Summary: Cain and Abel - Message 3 of a Sunday AM series on the book of Genesis.

Sunday AM—7/17/05

SERIES: Genesis—The First Soap Opera

MESSAGE 3: A Tale of Two Brothers

Felt Need Intro:

Do me a favor and help me out for a second as we open our message this morning…tell me something that you just can’t live without. Not like your kids, your spouse, or something like that, but what is something you own or something you often do that is so much fun or is so enjoyable that you just can’t imagine living without it?

• Get responses.

I can’t imagine living without a…

• Hot shower

• Air conditioning

• Television—The fact that I mention TV makes me think maybe I need to turn it off.

There’s lots of things we enjoy in life, lots of things we couldn’t imagine living without. I want to talk to you this morning about something that we all love. In fact we love it so much that we allow it to control every aspect of our lives. We love it more than our friends. We love it more than our family. Most of us love it more than anything. In fact, sometimes we even love it more than God. It is something that each of us enjoys every single day. So, what is so great? What is it that we can’t live without? What is it that we put first and foremost more than anything else?

The answer is ourselves. Yup, you and me. If we’d be totally honest, the one thing that we can’t live without, the one thing that we put first, above everything else, is not actually a thing. It’s us. We just love ourselves don’t we? Often, you put yourself first and I put myself first.

Everybody say this together, “I love me.” Come on, admit it, doesn’t that make you feel good? If we’d all admit it, we think we’re pretty good. In fact, we may just be pretty great. I’m a good person, I’m a nice guy, I deserve good things in life. I love me.

Though this is a common way of life for a lot of people in our world, and I think we could safely say is something that you and I struggle with too. Who is most important in your life? If the answer is you, then you have the wrong answer. The only problem is we are bombarded with so many messages each and every day that teach us to put ourselves first and to look out for ourselves first. Landon makes fun of me because I guess in my sermons I say, “Here’s the problem a lot.” Well, here’s the problem…The Bible boldly proclaims a different message. One that says the real way to be great is to put yourself at the bottom, not the top.

Let’s take a little test…who do you think is more beautiful? Who do you think is more attractive? Which one of these two groups do you most want to be like?

Group Number 1:

• Nick Leshea and Jessica Simpson

• Eva Longoria from Desperate Housewives

• Ty Pennington

Group Number 2:

• Mother Theresa

• Billy Graham

• Rick Warren

You know I’m kind of setting you up here. But, most Christians think about being like the first group, wishing they had money like this person, power like this person, fame like this person, looks like this person. We dream and chase after those kind of things instead of saying I wish I had the servant’s heart of Mother Theresa, I wish I had the evangelistic passion of Billy Graham, I wish I had the leadership influence of Rick Warren. We chase after all the wrong things and the reason is because we want ourselves to look and feel better.

I really believe we have bought into a lie. And this morning, I would like for us to take a look at what can happen when we put ourselves, our own agenda first.

Would you open your Bibles with me to Genesis 4.

• Put up Genesis Series logo.

We are in a message series called “Genesis—The First Soap Opera.” Genesis really is the beginning of the story of God interacting with mankind. The book has a lot of interesting stories. They are in fact more than stories. They are actual events that happened as recorded in Scripture. A lot that happens in Genesis is Soap Opera like. Sex, families fighting, deception, greed, murder, all that and more is found in the book of Genesis. And this morning is our third message in the series and today’s we’re talking about “A Tale of Two Brothers.”

Let’s read Genesis 4, starting with verse 1 and together learn about the first murder that ever occurred in the world. It was between two brothers named Cain and Abel.

Read Verses 1-16 and then skip to 25-26.

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