Building a Legacy that LastAugust 10, 2021
Be YourselfAugust 27, 2021
The first murder recorded is Cain killing his brother when Cain’s emotions took control of him. Jude calls his example the Way of Cain. Everything got its start over jealousy with Abel’s offering that was accepted by God and Cain’s resentment of God for not receiving his offering.
Cain resented Able’s good fortune and coveted it for himself. He premeditated the murder of his brother. God described sin to Cain as a beast crouching at the door, ready to pounce on him (Gen 4:1-16). If Cain did not master it, the monster would tear his life in pieces. God warned Cain that things would rapidly progress far beyond his control if he let this beast out of the cage.
Is this not a picture of our lives? Here we get a portrayal of ourselves in the story of Cain and the patience and kindness of God to prepare us for what is about to occur. What we see is not flattering because it is an accurate depiction of our rebellion against God. That sinful nature does not belong just to Cain; it belongs to each of us. Anger, jealousy, and frustration must be dealt with head-on. They cannot be ignored because, left to themselves; they will become uncontrollable beasts.
There is, however, another way—the way of John. John the Baptist demonstrates a magnanimous heart so big that he has no time for petty jealousy or rivalry. The problem was that Jesus’ ministry was eclipsing John’s ministry, and John’s loyal disciples were jealous and felt threatened.
An argument developed out of comparison, which is a slippery slope. Since both John and Jesus’ disciples were both baptizing, they wondered which baptism is superior? Is it John’s, or is it Jesus’?” John the Baptist’s disciples were jealous of what was happening. They came to John, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan — the one you testified about — well, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him” (John 3:26).
What are we going to do?” this was hyperbole because not “all” were coming to Jesus. John was still performing the work of baptism, but his disciples were worried that their master’s ministry was diminishing.
John’s answer is incredible: “A man can receive only what is given him from heaven” (John 3:27).
This is the way of John, and it is so much better than the way of Cain. There is a dysfunctional tendency to play down the achievements of others and uplift our own. If someone is doing well, we attribute it to something freakiest. But, if we are successful, it is because of our hard work and intelligence! Let us remember that “A man can receive only what is given him from heaven.” heaven.”
John had this view of life and ministry because he had a firm idea of God’s sovereignty. He could recognize the success of others around him because God was giving those gifts. Selfishness and jealousy make us ugly. Belief in God’s sovereignty made him attractive, and it does the same for us.
John the Baptist found joy in serving God, not in his fame or titles. His illustration of the joy in the bridegroom describes how John looked at his ministry.
You can download the audio version of this message at https://www.buzzsprout.com/1808492/9038557