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Daily Devotional: Day 112

“So 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 lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it” (Genesis 4:6-7).

 Each time you are tempted to sin, you are presented with a choice – a choice to rule over sin or to be ruled by sin. Therefore, sinning isn’t an accident. Moreover, when you sin, you ‘empower’ sin to have an advantage over you. But this need not happen. Unfortunately, we have been conditioned by a flawed theology of sin which elevates and emphasizes sin’s power to the point where most Christians have come to believe that sin is just part of life. But the truth is, sin is not part of life; it is part of death. The usual mantra goes like this, “We are all sinners and children of Adam.” Roman Catholics even go a step further, saying, “To thee [Mary] do we cry, poor banished children of Eve” (from the Marian Prayer, Hail, Holy Queen). The time has come for Christians to leave poor Adam alone, take personal responsibility for their sins, and focus on how to appropriate the liberating blessings of the Last Adam, Jesus Christ.

Adam and Eve gave birth to Cain and Abel. One day the brothers brought sacrifices to God, who accepted Abel’s sacrifice. But God wasn’t as pleased with Cain’s sacrifice. Cain, therefore, became angry. Noticing that Cain was on the brink of sinning, God took the initiative, approached Cain and warned him of impending danger. Now pay attention to God’s choice of words. He tells Cain that sin lies at the door and it desires to have him. Then God urges Cain, saying, “you should rule over it [sin].” Now this is key. I’d like us to focus on this last statement. Why would God tell Cain to rule over sin? The answer is, God knew that Cain could rule over sin. In other words, Cain had a choice to make. This was after sin had entered the world through Adam.

The point is, God will not command us to do something unless He knows it is possible for us to accomplish it. He said, “you should rule over it.” Of course, the rest of the story tells us that Cain ignored God’s loving warning and ended up taking his brother’s life. This, however, doesn’t change the fact that God believed that Cain was capable – with God’s help – of doing the right thing. Unfortunately, Cain chose to submit to sin instead of submitting to God.

When we, too, are tempted to sin, let us hear the sweet voice of the Father whispering, “You should rule over it . . . You can rule over it.” May the Lord grant you victory in every temptation, in the Name of Jesus. Amen.

Pray to the Father about the message that has come to you today.

For further study: James 1:12-15