Monday, January 02, 2012

January 2, 2012 … Living Sacrifice

Passage of the Day: Reading Plan Reference … Genesis, Chapter 4 – 7 … Study Scripture Reference: Genesis 4: 1-5 NIV 1 Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, "With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man." 2 Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. … Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4 And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.


Genesis 7: 1-5 NIV 1 The Lord then said to Noah, "Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation.2 Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate,3 and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth.4 Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made." ,,, 5 And Noah did all that the Lord commanded him.

My Journal for Today: Day 2 of my year-through-the-Bible chronologically. I hope that some who’re reading my journal entries might have joined me in this reading plan – or maybe some other plan to read through God’s word this year. But even if you’re just following here what I’m journaling, we’ll be going through some great truth issues; because they’ll be coming directly from God’s word – for His purpose; and we know the promise of Isaiah 55: 11 (check it out!).

Today, from a vast source of scriptural meat in Genesis, Chapters 4-7, there was much one could choose to discuss; but God’s Spirit seemed to bring two passages to my consciousness, the ones I’ve selected and reprinted above, … first from the story of Cain and Abel and then from the account, later in history, when God charged Noah to save mankind. These are two biblical accounts of the results of man’s fall from grace in the Garden to have to deal with the evil effects of sin.

But both of these stories do illustrate clearly how God deals with man’s choice to either succumb to selfishness in sin or for mankind to choose righteousness, which is his “LIVING SACRIFICE” of obedience to God’s will and His way.

When we view the account of the first two siblings, Cain and Abel, we see how one, Abel, chose to give God his best, i.e., Abel’s living sacrifice, and the other chose to give a more restrained, selfish sacrifice; and we know the result of how God looked upon the two … as well as the human result of Cain killing his brother because of his jealousy.

Then there is the account of how mankind had degenerated in their sinfulness to the point that God had to cleanse the earth. And the Lord chose Noah as His vehicle of cleansing; and we read in this story how God gave His free grace to the one, Noah, who was obedient and had lived a life of LIVING SACRIFICE.

Are we getting the picture? God favors and imparts His grace upon those who CHOOSE to live their lives in obedience and worship to the Lord. God gave mankind this God-like ability of free choice; and when we exercise it, God wants to see that exercise of free-will to be a LIVING SACRIFICE to the Creator rather than the created.

Yes, we who have chosen – by our free-will – to surrender our lives to God in the living sacrifice of faith are going to get the same rewards as did Abel and Noah. But you may be saying, “Didn’t God allow Abel to be killed.” Yes, he did; but my friend, if you’re a born-again Christian, one day you’ll see Abel in heaven; and you may even see Cain … IF … he repented of his sinful act of murder and came back to God, living the rest of His life in contrite pursuit of God as a LIVING SACRIFICE.

But we’ll definitely see Noah in heaven; because his life was an exemplary one of sacrifice in righteousness for His Lord. In this regard, we all need to be asking ourselves if we’re living as the Apostle Paul charged believers to life in Romans 12: 1-2 [hope you have that one memorized]. Are we living lives of worship … i.e., “LIVING SACRIFICE,” … apart from the very human and worldly tendency to live for self rather than to live for our Savior. Jesus was THE One who came to us to redeem us from the forces which drove Adam and Eve from the garden or caused Cain to kill his brother, Abel. Jesus was God’s plan to save us from those self-driven forces which caused God to bring a flood to cleanse mankind of the evil brought into the garden by the serpent and into the hearts of mankind by their own sinful choices.

My friends, we need to take stock of how we’re living as we move into this New Year. Are we living life as a second-rate sacrifice (as we see in the life of Cain); or are we bringing our best to God in the way we live (as did Abel)? And are we living as did Noah, … lives of obedience and surrender to the will and the ways of God, rather than lives like the world around us? In other words, are we living up to what Paul wrote about in Romans 12: 1 – 2, … i.e., “… lives of LIVING SACRIFICE, … holy, … acceptable to God, which is our reasonable act of worship?”

If we are doing the latter, we’re off to a really good start in 2012. If not, … well I think it’s obvious then where we need to direct our choices.

My Prayer Today: … Oh, Lord, help me to remain true to Your will/way with a life of living sacrifice to You. Amen

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