Summary: A sermon on learning from our mistakes using Cain’s "mistake" with his sacrifice as a bad example.

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“Really, I know what I am doing . . . Oops, Sorry!”

Growing through our Mistakes.


Learning from our mistakes:

1. Coors put its slogan, "Turn it loose," into Spanish, where it was read as "Suffer from diarrhea".

2. Clairol introduced the "Mist Stick", a curling iron, into German only to find out that "mist" is slang for manure. Not too many people had a use

for the "manure stick".

3. An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the Spanish market which promoted the Pope’s visit. Instead of "I saw the Pope" (el Papa),

the shirts read "I saw the potato" (la papa).

4. Pepsi’s "Come alive with the Pepsi Generation" translated into "Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave", in Chinese.

While visiting in West Berlin I stopped at Kennedy Platz, the site of President John F. Kennedy’s famous speech. The tour guide was recalling the climax of that impassioned address -- the part when the President paused and then cried, "Ich bin ein

Berliner!" The crowd that day in 1963 was swept up in the emotion of his words and ignored their meaning until later. Kennedy had wanted to say, "Ich bin Berliner!" or "I am a Berliner!" But what he actually said was, "Ich bin ein Berliner!" or "I am a jelly doughnut!" - Contributed by Kathleen Flood, Reader’s Digest

I.Learn from your mistakes. (Gen. 4:3-5a)

A. What was wrong with Cain’s sacrifice?

1. It was not a blood sacrifice.

a. Blood for the remission of sin.

b. There is question of whether that sacrifice

was implemented or not.

2. It was not the “first-fruits.” (v.3-4)

a. Cain brought “some of the fruits”

b. Abel brought the “fat portions from some of

the firstborn.”

c. Abel gave, “bikkorot.” Cain should have

given, “bikkurim.”

B. The problem was with Cain’s heart.

1. Why did God accept Abel?

Heb 11:4 “By faith, Abel offered a better

sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was

commended as a righteous man, “

2. Cain had no faith in God. (Read vss. again)

a. Abel gave of the best that he had.

b. Cain kept the best for himself and gave God

the leftovers.

C. Ask ourselves: What can we learn from our


1. How many of our mistakes are the results of a

lack of faith in God?

2. Faith Illus.

"The following letter was found in a baking-power can wired to the handle of an old pump that offered the only hope of drinking water on a very long and seldom-used trail across Nevada’s Amargosa Desert: "This pump is all right as of June 1932. I put a new sucker washer into it and it ought to last five years. But the washer dries out and the pump has got to be primed. Under the white rock I buried a bottle of water, out of the sun and cork end up. There’s enough water in it to prime the pump, but not if you drink some first. Pour about one-fourth and let her soak to wet the leather. Then pour in the rest medium fast and pump like crazy. You’ll git water. The well has never run dry. Have faith. When you git watered up, fill the bottle and put it back like you found it for the next feller. (signed) Desert Pete. P.S. Don’t go drinking the water first. Prime the pump with it and you’ll git all you can hold." "

Keith Miller and Bruce Larson, The Edge of Adventure

II.Admit when you are wrong. (Gen. 4:5b)

A. What did Cain do?

1. Rather than admit that he was wrong, he grew

angry. (v. 5b)

B. Men and asking directions: My “drive” to

Lancaster. Got lost but didn’t stop for


1. I trusted my "amazing sense of direction."

2. I kept saying,” Columbus (Ohio) is that way,”

until I saw the sign that said, “Welcome to


3. I was 1.5 hrs from home with no gas and no


4. Until we can admit our error, we will continue

down the wrong road.

C. Admitting you are wrong does two things.

1. It takes you off the wrong road.

2. It sets you toward the right road.

3. Beverly Sills Illus.

"Being general director of the New York opera took a toll on Beverly Sills; she ballooned into obesity. "It made me sick to look at myself. I’d reached the point where I didn’t want to have my clothes made anymore. It was too embarrassing. Eventually Sills was forced to face the problem. "I woke up one day and realized I was really ill." She went to see a specialist. "He put me on the scales. When the read the scales she gasped, ’I cannot possibly weigh that much!’. And the doctor said, ’Please look down. Are those two feet on the scale yours or mine?’" Beverly smilesd. "Once I accepted the problem, I was on my way." -Phyllis Battelle in Ladies Home Journal, quoted in 6-86 R.D.

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