Gracefully Truthful

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Read His Words Before Ours!

Genesis 3:14-15
Genesis 4
Proverbs 4:23
1 John 3:11-16
Hebrews 11:4 

Family drama.
Relationship tension.
Anxiety over simply seeing other people we call “family”.
Churning stomachs and an instant “high alert” feeling when certain numbers flash across our phones.
Quite likely, you’re already seeing a face or two in your mind.

Whether you’ve lived with relational wounding or watched family drama unfold,
the brokenness tears at our insides,
cutting our hearts,
or sometimes making us callous.
Regardless of how we handle the tension, we have this in common,
we ache for healing. We long for redemption. We beg for wholeness.

There were two brothers, the first 2 little boys ever to be born into the world. They grew up in a time period so close to the perfection of the Garden, they could almost taste its sweetness. They’d undoubtedly heard their parents speak with hushed, awe-filled tones as they shared their memories of what it had been like to walk with God in the cool of the evening in Eden.

No fear. No shame. No disappointment.
No. Broken. Relationships.
But sin is sin no matter how far away from the Garden you are.
Whether it’s BC 1 or 2017 AD, the effects of sin are just as ugly.
Sin brings death.

That tightness between you and your spouse because of the ugly words you exchanged?
Sin’s death eating away at your relationship.

The sadness you feel as you watch a sibling or niece or nephew make destructive choices?
Sin’s deadly consequence.

The pain and anger that shreds your heart as you watch your son or daughter choose a path of destruction for themselves and those around them when you know they were made for so much more?
Sin’s wretchedness rearing its ugly head again.

James, the half-brother of Jesus, describes the cycle of sin like this, “But each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desire. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is fully grown, it gives birth to death.”

Those two little boys with Adam and Eve for parents?
They each had desires, one for good and one for evil.
Cain’s longings were wrapped up in himself; in his inflated view of his own self-importance, Cain worshipped himself. Abel, on the other hand, had chosen his Master, and it was the Lord God. It was Cain’s evil desire to be his own god that gave birth to sin.

As the time for sacrifice and worship came around, Cain resisted.
Give his best? Give his first-fruits?
His desire for himself flared as his indignation grew.
His offense at offering his best to the Lord was growing, and the Lord God knew it.
Yahweh, who plainly sees the hearts of man, would not accept a sacrifice where the heart was not first given to Him.

Luke records Jesus as saying, “No servant can serve two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other.” (Luke 6:13)
Cain could not serve both himself and the Lord.
And neither can we.

We read the story of Cain and Abel and we see the sin of Cain murdering his brother,
but Cain’s sin came long before then.
It happened in his heart.

“Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin,
and when sin is fully grown, it gives birth to death.”
For Abel, Cain’s sin brought physical death.
Cain refused to stop the sin that was growing inside his heart.
His sin gave birth to death.
Death for his brother and death of his relationship with his parents.
Adam and Eve didn’t lose one son the day Abel died, they lost two.

Alone again, Adam and Eve sat broken in the deadly wave of sin’s consequence.
Not far from the intimacy and wholeness of the Garden, but with no way back.

What was it like for them, that day before Abel was murdered?
Was there growing tension in their tent, as they ate their meals, as they spoke?
Was the broken palpable, and yet they had no idea how to bring about healing?
Could they see their son choosing himself over Yahweh?
Were their hearts heavy with unspoken grief?

Adam and Eve had no way of knowing that night would be their last with both sons.
But God Did.
He held them all.
He loved them all.
Just as He had offered a way for healing in the Garden, He still offered Himself then.

Before Cain killed Abel, the Lord knew what was going to happen and He beckoned to Cain, “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.”
Grace. Hope. Healing held out.
“Do what is right, won’t you be accepted?”
“You must rule over it.”

We can’t see the depth and breadth and width of the consequences of our sin.
We can’t see the death awaiting us or those around us.
But the Lord does.

And He holds out a better way.
He holds out the gift of His Son.
Knowing full well that we are powerless over the pull of sin,
He offers Himself in our place
because He alone holds victory over the Death of Sin.

For your relational brokenness.
For all your unknowns awaiting you.
Choose Jesus, Sister.
Choose Life.
Choose the life that wins over death!
Choose what Cain did not, but could have.
Choose the life that heals, redeems, and restores what was lost in that Garden so long ago!
Choose Jesus, and live confidently, even amidst the unknown of tomorrow!

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6 years ago

It’s so easy to get caught up and not see it for what it really is – sin eating away at us and our loved ones. Great article!

Katie Braswell
6 years ago

Wow. “He knew”. These words hit my heart. He knows, and has always known. How amazing is God, that He gave us a way to escape the grasp of death! I can feel the conviction of this post, yet I feel hope. The precious Christ child that came to die for my sin, is my hope. Thank you for painting this picture in my soul, today.

6 years ago

I love this – “And He holds out a better way. He holds out the gift of His Son. Knowing full well that we are powerless over the pull of sin,
He offers Himself in our place because He alone holds victory over the Death of Sin.” I’m thankful God is in control of every situation, even the ones where I choose to do wrong, because He knows all about it and yet loves me and forgives me.

Susan Evans
6 years ago

I wonder what would have happened if Cain took God’s warning and decided not to kill his brother.

Alice Mills
6 years ago

I am always impressed by the fact that the first murder was between two siblings. That rivalry certainly has continued thought the millennia.

6 years ago

What a great reminder for us to live in God’s light in all situations of our life. Even in the unknowns we still can trust and rely on Him.

Heather Hart
6 years ago

Amen! We can choose Jesus in our unknowns. Especially in our unknowns, because, He knows.

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