40.Day.Week3

JULY 13

FAITH ILLUSTRATED

HEBREWS 11:4-6 | By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. 5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

Why was Abel’s sacrifice better than Cain’s? Does God prefer lamb chops over cereal?

No. There was no precedent for blood sacrifice yet. And the Law, written centuries later, calls for both animal and grain offerings. Cain’s problem, therefore, was not so much his offering, but his heart. What’s your problem?

Abel gave God his best. Cain apparently brought his second best (GENESIS 4:3-4). God commended Abel’s offering and his character. But Cain showed his true colours by killing Abel.

The first murderer produced the first martyr—his little brother. Sigh. Ritual is worthless when detached from a right relationship with God and neighbour, brother and sister (AMOS 5:21-24). Don’t walk in the way of Cain (JUDE 11). Follow the footprints of Enoch instead.

Enoch received God’s approval in the same way as Abel did—by faith. His name means dedicated. And so he was. He walked with God for 300 years (GENESIS 5:22–24). And then, one fine day, God took him out for a long walk. Out of this world into Eternity. They haven’t come back yet!

How do we walk with God? The answer is idiot-proof. By faith! Follow the footprints of faith in Hebrews 11. Stake your life on things Unseen and Eternal (2 CORINTHIANS 4:18, HEBREWS 11:1). Faith is compulsory. All who come to God must believe two things: That he is. And that he rewards those who seek him (:6).

This is not carrot-and-stick enticement. We don’t seek God for rewards. But we must believe in the character and justice of God. That he is forever faithful and fair, even when life is most cruel and unfair. That he will balance the scales in the long run (6:10). God will reward those who seek him in faith, whether they want it or not. He must, because he is God.

If we don’t believe in God’s character and justice, we’ll be casual like Cain. Indifferent like Esau. Like those Hebrews who skip church and flirt with apostasy (10:25-38). Better worship God like Abel. Better walk with God like Enoch. Let’s go for a walk. Selamat jalan.

FAITH ILLUSTRATED

HEBREWS 11:4-6 | By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. 5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

Why was Abel’s sacrifice better than Cain’s? Does God prefer lamb chops over cereal?

No. There was no precedent for blood sacrifice yet. And the Law, written centuries later, calls for both animal and grain offerings. Cain’s problem, therefore, was not so much his offering, but his heart. What’s your problem?

 

JULY 13

Abel gave God his best. Cain apparently brought his second best (GENESIS 4:3-4). God commended Abel’s offering and his character. But Cain showed his true colours by killing Abel.

The first murderer produced the first martyr—his little brother. Sigh. Ritual is worthless when detached from a right relationship with God and neighbour, brother and sister (AMOS 5:21-24). Don’t walk in the way of Cain (JUDE 11). Follow the footprints of Enoch instead.

Enoch received God’s approval in the same way as Abel did—by faith. His name means dedicated. And so he was. He walked with God for 300 years (GENESIS 5:22–24). And then, one fine day, God took him out for a long walk. Out of this world into Eternity. They haven’t come back yet!

How do we walk with God? The answer is idiot-proof. By faith! Follow the footprints of faith in Hebrews 11. Stake your life on

things Unseen and Eternal (2 CORINTHIANS 4:18, HEBREWS 11:1). Faith is compulsory. All who come to God must believe two things: That he is. And that he rewards those who seek him (:6).

This is not carrot-and-stick enticement. We don’t seek God for rewards. But we must believe in the character and justice of God. That he is forever faithful and fair, even when life is most cruel and unfair. That he will balance the scales in the long run (6:10). God will reward those who seek him in faith, whether they want it or not. He must, because he is God.

If we don’t believe in God’s character and justice, we’ll be casual like Cain. Indifferent like Esau. Like those Hebrews who skip church and flirt with apostasy (10:25-38). Better worship God like Abel. Better walk with God like Enoch. Let’s go for a walk. Selamat jalan.

Prayer Track

■ Our fight against Covid-19 is the crisis of a generation… Faced with adversity, we cannot yield to fear, anger or bitterness. We must not lose heart or falter (PRIME MINISTER LEE HSIEN LOONG). Pray. Singapore needs a Church that diligently seeks God, knows his mind and does his will. A Church that constantly pursues a closer walk with God. A Church firm in faith, strong in hope, rich in love.

Pray: Eternal God, amid the painful realities and grim predictions, we fix our eyes on you. By faith, we press on. We stake our lives, our nation, our future, our everything on who you are.

To whom can we compare You? There is none like You (ISAIAH 40:25). You are the all-knowing God. Nothing surprises you. You are the all-present God. Nothing escapes your attention. You are the all-powerful God. Nothing is impossible for you. You are the all-wise God. Far too wise to make a mistake. You are the all-loving God. Far too loving to abandon us to sin and shame. You are the all-just God. Far too righteous to forget our labours of love. You are the all-merciful God. Far too merciful to ignore our cry for help. You are our Sovereign King. You uphold the universe by the word of your power (HEBREWS 1:3). All things are under your control. No human, no demon, no virus can thwart your purpose. Above all, you are our Father in heaven. You love Singapore. You have a shalom future and plan for us. You reward those who seek you.

In this unnerving crisis, global allies may ditch us. Supply chains may fail us. But our trust is in you. You are our Protector and Provider. We surrender Singapore into your safe hands. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

■ Are we more like Abel or Cain? Let the Lord search our hearts. What do we bring to the place of worship and ministry? Do we compare and compete with each other? Do we seek the approval of God or the approval of man? Do we harbour feelings of anger and resentment towards a brother or sister? Such things make our worship worse than worthless. Ask God to purify our hearts like gold so that we might offer him acceptable worship (MALACHI 3:3).

■ Will you be an Enoch in your generation? How to be an Enoch? Simple. Walk with God every day of your life. But how does one walk with God? Simple. In the world of the Bible, to walk with someone means three things: faithfulness, friendship, fellowship. For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to strengthen those whose heart is fully devoted to him (2 CHRONICLES 16:9). Are there any in your circle who walk with God? Follow their footprints. Imitate their faith. Ask God to raise up an Enoch Alliance in your generation. Defy the prodigal trend. Reverse casual Christianity. Pray. Believe. Persevere until you pass the tipping point.

Prayer Track

■ Our fight against Covid-19 is the crisis of a generation… Faced with adversity, we cannot yield to fear, anger or bitterness. We must not lose heart or falter (PRIME MINISTER LEE HSIEN LOONG). Pray. Singapore needs a Church that diligently seeks God, knows his mind and does his will. A Church that constantly pursues a closer walk with God. A Church firm in faith, strong in hope, rich in love.

Pray: Eternal God, amid the painful realities and grim predictions, we fix our eyes on you. By faith, we press on. We stake our lives, our nation, our future, our everything on who you are.

To whom can we compare You? There is none like You (ISAIAH 40:25). You are the all-knowing God. Nothing surprises you. You are the all-present God. Nothing escapes your attention. You are the all-powerful God. Nothing is impossible for you. You are the all-wise God. Far too wise to make a mistake. You are the all-loving God. Far

too loving to abandon us to sin and shame. You are the all-just God. Far too righteous to forget our labours of love. You are the all-merciful God. Far too merciful to ignore our cry for help. You are our Sovereign King. You uphold the universe by the word of your power (HEBREWS 1:3). All things are under your control. No human, no demon, no virus can thwart your purpose. Above all, you are our Father in heaven. You love Singapore. You have a shalom future and plan for us. You reward those who seek you.

In this unnerving crisis, global allies may ditch us. Supply chains may fail us. But our trust is in you. You are our Protector and Provider. We surrender Singapore into your safe hands. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

■ Are we more like Abel or Cain? Let the Lord search our hearts. What do we bring to the place of worship and ministry? Do we compare and compete with each other? Do we seek the approval of God

or the approval of man? Do we harbour feelings of anger and resentment towards a brother or sister? Such things make our worship worse than worthless. Ask God to purify our hearts like gold so that we might offer him acceptable worship (MALACHI 3:3).

■ Will you be an Enoch in your generation? How to be an Enoch? Simple. Walk with God every day of your life. But how does one walk with God? Simple. In the world of the Bible, to walk with someone means three things: faithfulness, friendship, fellowship. For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to strengthen those whose heart is fully devoted to him (2 CHRONICLES 16:9). Are there any in your circle who walk with God? Follow their footprints. Imitate their faith. Ask God to raise up an Enoch Alliance in your generation. Defy the prodigal trend. Reverse casual Christianity. Pray. Believe. Persevere until you pass the tipping point.