Matthew 28:1-10 The Voice
After the Sabbath, as the light of the next day, the first day of the week, crept over Palestine, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to the tomb to keep vigil.
Earlier there had been an earthquake. A messenger of the Lord had come down from heaven and had gone to the grave. He rolled away the stone and sat down on top of it.
He veritably glowed. He was vibrating with light.His clothes were light, white like transfiguration, like fresh snow.
The soldiers guarding the tomb were terrified. They froze like stone.
The messenger spoke to the women, to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary.
Messenger of the Lord: Don’t be afraid. I know you are here keeping watch for Jesus who was crucified.
But Jesus is not here. He was raised, just as He said He would be. Come over to the grave, and see for yourself.
And then go straight to His disciples, and tell them He’s been raised from the dead and has gone on to Galilee. You’ll find Him there. Listen carefully to what I am telling you.
The women were both terrified and thrilled, and they quickly left the tomb and went to find the disciples and give them this outstandingly good news. But while they were on their way, they saw Jesus Himself.
Jesus (greeting the women): Rejoice.
The women fell down before Him, kissing His feet and worshipping Him.
Jesus: Don’t be afraid. Go and tell My brothers to go to Galilee. Tell them I will meet them there.
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord
“They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
The one thing I ask of the Lord
the thing I seek most—is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
delighting in the Lord’s perfections
and meditating in His Temple.
1 Corinthians 13:13
Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Put on all of God’s armour so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armour so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.
Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armour of God’s righteousness.
For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.
In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.
So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord Your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.
The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.
Taken From The Holy Bible, New Living Translation copyright 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation.
You will be accepted IF only you do what is right. But IF you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin (Death) is crouching (this means to lower your body to the ground by bending your legs) at your door (Heart), eager to control you. BUT you MUST subdue it (to overcome and bring under control), and be its master.
– Genesis 4:7 NLT
I was doing my daily devotion sometime last week, when I came across this verse in the scriptures. I was very much intrigued by this story, so I had to read it over and over again. I brought out my Life Application Study Bible (New Living Translation)because I wanted more light on this VERY verse. I began to read through from Genesis 4:1-15 to gain full understanding of this profound verse.
Click here to READ it now – if you don’t know or remember the full story.
I pray as you read this post, God will open the eyes of your heart to receive and grasp what the Holy Spirit is trying to tell you as I share what He has taught me through this verse – Genesis 4:7.
In the past I have always thought of Cain as this EVIL guy that killed his brother, don’t get me wrong, YES what he did is evil and it was the first murder ever in the world. But have you ever wondered what might have been going through this guy’s head before he could kill his own brother.
In verse three and four, Cain and Abel brought their harvest-gifts to God as a sacrifice. Please pay attention to this part — it was recorded that Abel brought the BEST of all the things God had given him by bringing the best of the first-born lambs from his flock– he brought a sacrifice that is befitting for the Most high God. The following verse stated that Cain’s offering on the other hand was not accepted. So I sat on my bed for some few minutes, trying to figure out why Cain’s offering was not accepted.
My mind wandered: ….erm I guess Cain gave God some withered or semi- good crops from his farming while Abel obviously gave God the better offering (the first-born lambs!) wow, to me that sound way better than some half-rotten tomatoes Cain gave God, I won’t accept it too!
Haha! I know sometimes I am amazed on how my mind runs wild too… Forgive me, it’s not my fault the writer of the book of Genesis decided not to put why God accepted Abel’s offering and not Cain’s offering! But me being me, the Holy Spirit had to intervene you see.
He pointed out both of these men’s heart to me. See this God we serve DOES NOT care about how big our offerings are to Him, all He cares about is our Heart. He only cares about the condition of your heart while you are giving Him your gifts. So for Cain’s offering to be rejected, his heart was not right with God. It was not about the size of his offering as many people thought myself included. No, trust me God is not poor to be depending on your offerings to Him, in fact He is the Richest of ALL.
I hear you say how can Cain’s heart not be right with God, is that even possible?! Why go through all that stress of bringing a sacrifice to God and your heart isn’t right in the first place… That’s just a waste of time! It does not make any sense whatsoever!
Hold on just right about…erm… ermm there!
Don’t be too quick to judge brother Cain, well not just yet! Not until you have examined your heart too. How many times have you given God half heartedly? How many times have you played the self-pity game with God; telling Him to understand why you grumbled the last time He told you to give an offering? How many times have you given God something out of obligation; out of let me fulfil all “righteousness”?
Yeah…see! We are no better than Him, not even me.
“But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”
– Jeremiah 17:10 NLT
Now, check this out. In the next verse Genesis 4:6, God saw that Cain’s heart is now full on anger, jealousy, envy and resentment towards his brother due to his offering being rejected. Look at God’s next words to Cain “You will be accepted if you do what is right…Genesis 4:7a” God being so merciful like He always is, pleaded with Cain to choose to do what is right – for him to ask for forgiveness; confessing and repenting. To ask for grace to do what is right and pleasing to God.
Is this you today, can you relate with Cain’s story?
Do you feel like God is begging you too?
God is giving you the same chance today to turn your heart to Him, confess, repent! Do what is right so you can be accepted like Abel’s offering. He seriously loves you so much, if He didn’t why did He sent His ONLY son to die for you so that you can have this beautiful life which is free from guilt and anger. Jesus Christ’s blood speaks better than the blood of Abel because His blood cries out for mercy, mercy for you not vengeance like Abel’s.
Cain ignored God but Abel obeyed; this shows that a man tainted and handicapped by sin can respond to God’s voice. Listen to Him too!
This Grace is calling for you! God is giving you a chance to Right all your wrongs and try again. Don’t refuse like Cain did – you know what happened to him. This is an example of what happens to those who refuse to repent from their mistakes.
“… Sin (Death) is crouching at your door, eager to control you. BUT you MUST subdue it and be its MASTER.”
For you to SUBDUE sin=Death, you HAVE to give up your heart to God, let Him control you instead of the sin – whatever sin you may be struggling with, probably you are like Cain with the spirit of Jealousy and Anger. Give up all these things you’ve listed, then no longer will sin (death) have a foothold in your life.
One thing about sin(satan) is this, he is always waiting to attack you: bending its knees. waiting and waiting until you give in and then he takes control over your body, soul and mind! Not to add to your eternal life, No! he’s only job is to DESTROY
“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy…” John 10:10
God said to Cain…”be its master” yes, you can be the master of a particular sin in your life, by not yielding to the devil’s strategies, his deceptions. Arrest your thoughts and understand what satan is trying to do.
But trust me you CANNOT do this with your own strength, you need God on your side dear! This is why you need to repent and surrender your ALL to HIM.
Then, put on the WHOLE armour of God, every piece! Ephesians 6:10-18 “…truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation and lastly the word of God”
You can only subdue and master sin WITH God’s strength-the armour of God.
Although this will be a life long battle, but the good news is the Holy Spirit is here with us to help master sin.
So, guys let me encourage you NOT to let sin control you like it did with Cain. Because he did not only kill his ONLY brother but God also cursed him and Gods presence left him too.
1 Corinthians 10:13…”The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure”
My prayer for you, is to be able to comprehend the Grace that is available to you today and start over again before it is too late.
Take hold of this opportunity Now!
Love you as always,