Friday, May 29, 2015

A Firstborn Curse

A Firstborn’s Curse
You are hereby banished from the ground you have defiled with your brother’s blood. No longer will it yield abundant crops for you, no matter how hard you work! From now on you will be a homeless fugitive on the earth, constantly wandering from place to place.” (Genesis 4:11-12 NLT)
Have you ever noticed how much tragedy seems to fall on firstborn children? The Bible is full of incidents of firstborn sons falling into sin and turning away from their fathers’ instruction.
   The general consensus from those who study “birth order” is that firstborn children are intelligent, scholarly, assertive, willful, controlling, perfectionists, and leaders. Such was the case with Harry S. Truman, George W. Bush, and Winston Churchill who became presidents and a prime minister during a time of war. Other famous firstborn leaders were Oprah Winfrey, Walter Cronkite, and Albert Einstein just to name a few.
   What took place in the home to bring about their success? In the case of our firstborn son, my wife spent a lot of time reading books to him at a very early age. As a result, he became a book lover and had an insatiable desire for learning. He was a very good student in school and excelled in the math and music department . He held the number one chair for trumpet in the high school band. After college he got a job as a music and book buyer for a major religious distributing company. Today, he and his brother operate their own Christian contemporary music website called the “Rad Rockers.”
   Not every firstborn son, however, walks in a path that delights and pleases his parents. Some act in a manner that brings shame and disrepute, and in some cases a curse upon the family name.
   One in particular was Cain, the firstborn son of Adam and Eve. Cain was a willful person and brought a sacrifice that displeased God. When God confronted him he got miffed and ended up murdering his younger brother Abel. As a result, God placed a curse (mark) upon him and his land. It doesn’t pay to disobey God!

Prayer: Dear Lord, the children you give us are a heritage and a blessing. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Bad Decision

Bad Decision
The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.” (Genesis 3:6 NLT)
Have you ever made a bad decision? Of course you have! At one time or another we have all made decisions that did not fall within the framework of God’s will and suffered the consequences. It may have involved purchasing a car (the old ones falling apart, so we think), a household item, a piece of property, a job, or a relational situation.
   I must confess that I have made a number of bad decisions throughout my life that either put a financial strain on my family or put in jeopardy certain relationships. Fortunately, God, in his graciousness, helped me overcome my bad decisions.
   None of my bad decisions were as devastating and far reaching as the one made by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Their bad decision caused mankind’s separation from God, and brought about the sting of death. God put a curse upon the ground which resulted in man having to work with the sweat rolling down his face. Ever since that day, we have had to battle tenacious weeds, thorns, and thistles just to eke out a living.
   When I hired out to work on a farm as a teenager I never dreamed that I would have to hoe weeds out of a corn patch, or muck out a barnyard, or cut thistles out of the cow pasture. How I hated those jobs!
   In the midst of the bad decision God provided some good news. He made a promise in Genesis 3:15 that at a future appointed time a son would be born to the woman who would redeem mankind.
   We learn from the experience of our “first parents” that it is best to seek the will of God before making a decision. Faith choices will prevent “bad decisions.”

Prayer: Dear Lord, making good decisions is a matter of “faith choices.”

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Awesome Beginning

The Awesome Beginning
Scripture Reading: Genesis 1-3
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was empty, a formless mass cloaked in darkness. And the Spirit of God was hovering over its surface. Then God said, “LET THERE BE LIGHT,” and there was light.         (Gen. 1:1-3 NLT)
Just like that! Four simple words and BOOM! Light appears. Is there any doubt that it takes an awesome, powerful, intelligent being to cause such an event to happen?
   Worship begins with a personal God who has creative powers and who has fashioned myriads of universes of which the planet earth in an infinitesimal part. All other gods are products of man’s hands or figments of his imagination. None of them are living or personal. They can’t see, hear, or do. They possess no creative powers.
   Why did God bother to create humankind? A number of reasons can be cited. He wanted someone with whom he could communicate and have fellowship. He wanted a human body through which he could manifest his glory. He wanted to be intimately involved with his creation.
   Consider the God who claims us as his own. He personally walked and talked with Adam and Eve in the garden. He granted a child to an elderly Abraham and Sarah, despite their unbelief. He wrestled with Jacob transforming his character. To took Joseph out of prison and promoted him to prime minister of Egypt.
   This is the kind of God we serve and who calls us to worship him. As you read through the book of Genesis, you will see a God who is your creator, provider, promise-keeper, and sustainer.
   Isn’t He worth listening to?

Prayer: Dear Lord, You alone are worthy of our worship. Help each one of us today to exalt your name in all that we do.