king’s command,
11but later they changed their minds. They took back the men and women they had freed, forcing them to be slaves again.
12So the LORD gave them this message through Jeremiah:
13“This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I made a covenant with your ancestors long ago when I rescued them from their slavery in Egypt.
14I told them that every Hebrew slave must be freed after serving six years. But your ancestors paid no attention to me.
15Recently you repented and did what was right, following my command. You freed your slaves and made a solemn covenant with me in the Temple that bears my name.
16But now you have shrugged off your oath and defiled my name by taking back the men and women you had freed, forcing them to be slaves once again.
17“Therefore, this is what the LORD says: Since you have not obeyed me by setting your countrymen free, I will set you free to be destroyed by war, disease, and famine. You will be an object of horror to all the nations of the earth.
18Because you have broken the terms of our covenant, I will cut you apart just as you cut apart the calf when you walked between its halves to solemnize your vows.
19Yes, I will cut you apart, whether you are officials of Judah or Jerusalem, court officials, priests, or common people—for you have broken your oath.
20I will give you to your enemies, and they will kill you. Your bodies will be food for the vultures and wild animals.
21“I will hand over King Zedekiah of Judah and his officials to the army of the king of Babylon. And although they have left Jerusalem for a while,
22I will call the Babylonian armies back again. They will fight against this city and will capture it and burn it down. I will see to it that all the towns of Judah are destroyed, with no one living there.”
“When you hold on to offenses and refuse to forgive others, you are establishing yourself as your own god because you cast your judgment on others.”~TB
Who are you to judge someone in their worst moment(s)? When you take offense or fail to forgive someone, in your eyes you are immortalizing that person in their misdeed. How blatantly arrogant! Have you not offended? Are you perfect? Of course not, so if the One who Is can freely forgive, what’s your excuse? Friends, take care to resolve your feelings and overinflated egos because when you play god by participating in unforgiveness, you risk poisoning the well, creating a nasty cycle of broken people. People can change, or have you forgotten what our Father in Heaven has done in your life?
Does a handful of moments override a lifetime? No! How else do you think salvation works? Thank God that He does not make snap decisions or assumptions against us as we do to one another. No one would survive! Fortunately, when we humbly repent, He forgives and forgets, allowing us to grow closer to Him. Forgiveness allows both parties to move past the hurt and become who God intended them to be. Forgiveness is not only for your sake but for all involved! When we humble ourselves and take care to quash offenses, that’s when God can truly do works in us. Don’t play God, He’s infinitely more qualified.
Are you playing god through your unforgiveness or do you know better?
Enjoy the reading
1Praise the LORD, who is my rock. He trains my hands for war and gives my fingers skill for battle.
2He is my loving ally and my fortress, my tower of safety, my rescuer. He is my shield, and I take refuge in him. He makes the nations submit to me.
3O LORD, what are human beings that you should notice them, mere mortals that you should think about them?
4For they are like a breath of air; their days are like a passing shadow.
5Open the heavens, LORD, and come down. Touch the mountains so they billow smoke.
6Hurl your lightning bolts and scatter your enemies! Shoot your arrows and confuse them!
7Reach down from heaven and rescue me; rescue me from deep waters, from the power of my enemies.
8Their mouths are full of lies; they swear to tell the truth, but they lie instead.
9I will sing a new song to you, O God! I will sing your praises with a ten-stringed harp.
10For you grant victory to kings! You rescued your servant David from the fatal sword.
11Save me! Rescue me from the power of my enemies. Their mouths are full of lies; they swear to tell the truth, but they lie instead.
12May our sons flourish in their youth like well-nurtured plants. May our daughters be like graceful pillars, carved to beautify a palace.
13May our barns be filled with crops of every kind. May the flocks in our fields multiply by the thousands, even tens of thousands,
14and may our oxen be loaded down with produce. May there be no enemy breaking through our walls, no going into captivity, no cries of alarm in our town squares.
15Yes, joyful are those who live like this! Joyful indeed are those whose God is the LORD .
“I am ashamed at how much time, resources, money, food, stuff, and energy I have wasted over the years, like storing my personal trash and possessions, as if they were more important than God, my family, and the people around me.” ~ Jon Barnes
Never again will I allow my stuff to control my heart, body, and soul. Yet, let God control your movements and manage your assets from a heavenly perspective. Many things will get accomplished when you get out of the way and allow God to deliver you from your self-righteous control over your wasteful, hoarding lifestyle.
We become closed minded to think that we are always right, refusing to be counseled. I will not lie to myself any longer. It is ok to make a mistake and be wrong occasionally. However it is not ok to hear the truth constantly and ignore the message of God! This constant sin and disobedience will meet and greet you in hell, when you don’t repent and change. Refuse to be a hypocrite, walking in pride, and carrying a bible.
When you receive God’s instructions and helpful hints from your loved ones, stop taking the defense. Love is here to help you. Listen and adjust to properly change your attitude and outlook so that you may live longer to finish your assignments. Get out of your own way. My children have taught me how to do this and I’m so thankful! Communicate your transparent actions so that God can give you the traction to climb the mountain of love. A double mind is a waste, since you only need one Godly Mind!
Why do you hold yourself in high esteem, full of wastefulness, lacking humility and honor in God?
2 My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.2 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in.3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,”4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
5 Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?6 But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court?7 Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong?
8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,”[a] you are doing right.9 But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.11 For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,”[b] also said, “You shall not murder.”[c] If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.
12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom,13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
Faith and Deeds
14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food.16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless[d]?21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,”[e] and he was called God’s friend.24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.
25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.