Category Archives: Cain & Abel

Pastor John’s Bible Stories For Grownups – 539 – Cain & Abel

Pastor John’s Bible Stories For Grown-ups

08/01/16 – 539 – Cain & Abel

Gen 4:22-24

22 Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron. Tubal-Cain’s sister was Naamah.

23 Lamech said to his wives,

 “Adah and Zillah, listen to me;

wives of Lamech, hear my words.

I have killed a man for wounding me,

a young man for injuring me.

24 If Cain is avenged seven times,

then Lamech seventy-seven times.” NIV

Saturday we talked about the similarity in names between the descendants of Adam on Seth’s side and those on Cain’s side. But there is still more to this passage, we need to take one more look at it before we can finish up our story.

Looking ahead into the genealogy in Chapter 5, we learn that Enoch was the 7th in line from Adam on Seth’s side. Lamech was the 7th in line on Cain’s.

There’s a great contrast shown between the 2 men. In the brief passage above, we get a glimpse into Lamech’s heart – what kind of man he was. Apparently there are several ways to interpret these verses, but here’s one I find most interesting, and it seems to make the most sense. It is very likely that some of the ‘tools’ made by Lamech’s son Tubal-Cain were the first metal weapons. This would have given anyone in his family a great advantage in any fight.

Lamech may have been showing off his weapons, or simply boasting to his wives about what he had done He seems pretty sure that God would protect him. After all, Cain had murdered Abel in cold blood, Lamech had killed someone in self-defense, right? So what’s the problem? Once again I’ll quote Wiersbe:

“The Hebrew verbs can be translated in the future tense: “I will slay anyone who wounds me and will not need God’s protection, for with these weapons I can avenge myself seventy-seven fold!” Seen in this light, it is the first expression of arrogant defiance and warfare in the Bible.”(from Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the Old Testament © 1993 by Victor Books/SP Publications. All rights reserved.)

Whoa. On the other hand, Enoch (Noah’s great-grandpa) was a godly man. He was so close to God, in fact, that he ended up being one of only 2 men in history that never had to die, but were taken directly to heaven by God!

Gen 5:21-24

21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years. 24 Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away. NIV

Our lesson to be learned from Enoch is laid out for us clearly later on:

Heb 11:5-6

5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. NIV

So what was the difference between Enoch’s faith and that of Lamech? Obviously Lamech believed in God as well – in his arrogance he believed that God would somehow have to protect him after what he had done. The answer is in the rest of verse 6 – “he rewards those who earnestly seek him”.

 What does it mean to earnestly seek Him? It means to follow Him as closely as possible, with your whole heart and mind. It means to be obedient to His commands and His teachings. It means to surrender your entire life to Him, to let His Spirit take total control, and never take it back. It means to love Him as the Father, Son, and Spirit – as Savior and as Lord of your life – all day, every day.

Clear enough? ‘Earnestly’ is a BIG word, isn’t it? Too big for us to handle on our own. Good thing He’s willing to help us, if we would just ask Him, right? So, what are you waiting for? Go and ask Him.

Pastor John’s Bible Stories For Grownups – 537 – Cain & Abel

Pastor John’s Bible Stories For Grown-ups

07/30/16 – 537 – Cain & Abel

Gen 4:19-22

19 Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah. 20 Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock. 21 His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play the harp and flute. 22 Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron. Tubal-Cain’s sister was Naamah.

 As we read the history of Cain’s family, we see several things. First, the wanderings of a nomadic people descended from Lamech. Do you recall that they were sent to live in the land of Nod, ast of Eden? The name ‘Nod’ comes from a word meaning ‘restless wanderer. The rest seemed to do well as they became musicians and metalworkers, artisans and craftsman. They did well that is, until you consider that it was all material, earthly things. We have to ask the question – how was their relationship with God?

 

 Verses 23-24

23 Lamech said to his wives,

“Adah and Zillah, listen to me;

wives of Lamech, hear my words.

I have killed a man for wounding me,

a young man for injuring me.

24 If Cain is avenged seven times,

then Lamech seventy-seven times.” NIV

Unfortunately, the example given us in Lamech tells us that it didn’t take but a few generations for Cain’s line to get so far away from God that they didn’t even feel guilt about committing murder any more! Lamech is actually bragging about it, and instead of seeing God’s mercy in protecting Cain from people who might want to seek revenge, he is demanding that God basically become his personal bodyguard. It’s no more than a joke to him.

In the meantime, things were happening on the other side of the family as well.

Gen 4:25-26

25 Adam lay with his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, saying, “God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.” 26 Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh.

At that time men began to call on the name of the Lord. NIV

I’ll let you read chapter 5 for yourself. It’s the record of Seth’s family tree, and if you do, you’ll see that similarity in names that I mentioned earlier. The Bible Exposition Commentary maks an excellent point about that. It says this:

Genesis 4:16-24

What does this similarity in names mean? Perhaps it’s God’s way of telling us that the godless line of Cain (which is still with us) does its best to imitate the godly line of Seth. After all, Satan is the counterfeiter. He can imitate the names of the true believers, but he can’t produce the believers. There’s an Enoch in both genealogies, but Cain’s Enoch didn’t walk with God and one day disappear and go to heaven! (v. 24) “What’s in a name?” Nothing, if you don’t know and belong to the Lord!

 In this commentary, Wiersbe points out the tragedy of the 2 lines coming back together and the one corrupting the other – until it got to the point where there were only 8 righteous people left on the face of the earth!

We’ll talk more about that tomorrow. For today, let’s pray that the Holy Spirit would help us to see through Satan’s many imitations that are out there right now ready to trick us and bring us into sin. That He would help us to realize that the only way we are immune is to stay within His power – none of us is strong enough to keep all the evil surrounding us (and within us) at bay under our own strength.

Pastor John’s Bible Stories For Grownups – 536 – Cain & Abel

Before you say anything, I know you already got this by accident a few days ago. I just figured I’d send it again on the right day just to keep us all on track.  Pastor John

 

Pastor John’s Bible Stories For Grown-ups

07/29/16 – 536 – Cain & Abel

Whatever the reason, God decided to show Cain mercy after he killed Abel. Have you thought about why He may have done that that as you went through your day? After all, Cain was pretty much unrepentant. He never said he was sorry, or even showed remorse. The obvious punishment for the crime would have been ‘an eye for an eye’, wouldn’t it? Cain’s life for Abel’s. Yet that’s not what God chose to do.

Instead, he made Cain and his descendants wanderers (nomads) who would always be scrounging from the land for enough food to live on. This was a stark contrast to what things were like before. Remember, Cain had likely been a farmer (his sacrifice had been “fruits of the soil”). So, he would no longer be able to follow the calling that God gave him even to support his family or be a contributing member of God’s creation. Still, probably better than a death sentence.

Well, the Bible never does come out and tell us in so many words why God decided to be so merciful. Yet why do we need to look so deeply for a reason? Isn’t God’s love enough? I believe that God’s heart had already been broken when Adam & Eve had decided to be disobedient, and more so when Cain killed his brother. I believe His heart was broken not only for Abel (whose spirit was now apparently back with God), but for Cain, whose disobedience had changed the course of history for so many generations.

Before we move on, it’s also important to note verse it’s also important Gen 4:15, in which God promised “15 But the Lord said to him, “Not so; if anyone kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven times over.”

 Skipping to verse 17, we read a synopsis of the genealogy and brief history of Cain’s line. Now wait, before you groan, let me assure you there are some really important and interesting things to be learned from this one.

Gen 4:17-22

17 Cain lay with his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch. 18 To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael was the father of Methushael, and Methushael was the father of Lamech.

 Does anything jump out at you yet? How about the fact that although they were supposed to be wanderers, Cain built a city and named it after his first son? The speculation is that this may have been just to prove that he could. The sad part is that as the Bible Exposition Commentary points out, an earthly city is the only kind the unrepentant Cain will ever see.

The other thing is the similarity in names with other more familiar Bible names, like Methuselah. In fact, (spoiler alert) in a few more verses Adam & Eve will have another son named Seth. Seth will be a godly man, and when we put Cain’s line next to Seth’s, the name similarity becomes remarkable. Yet in every case, the best that Satan can do with the godless line oif Cain is to produce poor imitations – counterfeits of the men that God can produce.

Isn’t that one of our biggest problems as Christians today – ‘counterfeit’ Christians? People who claim to be believers and followers of Jesus, but are not? These are the people who want to be known as Christians when it’s beneficial for them, like many politicians right after a tragedy, but have no use for Christ in their lives otherwise.

It is those who claim Jesus as their Savior but refuse to allow Him to be their Lord. It’s the ones who think it’s enough to proclaim their faith by forwarding every Facebook post or email about Jesus but won’t attend a worship service or witness personally to a neighbor.

When you get to heaven and stand before Jesus one day, do you honestly picture Him saying “Hold on a sec’”, while He checks your Facebook status?

Jesus has said it simply – the one who loves Him is the one who obeys Him and lives according to His teachings. How simple is that? We can talk/email/forward all we want. But if we don’t live our faith, well… Let’s pray today for conviction. If we are not all that He wants us to be, ask for His strength and guidance to help us to become the person that really is pleasing to Him.

Pastor John’s Bible Stories For Grownups – 535 – Cain & Abel

Pastor John’s Bible Stories For Grown-ups

07/28/16 – 535 – Cain & Abel

 Gen 4:13-14

13 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is more than I can bear. 14 Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.”

 Here we finally get to Cain’s appeal to God. He no longer tries to hide his guilt. I think he finally realized that the time for that was long gone – like – never. I think it’s interesting that he’s upset about his ‘unfair’ punishment for murdering his brother who had done nothing wrong! And what is that punishment? At its core, he will be separated from God while on this earth, at least, and would live in fear that someone might come along who will do to him what he did to Abel.

But think about that for a moment. If every time we sinned against someone, we were quickly punished with a punishment that matched as closely as possible the sin we committed, we would put a LOT of lawyers out of work pretty quickly, wouldn’t we?

Gen 4:15-16

15 But the Lord said to him, “Not so; if anyone kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. 16 So Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

 What about that ‘mark of Cain’? People have speculated about it for centuries. Basically it’s something different about a group of people that I don’t like, and need to find something to justify my bigotry. I remember as a child I heard people say that dark skin was ‘the mark’, for example. Early in the Viet Nam era, epicanthric folds (Asian eyes) were a likely choice.

Let’s get something straight right here and now. Yes, there were wars fought in the Bible. Yes, there were times when God ordered all the people of a certain nation to be wiped out for the protection of the future of His people Israel. But there is nothing, nothing, that justifies hating other members of the human race, either as individuals or as groups of any kind. If that’s what you’re getting out of it, find a different pastor to guide you through it. Oh, and by the way – read the part about Jesus. You know, the New Testament.

 Funny thing. Cain never repents of killing Abel. Never says he’s sorry at all. Never asks forgiveness. He shows no remorse or regret.He’s only concerned about his punishment being too harsh, or that one day he might run into a vigilante (even though they hadn’t been invented yet ;-).

So, here’s a question. If you were in the jury, how would you decide? Would you let ‘him off the hook? Would you give him a light sentence, or would you secure him for as long as possible? Why?

When you pray today, remember this. As k God why He did what he did. Or, you could read ahead and see if God uses Cain or his descendants in any way to carry out His plan for the Israelites. Or, maybe He just decided to teach Cain what it means to have real mercy, and through him, to teach us. Thank Him for that lesson.

Pastor John’s Bible Stories For Grownups – 534 – Cain & Abel

Pastor John’s Bible Stories For Grown-ups

07/27/16 – 534 – Cain & Abel

Gen 4:8-9

8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”

 “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

 Sound familiar? You might have heard it modernized as something like ‘it’s not my day to watch him’ or something similar.

These are 2 of the most famous and oft-quoted verses in the entire Bible. They are used pretty much any time we don’t want to take responsibility for what someone else is doing or has done.

Cain didn’t realize that when God asked him the question it was only rhetorical – God already knew the answer. So, he tried to set up his alibi – sort of a ‘hey, if he went off and got himself killed, it’s his own fault because it’s not my responsibility to watch over him’ defense. But we already talked about defense in God’s court, didn’t we?

This sounds a lot like the time He questioned Cain’s Mom and Dad in the Garden of Eden, doesn’t it? So why would God even ask the question, considering He already knew the answer? Hint – you parents out there might understand. He asked the question in order to give the guilty a chance to confess, to repent of their sin. To come clean. Sadly, in both cases, they chose to lie about it and dig deeper, just making the situation worse.

Now think about it – either as parents, or when you were growing up – did you either tell your children or were told by your parents that you did the same. That in fact telling the lie was often much worse than the original offense (although probably not in this case)?

Gen 4:10-12

10 The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. 11 Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.”

 The Bible Exposition Commentary says it this way: “The shedding of innocent blood pollutes the land (Num 35:30-34) and that blood cries out for justice (Job 16:18; Isa 26:21; Rev 6:9-10). Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden, and Cain became a rejected wanderer in the earth.”

At least when Adam worked the ground he got some kind of harvest from it. Cain would get next to nothing. He would find no roots, no place where he would ever feel at home staying for very long. Let’s face it. If you’re “driven from the ground”, there’s not a lot of other places to go!

I sometimes talk about the fact that many of us will attend church on Sundays, but leave our Christianity at the door when we walk out. We’ve heard stories, maybe even seen people cursing at their kids or making obscene gestures to other drivers as they pull out of the church parking lot! It just clicked that Cain was the first of a long string of these!

He had just come from worshipping God (or trying to), but only through works. He wanted God to accept his sacrifice without giving his heart. When God didn’t do what Cain wanted, Cain found someone to blame other than himself, and committed a horrible sin. Right after church. He hadn’t even made it to Cracker Barrel yet.

I think the big lesson for today is first to think about the state of our heart before we approach God. If it’s not right, approach Him still, but in humility, with true sorrow and repentance. If it is right, worship Him with everything you do in love and humility, and make sure that you keep it right with Him through prayer, scripture, daily Bible study etc.

However you need to speak with Him today, you need to speak with Him today. Let’s prepare our hearts now. God would rather have your contrite heart than any sacrifice. So don’t worry if you don’t have the fat portion of a sheep on you right now. Just quiet your mind and call on His Spirit, and let Him fill you.

Pastor John’s Bible Stories For Grownups – 533 – Cain & Abel

Pastor John’s Bible Stories For Grown-ups

07/26/16 – 533 – Cain & Abel

Gen 4:3-7

3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4 But Abel brought 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.

6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”

 

I don’t know if you saw it, but there’s a LOT to talk about wrapped up in these few verses. To start with, the phrase “In the course of time” means ‘over a long period of time’, so we know that this didn’t happen overnight, or even within a few years. Cain & Abel had grown into men, and some kind of sacrificial system had been set up.

Apparently, they were still in direct communication with God also, which tells me that there was some kind of law set up for them even though the 10 Commandments hadn’t been written yet. Remember, they knew right from wrong – that’s what got them there in the first place! God was holding both men accountable for doing what was right.

Now, we can’t say with 100% certainty why Cain’s offering wasn’t accepted by God. The fact that his was described as “some of the fruits” while Abel’s was “some of the firstborn” seems to be significant. Later on and pretty much throughout scripture we read about giving God the ‘firstfruits’. This word actually carries a dual meaning. It can mean the literal first fruit from trees or plants. It can also mean the best, highest quality fruit of the harvest. For us it has come to mean the tithe – 10% of our income given to God before we spend anything else.

Whatever the reason, God rejected his offering. Cain was mad – and clearly jealous, even though God told him in so many words that it was his fault (v7)! But the way God admonished him still looks more like a concerned parent than an angry god, doesn’t it? I’m pretty sure Cain knew what God was referring to when He said “if you do not do what is right” even though we don’t.

But sadly, instead of accepting God’s correction and advice, Cain decided to blame Abel. He somehow rationalized that the only reason Abel’s offering was accepted was that God had some kind of pecking order, with Abel first and him second, and there was only one way to get to the top.

Isn’t it strange how we come up with these ideas? It’s almost as though nothing is too farfetched as long as we don’t have to admit to ourselves that the guilt for a sin is our own. We are the rationalization champions (if there ever were such a competition)! If we had to make up 10 steps of ‘fuzzy logic’ to get there, we could do it in a heartbeat. And in so doing, separate ourselves from our Creator forever.

You see, He’s not looking for someone who can argue themselves out of a guilty verdict by finding a technicality, or by bringing someone else down with them. If that’s what you believe, you’ve seen waaay too much courtroom drama on television!

No, God is looking for people who He already knows are sinners; who have been broken by the realization of their guilt; who have accepted responsibility for their own guilt without pointing a finger at others thinking that somehow it lessens that responsibility; who have repented of that sin; and who have thrown themselves on the mercy and grace of the court.

God is looking for those people. The ones who have chosen the right person to represent them in His great courtroom.

 1 John 2:1

“2 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One” NIV

As we go to prayer today, let’s think about this. Does this mean we can sin as much as we want, as long as we admit it all at the end? Absolutely not! That’s kind of leaving out one really important part, don’t you think? The part about repenting?

It just means doing the hard work of admission – taking full responsibility for your own sin. Yes, I know there were other people involved. But for today, this isn’t about them – it’s about you, God, and Jesus Christ. Understand? Good.

Time to pray.

Pastor John’s Bible Stories For Grownups – 532 – Cain & Abel

Pastor John’s Bible Stories For Grown-ups

07/25/16 – 532 – Cain & Abel

I’ve been watching the world around us lately (who hasn’t?) seemingly go deeper into sin than ever before. I keep seeing people that I know, even love, go from being committed followers of Christ to people that I barely recognize anymore. I find myself constantly asking the question ‘how can a person who was so close to God turn so far away from Him, and in such a short time?’

I still haven’t found the answer. Sorry to disappoint you. But now that I think about it, maybe that’s why it’s called ‘falling’ into sin. When we step off of a cliff, we don’t float gently down like a leaf. We fall – and we don’t stop until we hit something solid. Rock bottom, usually.

That must have been what Adam and Eve felt like after they found out that their eldest son Cain killed his brother Abel. I can imagine a conversation something like this:

Eve says, “Adam, I don’t understand. How could he do that to his own brother?” She hesitates…”Do you think it’s our fault? I mean, where did we go wrong?”

Adam replies angrily, “Absolutely not! He didn’t learn that kind of behavior from us! I mean, I know we ate the fruit, but we at least we didn’t kill anyone! ” He thinks for a moment. “Hey, has he been hanging around with that serpent again after we told him not to?”

But, we’re getting way ahead of ourselves, aren’t we? Let’s rewind, and start at the beginning.

Gen 4:1-3

Adam lay with 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. NIV

 Just a couple of things to note here. In verse 1, where Eve says “brought forth”, a more accurate translation seems to be ‘gotten’ or ‘acquired’. This is reflected in Cain’s name, which also means ‘acquired’ in the original Hebrew. Abel means ‘vanity’, which has caused some disagreement among commentators. Speculation is that either Eve was disappointed that Cain was apparently not the “seed” that God had promised (to crush the head of the serpent), or that she believed Cain was the seed, and that Adam was sort of an extra child for her vanity alone.

Both grew and had work, separate but distinct callings – and we see the first of many stories of sibling rivalry in scripture. It’s funny to me how much import the Israelites placed on the first-born sons when you consider how often God didn’t use the birth order to choose the person to carry out His plan.

In this case we don’t know what might have happened if Cain had been able to control himself and remain obedient to God. We only know what did happen. We know that Abraham’s son Ishmael was the firstborn, but Isaac was God’s chosen. We know that Isaac’s firstborn was Esau, but that Jacob was chosen over him also. Even in his family, Joseph’s 2 sons (Jacob’s grandsons) were placed in the order before Reuben, the eldest.

It might do us well to ask why this is the case. Personally, I think it’s because God doesn’t simply give His blessing because we were born first, or (in our culture) have the right name, work for the right company, live in the right neighborhood, or have the right skin color, or anything else that’s an accident of birth. Not necessarily of our choosing.

God’s blessing goes to the one who loves Him, who will be faithful to Him. The one who will be obedient to Him no matter what. And He knows it. God’s blessing is part of His covenant. It’s a binding contract. He is not going to make that contract with someone who is not going to honor it. I think He might say ‘been there, done that’.

Let’s make our prayer today a renewal of that contract. Think about what that truly means in your life, and if you are really willing, make the promise to Him. If not, don’t. But if you aren’t, just remember that you have no reason to expect the blessing reserved for those who He calls His children. Simple as that.

Pastor John’s Bible Stories For Grownups – 531 – Cain & Abel

Pastor John’s Bible Stories For Grown-ups

07/24/16 – 531 – Cain & Abel

For all of you who have be sitting on pins and needles waiting to read th story of the first murder, first let me say this: Get up and clean off your chair! That sounds really dumb and potentially very painful! Don’t be so lazy next time you lay down sharp objects, either. I mean, what if small children or the cat got into them? Or a small cat?

The second thing I’d say is, it’s Sunday. Which mean that our focus today is on worship, the church Sabbath, etc. So you must be patient and wait one more day. Unless you’re reading this in the print version where you can turn a page ahead, but since I haven’t written it yet…

I’ve been really busy lately, how about you? (Pssst – it’s it trick question, don’t fall for it!)

Actually, we’ve had a problem in our church lately that, although not unusual, I find pretty sad. We’ve had a lot of new people coming in recent weeks, some through a single mom’s ministry that was started in our church last year, and many from a homeless shelter nearby. We pick them up by bus or van and bring them to worship. But unfortunately, they don’t come alone.

Like all of us, they bring with them their problems and their joys, their family issues and addictions. As you might guess, most have reached a point of almost complete helplessness or they wouldn’t be living in a shelter. They can only stay for a limited time. They are not given cars and jobs before they go. It’s help, but temporary.

We have been trying to help where we can, and find resources where we cannot. Sometimes the help has been finding emergency housing. Sometimes it’s as simple as a ride to a badly needed doctor appointment. And we’ve found a problem. Most of our people are just “too busy”.

We need help with ongoing projects at the church as well, and seem to find the same few people constantly doing those tasks no matter what they are. Many of the others? “Too busy” Even basic church attendance is no longer a priority anymore if one is ‘too busy’

I’ll ask “What did you do Sunday morning?”

They’ll answer, “I had to sleep in. I was so tired from Saturday I just couldn’t get up early to go to church.” (By the way, tha’s why most church’s have long since moved services back to 10:45 or 11 AM.

So, I read an article this week that really struck me, especially if you apply it to church. It’s by a man named Jon Acuff, who writes a blog called Stuff Christians Like. You should check it out, unless that would make you too busy to read mine. You can read the article at http://acuff.me/2016/06/please-stop-saying-youre-busy/.

Basically he says what we all know, that we have time, it’s really a matter of how we prioritize it, and how we use it. We watch (average) 35 hours/week of television, for example, but can’t drive a girl to her doctor. We do what we want to do, and those things become to us, our idols – the things we value most. The things we worship.

Did you know the word worship means ‘to assign value to’? Think about it. Now think about it in this context:

Matthew 22:36-40

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” NIV

Think about it as you show God how much you value Him today. That is, if you’re not too busy.