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Family Devotion Week of May 2, 2016

Gen. 4:4 And Abel also presented an offering—some of the firstborn of his flock and their fat portions. The LORD had regard for Abel and his offering,
Monday

Life Connect

Gen. 4:2   2 Then she also gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel became a shepherd of flocks, but Cain worked the ground. 3 In the course of time Cain presented some of the land’s produce as an offering to the LORD. 4 And Abel also presented an offering—some of the firstborn of his flock and their fat portions.

The first snapshots of Genesis portray work as something good and necessary. Cain and Abel were given the responsibility to work, and their work was their worship unto God. Take a moment to consider why you work. Is it for a paycheck? Success? Fulfilment? Often times work can be viewed as something separate from worship, but that’s not the case, because the way we work (ethic, attitude, etc.) is our worship to God. Maybe we can begin to view work as an opportunity to worship. God created us to be workers that worship in and through our work.   

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” Colossians 3:23

Prayer Connect

Lord give us the heart to be excellent workers, that you may be glorified.



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Tuesday

Life Connect

Gen. 4:2   2 Then she also gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel became a shepherd of flocks, but Cain worked the ground. 3 In the course of time Cain presented some of the land’s produce as an offering to the LORD. 4 And Abel also presented an offering—some of the firstborn of his flock and their fat portions.

When we approach God in our spiritual service of worship, we often have good intentions, but a half-hearted attitude. We can often measure what is really important to us by our attitude and passion (football, fishing, money, etc.) The point is, right from the beginning God draws our attention away from what fallen humans think is important (how our works can make us look impressive), to what God thinks is important (how our works reveal who we trust).

“A musician is not recommended for playing long, but for playing well; it is obeying God willingly, that is accepted; the Lord hates that which is forced, it is rather a tax than an offering. Cain served God grudgingly; he brought his sacrifice, not his heart.”-Thomas Watson

Prayer Connect

Lord help us remember that the only thing that makes our worship acceptable to you, the only thing that makes it a spiritual service of worship, is our childlike faith in Jesus (Romans 12:1).



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Wednesday

Life Connect

3 In the course of time Cain presented some of the land’s produce as an offering to the LORD. 4 And Abel also presented an offering—some of the firstborn of his flock and their fat portions. The LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, 5 but He did not have regard for Cain and his offering. Cain was furious, and he looked despondent.

 

Why did the Lord have regard for Abel yet reject the offering of Cain? In the New Testament, Hebrews explains that Abel offered a more excellent sacrifice by faith (Heb. 11:4). Here is the central truth of Genesis chapter four: at no stage in our lives should sacrifice, offering, and worship be automatic. We are not called to put our worship on spiritual cruise control. Rather, God desires our worship to be authentic with a contrite heart and clean hands. So how is your worship this week? Have you been worshipping, praying, reading the Word out of obligation and guilt rather than an authentic heart? If so, seek the Lord and He will renew your joy. May the sovereign Lord God have regard for our offerings today.

“Cain fails at the altar, and because he fails at the altar, he fails in the field. Because he fails in his theology, he will fail in his ethic.” – Waltke

Prayer Connect

Lord, give me an authentic heart for worship today as I draw near to your throne of grace where I find mercy.  



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Thursday

Life Connect

Gen. 4:6   Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you furious? And why do you look despondent? 7 If you do what is right, won’t you be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”

We see that Cain’s lack of authentic worship revealed his true heart. To look despondent means to turn your face toward the ground. Herein lies the sad reality of failed worship: when we gaze at the ground we forget to gaze upward toward our heavenly Father. When we fail in our worship, when we fail to connect our heart to the will of the Lord, we will not be accepted, which leads to unacceptable behavior. God warns Cain to rule over his sin. Genesis pictures sin as crouching like a resting animal. If it is stirred it comes alive, but if left alone stays in its place.

Are you letting your authentic worship lead you to righteous paths? Are you ruling over your sin and temptations? Do not stir up the sin that is crouching at the door; instead, seek Jesus Christ who leads us not into temptation.

Prayer Connect

Lord help me leave destructive behaviors and thoughts alone, and, in its place, let me mediate on things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous and praiseworthy.  



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Friday

Life Connect

Gen. 4:10   Then He said, “What have you done? Your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground! 11 So now you are cursed, alienated, from the ground that opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood you have shed. 12 If you work the ground, it will never again give you its yield. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.”

Here we see the effects of disobedience and sin. Cain is alienated from God and ground. The things that were originally good for humanity (i.e. unity with God and working the ground) are now foreign. To be a foreigner is to be a restless wanderer. In a similar manner, our sin alienates us from God and we too are restless wanderers. However, praise God, Christ has made a way for the wonderer to become a citizen (Eph. 2:4,5). “And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him. (Col. 1:21)”

Without God we are restless. Are you restless?

Prayer Connect

Draw us near to you that we may find rest.

“Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord; and our heart is restless until it rests in Thee.”-Augustine



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