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ACAD – Accepted: Genesis 4

Cain Murders Abel

Now the man knew his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have produced[a] a man with the help of the Lord.” Next she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a tiller of the ground.In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel for his part brought of the firstlings of his flock, their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is lurking at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.”

Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let us go out to the field.”[b] And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” And the Lord said, “What have you done? Listen; your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground! And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you till the ground, it will no longer yield to you its strength; you will be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.” Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear! Today you have driven me away from the soil, and I shall be hidden from your face; I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and anyone who meets me may kill me.” Then the Lord said to him, “Not so![c] Whoever kills Cain will suffer a sevenfold vengeance.” And the Lord put a mark on Cain, so that no one who came upon him would kill him. Then Cain went away from the presence of the Lord, and settled in the land of Nod,[d] east of Eden.

Beginnings of Civilization

Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch; and he built a city, and named it Enoch after his son Enoch. To Enoch was born Irad; and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael the father of Methushael, and Methushael the father of Lamech. Lamech took two wives; the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. Adah bore Jabal; he was the ancestor of those who live in tents and have livestock. His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the ancestor of all those who play the lyre and pipe. Zillah bore Tubal-cain, who made all kinds of bronze and iron tools. The sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.

Lamech said to his wives:

“Adah and Zillah, hear my voice;
    you wives of Lamech, listen to what I say:
I have killed a man for wounding me,
    a young man for striking me.
If Cain is avenged sevenfold,
    truly Lamech seventy-sevenfold.”

Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, for she said, “God has appointed[e] for me another child instead of Abel, because Cain killed him.” To Seth also a son was born, and he named him Enosh. At that time people began to invoke the name of the Lord.


  1. Genesis 4:1 The verb in Heb resembles the word for Cain
  2. Genesis 4:8 Sam Gk Syr Compare Vg: MT lacks Let us go out to the field
  3. Genesis 4:15 Gk Syr Vg: Heb Therefore
  4. Genesis 4:16 That is Wandering
  5. Genesis 4:25 The verb in Heb resembles the word for Seth

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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ACAD – Rejected: Romans 11

Israel’s Rejection Is Not Final

I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars; I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.” But what is the divine reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace would no longer be grace.[a]

What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, as it is written,

“God gave them a sluggish spirit,
    eyes that would not see
    and ears that would not hear,
down to this very day.”

And David says,

“Let their table become a snare and a trap,
    a stumbling block and a retribution for them;
let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see,
    and keep their backs forever bent.”

The Salvation of the Gentiles

So I ask, have they stumbled so as to fall? By no means! But through their stumbling[b] salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel[c] jealous. Now if their stumbling[d] means riches for the world, and if their defeat means riches for Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean!

Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I glorify my ministry in order to make my own people[e] jealous, and thus save some of them. For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead! If the part of the dough offered as first fruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; and if the root is holy, then the branches also are holy.

But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, a wild olive shoot, were grafted in their place to share the rich root[f] of the olive tree, do not boast over the branches. If you do boast, remember that it is not you that support the root, but the root that supports you.  You will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand only through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe. For if God did not spare the natural branches, perhaps he will not spare you.[g] Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness toward you, provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. And even those of Israel,[h] if they do not persist in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. For if you have been cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these natural branches be grafted back into their own olive tree.

All Israel Will Be Saved

So that you may not claim to be wiser than you are, brothers and sisters,[i] I want you to understand this mystery: a hardening has come upon part of Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved; as it is written,

“Out of Zion will come the Deliverer;
    he will banish ungodliness from Jacob.”
“And this is my covenant with them,
    when I take away their sins.”

As regards the gospel they are enemies of God[j] for your sake; but as regards election they are beloved, for the sake of their ancestors; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.  Just as you were once disobedient to God but have now received mercy because of their disobedience, so they have now been disobedient in order that, by the mercy shown to you, they too may now[k] receive mercy. For God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that he may be merciful to all.

O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

“For who has known the mind of the Lord?
    Or who has been his counselor?”
“Or who has given a gift to him,
    to receive a gift in return?”

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen.


  1. a. Romans 11:6 Other ancient authorities add But if it is by works, it is no longer on the basis of grace, otherwise work would no longer be work
  2. b. Romans 11:11 Gk transgression
  3. c. Romans 11:11 Gk them
  4. d. Romans 11:12 Gk transgression
  5. e. Romans 11:14 Gk my flesh
  6. f. Romans 11:17 Other ancient authorities read the richness
  7. g. Romans 11:21 Other ancient authorities read neither will he spare you
  8. h. Romans 11:23 Gk lacks of Israel
  9. i. Romans 11:25 Gk brothers
  10. j. Romans 11:28 Gk lacks of God
  11. k. Romans 11:31 Other ancient authorities lack now

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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An oxymoron in teaching about sin: “Love the sinner, hate the sin.”

Perhaps what’s so difficult about loving a person who is exposed in a sin you hate, is the hate part. I think people get caught up in the hate. Once hate is part of your thought process, it becomes the emotion that filters your responses and reactions. So even though your mind is telling you to love someone who has become vulnerable to sin, when you agressively hate their lifestyle, you are also actively hating the person.

The New Living Translation of Romans 12:9 says, “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.

Christ followers who sprout on about “loving sinners” while “hating their sin” are viewing “sinners” as something other than themselves (the lovers and haters), other than people that God loves as He loves those who attempt to obey His Word faithfully. Members of the Body of Christ who label other people in judgement are saying to those people that they are less deserving of God’s grace and mercy than those whose sins are not as visible.

Romans 12:9 does not focus on what is evil or wrong. It focuses on love and what is good. The phrase, “hate what is wrong/evil” is introduced and followed with phrases of love and acceptance. If we, Christ followers, are to truly obey the Word of God, then we focus on the person – not the sin in the person. And we hold on to the person that God created in love just as He created us in love.

Jim McGreevy’s Note to Self

I watched the below video and read Jim McGreevy’s Note to Self. I immediately wanted to speak in defense of “the church” he mentions or leave a comment asking him to rephrase the line stating “how crushed [he was] because it was the church [he] so dearly loved, who hated [him] so deeply. But a quick check of myself and my own experiences with “church folk” left me with no defense of people who claim Christ as their Lord and Savior while mistreating other people Jesus also died for. I am saddened that Jim McGreevy’s early experiences with members of Christ’s body were such that he resorted to hiding himself and living a lie for as long as he did.

Watch Note to Self: Jim McGreevey

I encourage you to listen to Jim McGreevy’s Note to Self and ask yourself: How are you representing the Christ in you when you come face to face with a sin you abhor? Paul may have wrote to hate what is wrong, but Jesus says that such instruction belonged to the law that He came to replace. Jesus simply instructed us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. The greatest commandments he gave us are: “And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31) A heart that loves God completely has no room for hate of any kind. Jesus instructs us to love everyone as we love ourself. We are to love people (patiently treat them with gentleness, kindness, mercy and grace)– yes, even those consumed in their sin – and pray for them. That’s it. Don’t waste energy hating other people’s sin or trying to differentiate between the sin and the sinner. Who has time for that? Put your energy into loving the person and praying God gives them the strength and will to overcome the obstacles in their life. Chances are you need the same prayer.

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.  If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.  But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.  ~ Matthew 5:43-48, NLT

Questions: Are you better than a pagan? Are you perfect in love?

Go out and be a blessing.


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Talk to the hand…

I love the messages people have been writing on hands and posting to the internet. So much so, I’ve started a collection. If you have some to add, please share in the comment section.













Today’s lesson: Throwing up your hand(s) is not always a sign of giving up. Sometimes it’s an emphatic command to halt actions/behaviors that are working against you. And other times, it’s an invitation to welcome the good things on offer from those sent to help you.