“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.”
“The sacrifice of a broken spirit that repents to God in spirit and in truth will find Jesus as Lord and Savior of all, who will help grow your faith and works in the kingdom.”~Jon Barnes”
It is the guilt of a person who looks for true answers and fair justice from God when they repent and turn from their evil ways. It is the pure love of God who finds the way to help His Children, who are interested in being helped.
The rebellious jealous children are on their own, headed for doom and destruction to be shamed in their own self-righteous stupidity of lust, greed, pride, ignorance, and lawlessness. The challenge of giving up your free will to make ignorant choices is not shameful at all. The wisdom of obeying God is Supernatural and eternally satisfying.
Put your brokenness into the Hands of God so that you may have a fighting chance against your own evil thinking and ways. Select the allow button on the computer screen of your heart to let God access all of your hate, stupidity, corruption, bad experiences, and foolishness so that the hard drive in your entire body can be cleaned, restored, and made whole.
Are you still a rebellious, broken soul doomed for hell, or will you let Jesus cover you with His Blood of Redemption, Repentance, Salvation, and New Walk with Him, as a disciple?
Enjoy the reading
1Rise up, O God, and scatter your enemies. Let those who hate God run for their lives. 2Blow them away like smoke. Melt them like wax in a fire. Let the wicked perish in the presence of God. 3But let the godly rejoice. Let them be glad in God’s presence. Let them be filled with joy. 4Sing praises to God and to his name! Sing loud praises to him who rides the clouds. His name is the LORD — rejoice in his presence! 5Father to the fatherless, defender of widows— this is God, whose dwelling is holy. 6God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy. But he makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land. 7O God, when you led your people out from Egypt, when you marched through the dry wasteland, Interlude 8the earth trembled, and the heavens poured down rain before you, the God of Sinai, before God, the God of Israel. 9You sent abundant rain, O God, to refresh the weary land. 10There your people finally settled, and with a bountiful harvest, O God, you provided for your needy people. 11The Lord gives the word, and a great army brings the good news. 12Enemy kings and their armies flee, while the women of Israel divide the plunder. 13Even those who lived among the sheepfolds found treasures— doves with wings of silver and feathers of gold. 14The Almighty scattered the enemy kings like a blowing snowstorm on Mount Zalmon. 15The mountains of Bashan are majestic, with many peaks stretching high into the sky. 16Why do you look with envy, O rugged mountains, at Mount Zion, where God has chosen to live, where the LORD himself will live forever? 17Surrounded by unnumbered thousands of chariots, the Lord came from Mount Sinai into his sanctuary. 18When you ascended to the heights, you led a crowd of captives. You received gifts from the people, even from those who rebelled against you. Now the LORD God will live among us there. 19Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! For each day he carries us in his arms. Interlude 20Our God is a God who saves! The Sovereign LORD rescues us from death. 21But God will smash the heads of his enemies, crushing the skulls of those who love their guilty ways. 22The Lord says, “I will bring my enemies down from Bashan; I will bring them up from the depths of the sea. 23You, my people, will wash your feet in their blood, and even your dogs will get their share!” 24Your procession has come into view, O God— the procession of my God and King as he goes into the sanctuary. 25Singers are in front, musicians behind; between them are young women playing tambourines.26Praise God, all you people of Israel; praise the LORD, the source of Israel’s life. 27Look, the little tribe of Benjamin leads the way. Then comes a great throng of rulers from Judah and all the rulers of Zebulun and Naphtali. 28Summon your might, O God. Display your power, O God, as you have in the past. 29The kings of the earth are bringing tribute to your Temple in Jerusalem. 30Rebuke these enemy nations— these wild animals lurking in the reeds, this herd of bulls among the weaker calves. Make them bring bars of silver in humble tribute. Scatter the nations that delight in war. 31Let Egypt come with gifts of precious metals ; let Ethiopia bring tribute to God. 32Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth. Sing praises to the Lord. Interlude 33Sing to the one who rides across the ancient heavens, his mighty voice thundering from the sky. 34Tell everyone about God’s power. His majesty shines down on Israel; his strength is mighty in the heavens. 35God is awesome in his sanctuary. The God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God!
“Jealousy and lust are empty rooms that can never be filled and like the grave, you can’t cheat or delete its consumption.” ~ Jon Barnes
Empty rooms are like empty minds of evil thoughts going nowhere fast.The torture of evil spirits will consume the disobedient, just as peace and favor will overcome the righteous. God will make fun of fools by default and people of faith will be known for their good works and honest love. Empty are the hands of the wicked, condemned to hell for eternity and full are the hands of the righteous with love.
Rooms will be overcrowded in hell, yet there will be plenty of space in heaven for the righteous. Wrap your mind around the quality of space and comfort you wish to have for eternity before the spirit of jealousy and lust consumes your mind and heart.It is better to enter Heaven with nothing than to enter hell will money and stuff to burn.
No matter what you choose, you will have to work at doing good and exercising your faith or you will suffer a loss through disobedience and evil practices.Whichever path you choose, payment will be made in full.Make room in your mind to add up the cost of jealousy and lust in your life and imagine the gnashing of teeth in heat of the many who are in the gates of hell, right now!
Is it worth it?
Enjoy The Reading
1 Samuel 22
David at the Cave of Adullam
22 So David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. Soon his brothers and all his other relatives joined him there.2 Then others began coming—men who were in trouble or in debt or who were just discontented—until David was the captain of about 400 men.
3 Later David went to Mizpeh in Moab, where he asked the king, “Please allow my father and mother to live here with you until I know what God is going to do for me.”4 So David’s parents stayed in Moab with the king during the entire time David was living in his stronghold.
5 One day the prophet Gad told David, “Leave the stronghold and return to the land of Judah.” So David went to the forest of Hereth.
6 The news of his arrival in Judah soon reached Saul. At the time, the king was sitting beneath the tamarisk tree on the hill at Gibeah, holding his spear and surrounded by his officers.
7 “Listen here, you men of Benjamin!” Saul shouted to his officers when he heard the news. “Has that son of Jesse promised every one of you fields and vineyards? Has he promised to make you all generals and captains in his army?[a]8 Is that why you have conspired against me? For not one of you told me when my own son made a solemn pact with the son of Jesse. You’re not even sorry for me. Think of it! My own son—encouraging him to kill me, as he is trying to do this very day!”
9 Then Doeg the Edomite, who was standing there with Saul’s men, spoke up. “When I was at Nob,” he said, “I saw the son of Jesse talking to the priest, Ahimelech son of Ahitub.10 Ahimelech consulted the Lord for him. Then he gave him food and the sword of Goliath the Philistine.”
The Slaughter of the Priests
11 King Saul immediately sent for Ahimelech and all his family, who served as priests at Nob.12 When they arrived, Saul shouted at him, “Listen to me, you son of Ahitub!”
“What is it, my king?” Ahimelech asked.
13 “Why have you and the son of Jesse conspired against me?” Saul demanded. “Why did you give him food and a sword? Why have you consulted God for him? Why have you encouraged him to kill me, as he is trying to do this very day?”
14 “But sir,” Ahimelech replied, “is anyone among all your servants as faithful as David, your son-in-law? Why, he is the captain of your bodyguard and a highly honored member of your household!15 This was certainly not the first time I had consulted God for him! May the king not accuse me and my family in this matter, for I knew nothing at all of any plot against you.”
16 “You will surely die, Ahimelech, along with your entire family!” the king shouted.17 And he ordered his bodyguards, “Kill these priests of the Lord, for they are allies and conspirators with David! They knew he was running away from me, but they didn’t tell me!” But Saul’s men refused to kill the Lord’s priests.
18 Then the king said to Doeg, “You do it.” So Doeg the Edomite turned on them and killed them that day, eighty-five priests in all, still wearing their priestly garments.19 Then he went to Nob, the town of the priests, and killed the priests’ families—men and women, children and babies—and all the cattle, donkeys, sheep, and goats.
20 Only Abiathar, one of the sons of Ahimelech, escaped and fled to David.21 When he told David that Saul had killed the priests of the Lord,22 David exclaimed, “I knew it! When I saw Doeg the Edomite there that day, I knew he was sure to tell Saul. Now I have caused the death of all your father’s family.23 Stay here with me, and don’t be afraid. I will protect you with my own life, for the same person wants to kill us both.”