Last week we looked at how Satan mixed the truth of what God said with a lie and deceived Adam and Eve.
The original sin was disobedience, as long as they never ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they were operating in obedience to God. As soon as they partook of that tree, they disobeyed the commands of God and sin entered into this world.
That sin entered the blood line and because of it, every single one of us has sinned and I don’t know about you, yes I do, because you’re human, I have to constantly fight the dark side of my life to keep it in line and under the blood of Christ.
Every single one of us has sinned since we’ve been saved. I don’t think not one of use would want some of the thoughts of our heart this year to be flashed up on the overhead projector.
There’s a sinful side that’s always trying to gain control, that’s why we need to make sure that submit our selves to God every day of our life.
We need to pray daily that God would lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. The enemy is constantly looking for any crack in your spiritual foundation that he can gain ground in.
Tonight we’re going to see that man’s nature has fallen to the point where it didn’t even bother Cain to offer up an unacceptable sacrifice.
The problem with vegetables
I’m kind of strange, being home grown in Indiana, my family had a garden every year where we would grow peppers, corn, green beans, peas, tomatoes, strawberries, green onions. How many thinks those things sound good?
I would have to shell peas, snap green beans, pick ears of corn and fight tomato spiders.
Something strange happened in my childhood, maybe it was when I fell down the stairs as a baby, and I just don’t connect with vegetables.
They taste horrible to me and to this day I can’t stand vegetables. I think it should be the 11th commandment, thou shalt not eat vegetables.
If George Bush can go on record saying he doesn’t like broccoli, I’m going on record too!
I told the church the day we came and tried out here that mom didn’t raise a rabbit.
I think that maybe God is against veggies. We see Adam and Eve got in trouble, it was probably a veggie, and now we have Cain getting in trouble over what? Veggies!
Unfortunately I can substantiate by anti vegetable doctrine but we do know that there’s something about Cain’s sacrifice that God found unacceptable. Let’s take a look at this sacrifice…
First of all, I want you to see that Cain and Abel’s sacrifice represented Worship
God instituted worship from the very beginning and the only acceptable worship was that of the very best. God didn’t accept Cain’s sacrifice because He didn’t like vegetables, He didn’t accept it because it wasn’t the best Cain could give.
Let me ask you tonight, what is your quality of worship towards God? Is it acceptable to God?
Do you just go through the motions or do you worship from the heart?
I think to often we just put our selves on autopilot when it comes to church. We’ve been doing this for so long, we know what to expect when we come to church, the pastor’s going to open with prayer, then we’re going to sing for a half hour, we usually pray, take up the offering, endure a message and go home.
Listen friend, that’s not worship. That’s just enduring to the end!
Every time we gather here at 2401 Curdes Avenue, we need to make sure that we take time and give God the best worship we can. If we will get to that place, it will change us.
Here’s some observations I want to share with you about what we bring to our worship service…
Touching the heart of God with our worship will cause God to touch the heart of man.
You can’t keep that from happening. When someone enters into real worship. God escorts worshipers through the gates and into His throne room.
Second observation I want to share is, God always responds to worship.
It is either a positive response like Abel’s, or it’s a negative response like Cain’s. It all depends on what you bring to God.
If you just come here to church, or in your prayer time and go through the motions, (and some people don’t even go through the motions very well). There are people who come to our church week after week and there’s no life in their worship.
They’re just not connecting with God, and most of the time it’s because we’re bringing unacceptable sacrifices, giving Him half hearted or no heart in their worship to Him.
Third observation, Worship allows us to minister to God.
Every time Able brought a sacrifice to God, he was ministering to God.
God constantly ministers to us, blesses us, meets our needs, Worship gives us the opportunity to minister to Him.
It’s part of our spiritual ministry to minister to God.
1 Peter 2:9 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:”
The first thing the priest would do before he interceded for the people he ministered to God.
You and I are the new royal priesthood. Our first and foremost duty as being a royal priest is to minister to God.
How and the world do you minister to God? Through worship! You are chosen to show forth the praises of Him.
No one likes to be around obnoxious people, or greedy kids. Why, because everything revolves around them. If you want to touch the heart of God and minister to Him, it can’t be about us, it’s got to be about Him.
Listen to what Psalm 96:8 says “8 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts.”
Do you touch the heart of God when you pray or when you come to Church?
The next thing I want you to understand about the sacrifice was it represented their level of commitment to God
What is your commitment level to God? Are you 10 percent committed, 50% committed, 95% committed to Him.
Here’s what we need to understand church, anything less than 100 percent commitment to God is unacceptable.
Anything less than your absolute all is unacceptable to God. Nowhere in the scriptures does it tell us that it’s okay to be 50% committed, or if you’re at 95% you’re doing good.
Matthew 10:38-39 “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”
The only acceptable of commitment to God is total sell out. 100%. Why would you want to hold out on the one who has never held out on you. Why would you hold back 5% of our life from a God who’s always given us His best, and gave the greatest sacrifice His Son dying on a cross so that you and I might know the depth, the width, the breadth of His love.
Here’s what I think we need to do, I think all of us need to visit the table of rededication. When we get to the table we need to place everything we have on that table.
All our possessions, all our finances, all that we have and lay it on that table and say God, I give everything to you.
Everything I have God you gave it to me, and anything you need, my possessions, my finances, my time; my life is at your disposal.
Whatever you need, whenever you need it it’s yours.
Can you really look into the face of God and tell Him that tonight? I think you will find as you begin to do this, the more stuff you have the harder it is to put it on the table.
We don’t mind giving out of the comfort zone, and listen church, that’s where a lot of believers are at, they quit giving before it hurts, their dedication stops when it interferes with their plans, and their dreams.
It gets hard when we lay our bank accounts, our cars, our stuff on the table of rededication.
We like stuff don’t we. How many here tonight likes stuff, or wish they had more stuff?
100 percent commitment means all our stuff is at His disposal, it’s the place where we get that the only thing that ultimately matters to us, is His plans, His desires, His dreams.
Our prayer should be every day, and I challenge you to begin to pray this prayer, “What would you like to do through me to help us reach our full potential as a church to bring others into your kingdom?”
What you give of your time, your possessions, your finances, your talents or the lack of what you give directly impacts our ability to reach our redemptive potential as a church.
I ask you tonight, what are you bringing to the altar? What does your sacrifice look like? Is it acceptable to God, or are you like Cain only giving the second best of your life to Him.
What have we brought to God’s altar as a church? We come week after week and either set here and go through the motions, or we come with a bless me, bless me, give me, give me, attitude, and never bring anything to the altar for Him.
Is everything we have at God’s disposal so we can reach those in our neighborhoods, in our work places, in our family that are far from God and drifting further away every day?
Are we holding back on God? With a church with a long history like ours, I have to look back and say, we are.
We’ll give to make are property look better or improve it, but what have we really done to reach the hurting, the broken, the wounded, the lost in our community?
What are you willing to bring, what are you willing to place on the altar to Him tonight?