Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The O.T. Part I-"Caining" You

Sunday Night Bible Study Recap
Genesis 4:1-15

If you missed Sunday night, then you missed a great game of 500 with the guys and you missed a fun start to the new Bible Study series "The O.T."

We played a team game where each team had to figure out clues and bring the correct item to me. Team 1 won with 17 points, Team 2 had 15 and Team 3 had 9. If you weren't there, then you missed some hard core rhyming thrown down by yours truly. Here's a small smattering of clues that were given during the game...(feel free to freestyle 80's style along with me!)

Lazy givers and poor handed wrappers deposit and deliver handles and laughter...yo!

Any idea...it's a GIFT BAG!

OK, here's another one.

You must keep it low or others may know your ear for Clay from that American Idol show...Word!

Have you gotten that one...HEADPHONES of course (that would be "earbuds" for the iPod generation)

What's that? You say you want to hear one more? OK...you asked for it!

If hanging, spinning, reflecting, speeding, surely this you will be needing...homie G!

A CD (although "Myth Busters" proved that hanging a CD on the rearview mirror really does not reflect the cops radar away from the car...go figure...and e-mail idea "proven to work" actually didn't...make sure you send this to 341 people in the next 5 seconds or your head will explode).

Following this stimulating game of rhyme and running, Christie wowed us with her "story time" picture book presentation of the story of Adam and Eve as a little background to the story we looked at...the story of Cain and Able.

If you don't know the story of Cain and Able, go to your bookshelf, find a Bible, dust it off, open it up to Genesis (that's the first book), find the big number 4 and the little number 1 and start reading.

Cain and Able were the sons of Adam and Eve (that made them brothers). Cain was a farmer (he grew plants) and Able was a shepherd (he grew sheep). They both brought and offering to God. Able brought a first born spotless sheep and Cain brought some fruits and veggies. Able's offering was accepted, but Cain's was not.

"Why", you ask, was Cain's offering not accepted? There's only speculation, but apparently he didn't present the offering up to God's expectations. His veggies may not have been the best. He may have kept some for himself first. He may have even dropped them and stepped on a couple on the way. Probably, though, Cain just had the wrong heart attitude in presenting his offering.

We see this wrong heart attitude in Cain's response when God tells him that the offering he brought just didn't cut it. Genesis 4:3-5 says that Cain's countenance/face fell. He got upset.

And God said, "Too bad. You stink. Take your veggies and go pout."


God said, "Hang on there Cain. Don't get too upset. Make it right. You know what I expect from you, now go do it...or else."

Or else WHAT!

Or else, Satan is waiting for you and will lead you in to sin.

(Enter music...) "Dum, dum, dummmmmm"

1 Peter 5:8 warns us exactly what God warned Cain...Satan is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. In this case he devours Cain (as we will see) but daily we walk right back into the same traps he's laid for us, and he eats us up!

So, God warns Cain, and Cain does what? He KILLS his brother. That ought to solve his problems.

Well, obviously God was not happy with Cain, punished him, and sent him away. But he did send him with love and protection. Despite God's love, Cain still had to face the consequences of his sin.

So, what can we learn about this true story from THOUSANDS of years ago?

1. God is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.
2. God knows our weaknesses and wants to protect us from sin.
3. Satan knows our weaknesses and wants to lead us to sin.
4. If we reject God's provided protection from sin, we will sin.
5. There is definite consequence for sin.
6. God still loves us, even when he has to punish us.

So, what about you. Are you Cain or Able? Are you bringing an offering (Romans 12:1-2-a sacrificed life) that is pleasing and acceptable to God? Are you allowing Satan room in your life by walking around dissapointed in yourself all the time? Surrender it to JESUS! He's the only truly worthy sacrifice, and he did it for you so that you would not have to live under the curse and consequence of sin any more, but so that you could live in abundant life!

So, I ask again:
Are you Cain, or ar you Able?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Sunday Night Bible Study Recap
April 9, 2006

You've heard the phrase "Love the sinner hate the sin", but is this really how God conducts business? What are the things that God hates? Does he hate the people that do those things too? Why is it hard for us to imagine that God can hate without being guilty of sinning himself?
Are we people that hate?

These are all questions that are worth looking at. First, let's read what God hates from Proverbs 6:16-19:

16 There are six things which the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:

17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

18 A heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil,

19 A false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers.

Now, I can honestly say that I am guilty of all of these, almost every day(except for the shedding of innocent blood. That only happened once...*just joking*...or am I?)!

The fact that I am guilty of all of these almost on a daily basis has to help me keep perspective. God hates sinful actions, and we must hate sin too. First in our own lives, and then in the lives of others.

But how do we demonstrate that we hate sin? Take a look at these pictures.

Do you think that these people who are picketing the sin of others in their so called "love crusades" are looking on these people they are condemning with perfect eyes? (their focus is that homosexuality has destroyed America, caused the hurricanes, wars, deaths of many soldiers, and the 9/11 attacks. While God does punish a nation for it's wickedness, is this the best way to get the point across) I DON'T THINK SO!

Matthew 7 reminds us to look at our own deceitfully wicked hearts and lives before we go trying to pry a speck of sin out of someone else's life. Yes, people need to be told that Hell is real, and that sin results in death and hell, but we can't leave out the hope of Jesus in all of that. The hope of Jesus dying on that cross for our sins can say so much more than a picket sign ever will!

Now, you might be saying, "wow! I can't believe those people would be so hateful!" But wait a minute. Remember to look at yourself first. You may have never grabbed up a picket sign and shoved it in the face of a classmate saying with hate condemning them to hell, but we often look down on people with disdain and with "picket signs of the mind" despising people for who they are and what they stand for. But we are not looking with perfect eyes and a perfect heart. Too often we move from hating sin to hating the sinner.

God, however, can look on us with perfect eyes and a perfect heart. He can see our sin and truthfully say I Hate your sin, but I love you enough to provide a way out if you will just receive it. That's what this whole week is about! Easter...the sacrifice of the perfect lamb, taking on all the nasty sins of the world, to the point that God had to turn away from his only son because He cannot look on sin.


Because God loves us enough to become man and empty himself and die for his creation.

That's true love for a sinner like me.

"Come Lord Jesus" by Andrew Peterson

Copyright © 2000 New Spring Publishing (ASCAP)

Tonight in the line of the merchandise store
While they were packing up my bags
I saw the pictures of the prophets of the picket signs
Screaming, "God hates fags"

And it feels like the church isn't anything more
Than the second coming of the Pharisees
Scrubbing each other 'til their tombs are white
They chisel epitaphs of piety

Oh, there's a burning down inside of me
'Cause the battle seems so lost
And it's raging on so silently
We forget it's being fought

So, Amen, Come, Lord Jesus, Amen
Oh, Amen, Come, Lord Jesus, Amen

It's taken me years in the race just to get this far
Still there is no end in sight, there's no end in sight
'Cause I've carried my cross into dens of the wicked
And you know I blended in just fine

Well, I'm weak and I'm weary of breaking His heart
With the cycle of my sin, of my sin
Still He turns His face to me and I kiss it
Just to betray Him once again

Well, I've got oceans down inside of me
I can feel the billows roll
With the mercy that comes thundering
O'er the waters of my soul

Tonight in the light of the gathering rain
I could hear creation groan
And a sigh rose up from the streets of the city
To the foot of Heaven's throne

Oh, and the people hear the sound of a sweet refrain
An absolution in the fray, in the fray
It tells of the death of the One for the lives of the many
More than any picket sign could say

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Question of the Week 4/3-4/9

Here it is, the question of the week...

I know we haven't had one for a while, so you may have forgotten how this works...post a comment to answer the question, then we'll check it out on Sunday.

Remember, we will read your comments to the whole group!

What Does God Hate, and Why is He Allowed to Hate?

There you go. Give it some thought and let us know what you come up with!

The Future of H2O on Sunday Nights

Hey Guys...some minor changes are coming to Sunday nights for a while:

While there will still be free time to shoot hoops, play chess, hit the PS2 (figuratively...please don't literally hit it!) we are going to be doing more large group games.

After this Sunday, we're going to move away from the "Jar" type questions for a while and focus on some stories of the Old Testament, starting somewhere in Genesis. We're going to look at these ancient events and discover what God is trying to teach us today, in 21st Century America.

So, bring your Bibles and bring your friends. This will be a fun time of practical study. You won't want to miss it!

Keep submitting your questions to the Jar, though, as we will step back to those every once in a while to give us a break!