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Weekly Devotional from August 7, 2006

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Women in Discipleship (sm)
Weekly Devotionals 2006
Week 27
"For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; not as Cain who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him?  Because his deeds were evil, and his brothers were righteous."
1 John 3:11-12
We all remember the story of Cain and Abel. I find it interesting that John would use it here to illustrate a "righteous" point! One of John's themes has been that of brotherly love. Another is that of righteousness. This story illustrates both.
Jesus spoke these words: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another." John 13:34
Deeds are important as we see in this passage. They proceed from one of two types of thought. One comes from an internal motivation to please holy God and the other comes from an external motivation to please man.
When we consider the truth about Cain and Abel the picture becomes clear. Cain was taught the ways of God just like Abel. They both knew what was required before God in worship. Cain however bought the lie that produce was an acceptable sacrifice.   He chose to buy that lie. I'm sure that what he brought was the best of his produce but that is all it was…produce. It was in his willful character, practice and lack of obedience that his sin was born. It was God's requirement that was mandated. (Man seems to always want to change the rules). Sin overcame him in the end. With that in full bloom hate and murder overcame him even after God personally spoke warning to him personally. (God speaking to Cain: "sin is crouching at your door, it desires to have you, you must master it." Genesis 4:7b)
The new commandment Jesus spoke of was not really new. It just hadn't been practiced in a very long time. (Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 22: 37-39) With a true love for God will flow a love for people.
What is righteousness? Abel did what God required. Cain didn't. God sees the heart. Willful, habitual sin will not yield righteousness. Obedience to God's requirements is a very important key!
The phrase "actions speak louder than words" fits well in the passage. Abel's actions were pleasing to God, Cain's were not.
What actions are you walking in that speak of your genuine faith, like Abel?
It's difficult to stand up for righteousness in our world. What can you do today to guard your heart in the purity of Gods greatest commandment?
With God all things are possible. Let's walk in His possibilities every day.
Be thou encouraged,
Sandra Davis for all of us at Women in Discipleship


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