The Messages in Blood 11-14-22

We have 4 boys who are very close in age. Not only are the 3 oldest about the same age, but they are also about the same size. They have reached their early and preteen years and now they are big enough to get some serious work done or to seriously hurt each other. They pick up odd jobs around town and recently they worked for my cousin. They were thrilled because they got to drive his Razor. I was thrilled because he was impressed that they took turns and did not fight over who would drive it.

Our boys are not perfect and like most brothers, they occasionally have a spat, but they are bothered about it when they do and want to get along with each other. Things were not quite so pleasant with Cain and Abel. Cain ended up killing his younger brother.

Cain was a crop farmer and his brother Abel was a livestock man. Cain made his living by working the ground, but when he killed Abel, his brother's blood went into the ground. Thus the Lord said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to Me from the ground.” (Genesis 4:10) As a punishment Cain was not allowed to have a good harvest anymore. Genesis 4:11-12 "And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. "When you cultivate the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you; you shall be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth."

As God said that Abel's blood was crying to him, he was letting Cain know that he know about the sin. Thus the message of Abel's blood was condemnation for sin. Abel's blood was not bringing a comforting message at all. It was crying out that a tragedy had occurred and that Cain deserved punishment. 1John 3:15 warns, “Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” Jesus warned in Matthew 5:22 "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever shall say to his brother, 'Raca,' shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever shall say, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.”

If we have ever been angry enough to have hatred for our brother, then Abel's blood is not just condemning Cain, it is condemning us as well. Is there any hope for someone who has had such hatred? Thankfully there is. Romans 6:23 tells us, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Abel's is not the only blood that has been shed. Jesus shed his blood on the cross to pay for our sin. Abel's blood had a message of condemnation, but Jesus blood has a message of forgiveness and payment for sin. Jesus blood cries out good news. Hebrews 12:24 summarizes that message when it says, “and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.”

In order to have the blood of Jesus forgive us, we must believe in him. If we really believe in Jesus, then we will want to serve him and follow him. That means we will want to love him and love our brothers. We will no longer want to hate like Cain did. Jesus' blood speaks better things than Abel's blood . It should remind us of forgiveness and of the two greatest commands- to love God with our all and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

Abel's blood cried out for help to hold people accountable for sin. Jesus blood cries out for help to bring forgiveness for sin. Both bloods had a just purpose.  

God Gives us Knowledge 10-31-22

As I get older, I realize that I have forgotten more than I know. Throughout a lifetime we gather information and if we are wise we apply that information. When I was young, I was taught not to touch a hot pan. As I got older I was taught advanced algebra.

Today I have forgotten much of the advanced algebra because I do not use it. I do however still remember that hot pans are dangerous. Knowing and remembering a truth are not the same as applying it though. As I was making chicken I placed the pan into the oven. I suddenly remembered I had not tied the legs together, I figured that since the chicken had not been in the oven long, the roaster would still be cool enough to remove without a pot holder. It was not.

The burn on two of my fingers was a reminder that there are consequences for not applying knowledge. It was a humbling experience.

In the Bible we find the book of Proverbs. The Proverbs are a compilation of general truths that we are to apply to life. They are part of a grouping that is called wisdom literature. Knowledge is knowing advanced algebra or knowing that we should not touch the hot pan. Wisdom is using a pot holder because the pan is hot.

From a Christian perspective, we have knowledge of right and wrong, but wisdom is to apply that knowledge and do right. That means that we must learn along the way and even be willing to receive correction. Proverbs 15:33 says, “The fear of the LORD is the instruction for wisdom, And before honor comes humility.” (NASB) If we are to find honor we must be humble and admit that we need more instruction and more wisdom.

As we serve Christ, we should be growing in godliness as we learn more of his expectations, but we will also find ourselves touching the hot pan of sin far too often. When that happens we should be humble and admit our sin, realizing there may be consequences of the burn of that sin. We must also remember God is gracious. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9 NASB)

God does not want us to touch the hot pan of sin, but he did allow sin to come into this world back in the garden of Eden when Adam and Eve ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. As sad as that day, was, it did allow man to get more knowledge, but with knowledge comes responsibility. Applying the knowledge about sin and serving Christ is what real wisdom is about.

When God allowed Adam and Eve to eat of that tree, they did sin, but they were also empowered with a knowledge they did not have before. Because of what they did, we too have a knowledge of good and evil. With such knowledge comes power and with that power comes an obligation to do right.

Those who refuse to be humble will use their power for themselves and ignore God's commands. Those who humble themselves before Christ will have the wisdom to serve him. When they do that they will have their eyes opened and get even more knowledge as they realize living for Jesus helps them avoid so many of the burns of life. Jesus said, “to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.'” (Acts 26:18 NASB)

Just like God allowed me to get burned again so I could learn more, God allowed Adam and Eve to sin so we all could learn more. That doesn't mean we should sin to learn, it just means we have more knowledge and can learn from others misdeeds. God has given us a lot of knowledge. Let us use it for his glory and have the wisdom to avoid sin.

The Friendly Auction 10-17-22