“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on
God is looking for the good in His redeemed children, not for faults, not for things to condemn.
Christ came not to condemn, but to save us. (*See John 3:17)
What is true about God?
What is true about God’s redeemed children?
“When anyone belongs to Christ, they become a new person. Their old way of life has gone. Their new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17
Christ never did any wrong thing, but God punished Him as if He had. He died as punishment for our sins. As a result, we become right with God when we belong to Christ. We become right, because He is right.” 2Corinthians 5:21 Easy English Bible
“Nobody can say that God’s people are guilty. God himself has accepted us as right with him. So nobody can say that God should still punish us. Nobody can say that, because Christ Jesus himself died on our behalf.
And God raised Christ up so that He became alive again after His death. Now Christ is sitting at God’s right side in heaven. He himself is praying to God on our behalf.
Christ will always continue to love us.Nothing can stop that! We may have troubles.
Things may make us sad or afraid.People may do bad things to us.
We may have no food or no clothes. There may be great danger.
People may even try to kill us.
But none of these things can stop Christ from loving us.
As it says in the Bible: ‘Because we are your people, God, people try to kill us all the time. They think that we are like sheep, and we are ready to be killed.’
Because God loves us, none of these troubles can ever beat us.
He makes us win against them. I am sure of this.
Nothing can stop God from loving us.
Death cannot do that. Life cannot do that.
Angels cannot do that, nor can demons do that.
Nothing that happens to us now, or that will happen in a future time can do that.
No powerful spirits can do that.
Nothing that is high above the world can do that,
nor anything that is deep down below the ground.
Nothing else in the whole universe can stop God from loving us.
Because of our Lord Christ Jesus, we know how much God loves us.”
Romans 8:33-39 Easy English Bible
Teach us to learn about and then to focus on whatsoever things are true about You, and ourselves, those things in us that are positive, and virtuous, pure and lovely, worthy of praise and of good report; help us not to look for faults or things to condemn ourselves for and feel guilty over; for You forgive our sins and give us the righteousness of Thy Son Jesus Christ, You love us very much, and look for the good in us. Thank You for being so kind to us to save us from our sins through Thy Son Jesus Christ, in Jesus name, amen.
Meditations for the Journey~Original Keyboard Instrumentals-is the thirtieth album of published music the Lord has given me to share since 2013.
The first album the Lord gave me was God’s Rainbow Promise. That first release was to be a harbinger of the three main types of musicthat the Lord would be producing through me for the next nine years:both original vocal prayer songs and instrumentals, and traditional Christian hymns.
We serve a risen Lord and Savior who desires very much to communicate with us. That is why He revealed to me that He gave me this music; He said that they are His musical conversations and that if people will take them into their prayer closets along with their Bibles and listen to them (or even just a clip) and read His Word, looking up the scripture reference the song title points to, by faith trusting He’ll speak to them, He will indeed speak to their hearts.
The Lord asked me to become a musician according to His purpose and plan. I was not a musician before He dropped this beautiful gift in my lap. I didn’t know why the Lord would take a soul who cared only about music as something to listen to while creating art, and would make her into someone whom He created music through for His glory and honor. I look at all of the music He has made through me and am astonished. I know it is the Lord’s work and not mine.
The other day He inspired me to sit down and listen to the songs on Meditations for the Journey and contemplate them during my quiet time. He had me concentrate on the music, then reference the scripture passages the song titles pointed to while praying, and ask the Holy Spirit to teach me what I believed He was saying to my heart through the music and scriptures. I took my notebook and pen, got out my bible, and listened to the songs, pausing as necessary.
I chose to focus on the title track, “Jesus is the Author of Our Faith.”
As I listened to the music I saw it in my mind as an organic triangular shape, its long perspective shooting wildly upward into an ever expanding light, which symbolized the high notes dancing on a steep mountain that kept appearing the more I listened to the song. I noticed a pronounced symmetry in the music as the lower tones kept resounding beneath the steep mountain.
It seemed as if one had been ascending the summit of a great height, only to tumble down the keys into a dark valley where the echoes of the shadowy notes reiterated their voices in another layer of somber tones; it was a great tumble into the shadow path of mysteries indeed after one had heard so distinctly the brighter notes chiming in the airy sunshine as if they would go on in their cheery triumphant echoes forever.
And like a repeating pattern, its symmetry like a cosmic poem was reprised over and over but in a labyrinthine way so that no two phrases or paths were exactly alike. Down the valley and up the mount…only to fall into the shadows again, but one day, the crown we will reach if we don’t give up for joy lies ahead just ’round the bend…
The music reminded me of the scripture;
For to climb the heights of heaven and taste of its glories and joy and then fall into the depths of despair is indeed a kind of suffering that some of God’s children are appointed to in this world.
However, Christ promises to be with His own no matter where they must go on their journey with Him in this life. For Christ, the Author of our faith, has paved the way for each of us. There is nowhere we can go that Jesus has not gone first. And He will go there again with us through the Holy Spirit He has put in our hearts to abide with us forever as we abide in Him, keeping our hands in His and our eyes on Him, and not focused on this world with all its distractions.
One of the most comforting passages of scripture is Psalm 139:7-12:
I couldn’t help but hear those scriptures resonating in this music as I listened to it and was comforted.
For it sent me straight to those passages reminding me of the Author and Finisher of my faith who for the joy set before Him endured His cross, despising the shame, ever looking upward toward the Light ahead of Him by faith.
And if Jesus could endure the horrors of the cross for the joy that was set before Him, then He would help me persevere throughout my journey on this earth no matter what challenges I must face.
For Jesus Christ is a living, risen Savior, and He ever dwells within me by His Spirit who will never leave or forsake me. In Jesus’ name, amen.
This song meditation illustrates the idea of how the Lord wants to speak to us through these songs. I pray that what I’ve written will inspire you to listen to the music for yourself and let the Lord speak through them to you personally, for He surely has a unique word for each soul who takes the time to listen to them, while meditating on His Word, and praying to Him. As I wrote, the songs are His divine conversation starters. The titles are to lead us into God’s Word, and as we listen to the songs, contemplate His Word, and pray, His Holy Spirit will guide us into the truth of what He wants to teach us. However, We must approach the Lord by faith.
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6 – KJV
We must want to seek Him, want to believe that He will speak to us, and believe that He will speak to each of us, not just to some of us.
It is imperative that Christians read God’s Word for themselves, and not let people tell us what the Bible means.
The Word of God is the most important Book we will ever read for it is God’s revelation of Himself.
Prayer Heavenly Father, May You speak to our hearts through these songs that are gifts from Your heart as they point to Thy Holy Word when we meditate on Thy Scriptures and listen to Thy Holy Spirit teaching us what Your Word is saying to us, for You have promised to speak to Thy sheep and You keep every promise forever, In Jesus’ name, thank You, we love You, amen.
Below is the link to the songs from Meditations for the Journey~Original Keyboard Instrumentals.
*This is a pre-release as the album has not been delivered to any streaming radio platforms yet. May you be blessed as you read God’s Word and Listen and meditate on the songs in your quiet time with the Lord on my Hear and Now Website:
(*Remember this album is a pre-release and the only website where it is currently available. Please take this opportunity to meditate on the songs and use them to inspire your faith and draw closer to the Lord Jesus Christ. God bless!)
Album Notes: Paths of Faith Christian Prayersongs Inspired by the Holy Spirit
It is with a humble, grateful heart that I announce the publication of my 29th musical album to God’s precious children, inspired by His Holy Spirit, who enabled me to create it through the risen Lord Jesus Christ within me, to the glory of our Heavenly Father, in Jesus’ name.
Paths of Faith is an appropriate title for this album of prayersongs, the first vocal album the Lord has inspired me to release since Paths of Mercy in 2019, just before the Coronavirus Pandemic broke out in December of that year.
In 2009 the Lord gave me the gift to sing and create instrumental music. He had to ask me three times if I would sing for Him so reluctant was I to be a musician for His glory. I had been a visual artist all my life and art was my passion. I had always prayed to be an excellent artist, illustrator, and children’s book writer for His glory. When He asked me to sing for Him, He said that He needed my voice of all things!~I felt I needed to remind Him that my little boy had howled when I’d sung Him “Jesus Loves Me” once. Undaunted, the Lord would not give up. He wanted me to surrender my will and to walk a new path with Him by faith. I loved the Lord so much. He had given up everything for me when He suffered and died on the cross to redeem our souls. How could I not now give up everything for Him? Though it felt like dying, I said I would sing and make music for Him. I hardly knew what I was getting myself in for, but trusted that my Lord Jesus Christ would never do anything to hurt me. At first I felt like I was being thrown to the lions. Having been a professional in one career, now He was plunging me on a path where I would be like a baby learning to crawl, following Him, whom I could only see and hear by faith. What is faith? The Bible tells us “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen…Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear… But without faith it is impossible to please (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:1-3,6 – KJV
I knew nothing at all about the music industry but trusted God to guide me every step of the way. He instructed me to do everything the opposite of the way the world does things. Which made no sense. All He would say was, “Trust Me, My child.” After all, it was His music. I had not up and made myself a musician~ the Lord had. He knew what His plans for it were. I learned that the Lord wanted to communicate to His children through His music. I should have known that from the beginning. Duh. The songs were inspired by His word through His Holy Spirit. They were motivated by prayer and worship from abiding in my Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus had said, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.” John 15:4-5 – KJV
The Lord told me that the songs were to be “Musical Conversations” with His children. If they would take the song titles and go into their prayer closets with their bibles and look up the reference that the title referred to in their bibles and meditate on the verses or bible story and study the word of God and pray to Him and abide in Him alone, that He would speak to them what He wanted to say to them. The important thing was that His children should get back to their prayer closets and abide in Christ and return to studying His word, allowing HIM to teach them through His Holy Spirit. The Lord was seeking a personal relationship with His children. He said they were distracted by many things and had lost sight of Him. They had gone after the world. In the Gospel of Matthew Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Matthew 6:24 – KJV (Mammon means money or the world or anything that makes the soul’s heart beat faster than Jesus or God~ mammon therefore is another word for an idol.) Anything that takes the Christian’s attention away from the Lord Jesus Christ can become an idol whether it be a relationship, a hobby, social media, a ministry, an organization, politics, any pursuit whatsoever that seems right but misses the mark ever so slightly. In fact another translation for the word “sin” is to “miss the mark.” “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:1-2 – KJV
The Path of Faith is one in which we keep our eyes on our Master who is the Author and Perfecter of our Faith, who is the Lord Jesus Christ and we surrender our wills and lay our lives down for Him.
Christians must not keep our eyes on this world. No matter what is going on. Paul lived under the malevolent emperor Nero of Rome of whom it was believed that he torched the city to justify building a more magnificent one. Because of the intense criticism he received, he devised a plan where he blamed the followers of Christ for the crime. In A.D. 64 brutal persecution erupted there against the Christians. Tacitus (c. A.D. 60-120) a Roman Historian, wrote in his Annals (XV.44). “…Besides being put to death they were made to serve as objects of amusement; they were clothed in the hides of beasts and torn to death by dogs; others were crucified, others set on fire to serve to illuminate the night when daylight failed. Nero had thrown open his grounds for the display, and was putting on a show in the circus, where he mingled with the people in the dress of charioteer or drove about in his chariot. All this gave rise to a feeling of pity, even towards men whose guilt merited the most exemplary punishment; for it was felt that they were being destroyed not for the public good but to gratify the cruelty of an individual.” ~quoted from http://christiancourier.com
Despite this horror, what does Paul say when he mentions the government? He wrote: “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:1-4 – KJV
Peter wrote, “Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” 1 Peter 4:16-19 – KJV
Both Peter and Paul mentioned in their epistles that our true Kingdom is not of this world. It would have been truly foolish and dangerous for them to go about writing “our true Emperor and King ~the Only Lord and God Jesus Christ to whom we alone pay honor and allegiance….and we don’t obey any laws but His…” Instead, they wrote as the Holy Spirit led them. They must stay alive and preach the Gospel which was their true mission therefore they must be peacemakers so they could carry out the Lord’s work, keeping Christ’s command to walk in love. James the Apostles wrote: 17 “But the wisdom that comes from God is like this: “First, it is pure. It is also peaceful, gentle, and easy to please. This wisdom is always ready to help people who have trouble and to do good for others.“ ERV James 3:17
Jesus told Pilate when asked if He was a king, “Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if My kingdom were of this world, then would My servants fight…” John 18:36 The apostles did not go looking for a fight. Paul wrote, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” 2 Timothy 2:4 – KJV
Their true commitment was to their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ whom they loved with all their heart, soul and mind and strength. If a worldly law conflicted with God’s Holy Law, of course they must obey God. For example, in the Old Testament when the Pharaoh commanded all the baby boys to be drowned Moses’s parents did not comply with his edict but obeyed the Lord to save their child. For the Lord Almighty is our true King and His commandments must prevail and this is what the word of God teaches. The apostles imply this even when they don’t come right out and say it for the danger it might have presented. They walked a Path of Faith ~ surely Peter had trod this Path with Christ on the Sea of Galilee when he’d briefly walked on its waters with the Lord before taking his eyes off his Master, then sank beneath the waves. The Lord had quickly rescued his Apostle when Peter cried out, “Lord, save me!” The Prayersong on my album “Thy Voice Comes Over The Waters” was inspired by this Bible story and it deals with trying to recognize Christ in the gray areas of His word. Peter wrote, “Dear friends, I urge you as strangers and exiles to abstain from sinful desires that wage war against the soul. (*Sinful desires are any desires opposed to God’s will~not exhibiting the love of Christ is disobeying Christ’s will for Christ said, “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 – CSB)
Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles, so that when they slander you as evildoers, they will observe your good works and will glorify God on the day He visits. Submit to every human authority because of the Lord, whether to the emperor as the supreme authority or to governors as those sent out by Him to punish those who do what is evil and to praise those who do what is good. For it is God’s will that you silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing good. Submit as free people, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but as God’s slaves. Honor everyone. Love the brothers and sisters. Fear God. Honor the emperor.” 1 Peter 2:11-17 – CSB
Paul wrote: “Let everyone submit to the governing authorities, since there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are instituted by God. So then, the one who resists the authority is opposing God’s command, and those who oppose it will bring judgment on themselves…” Hebrews 13:1-3
Eventually because the early Christians trusted Christ and walked according to the word of God and the path of faith, they obeyed both Christ and His word to submit to human authority for the sake of the Lord, by the third century under the Emperor Constantine the Great, Christianity became the dominant religion of the Roman Empire.
Christians had but to obey Christ their true King for this to happen. They had to always be abiding in Christ to know and understand His will. Paul wrote, “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:17 – KJV
Jesus said, “But when you pray, you should go into your room and close the door. Then pray to your Father. He is there in that private place. He can see what is done in private, and he will reward you.”
Abiding in Christ is getting alone with our risen Lord and Savior by faith and reading His word and allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us apart from the distractions of social media, friends, or work, or anything else. It is a very private, sacred holy affair between you and the Lord and the only way we can will grow closer to the Lord. Jesus said, “ I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.”
Christ may lead us down a thorny path. No one can or should judge any child of God for the Path that Christ leads them to follow. Never judge a child of God by their afflictions.
“Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.” ~James 4:11 – KJV
Who are we to condemn the child whom Christ suffered, bled, and died to redeem? My prayersong “Father, Forgive Me” deals with how our sin hurts others and Christ ultimately.
The Path of Faith may lead to persecution or martyrdom. Paul wrote, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12 – KJV Jesus said, “And whoever doesn’t take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. Anyone who finds his life will lose it, and anyone who loses his life because of Me will find it.” Matthew 10:38-39 -CSB
The Path of Faith is the path that leads with Christ to the cross. It is a path of suffering. But if we go to the cross with Christ we will also rise with Him in His resurrection! For we are being conformed to His image on this journey. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 – KJV
Along this path we must learn to let go of our own will and say to our Heavenly Father along with Christ, “Father, not My will, but Thy will.” We must pray, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” But those who will not love as Christ loved us, who will only read Christ’s words and filter out the parts they do not agree with, do not truly love Christ for Christ said,
“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. The one who doesn’t love Me will not keep My words. The word that you hear is not Mine but is from the Father who sent Me.” John 14:23-24 – CSB
The word parse means to break down, analyze, or scrutinize and is the opposite of accepting by faith as a little child. One cannot parse a cup of water Christ gives them to drink. We either drink it in front of Him or pour it on the ground and say “No thank You, Lord, I don’t trust it.”
Christ and His Holy Spirit are the Living Water of Life. We receive the Lord by faith. We receive His words by faith. If we fight and rebel and scrutinize, analyze complain, revile and scorn, we don’t love the Lord or keep or believe His word.
Paul wrote that Christ was the Rock in the wilderness, where Moses got the water for the Israelites and they grumbled and grieved God over their unbelief. “Now I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud, all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless God was not pleased with most of them, since they were struck down in the wilderness. 1 Corinthians 10:1-5 – CSB
“Today If You Hear God’s Voice” Vocal Prayersong is a song the Lord gave me on my new album to witness to that Bible story. Listen to the song or to a clip. Then go into your prayer closet with your bible and look up and read the story in the scriptures it refers to. Pray and ask the Lord to help you hear His voice and to walk His path of faith.
There are many prayersongs on this album that refer to bible stories and concepts. Please use the songs to let God speak to your hearts through His Holy Word, and abide in the Lord Jesus Christ, our True Vine. He is speaking through His word, through His Holy Spirit in these songs He inspired from His Word. May He help us turn our attention towards Him and away from all that distracts us in this world. “Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before Him, He endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, so that you won’t grow weary and give up. In struggling against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. Hebrews 12:1-4 – CSB
Heavenly Father, thank You for this new album of beautiful prayer songs inspired from Thy word. Thank You for encouraging me to walk Thy path of faith with You even though its been so difficult, for You have been with me all the way and so faithful even as You promised. Please encourage Thy children to walk with You down the path of faith and to trust You in the way You are asking them to and never to doubt that You keep every promise forever. Help each one to hear Thy voice speaking to them in their hearts today and through Thy holy word and may You guide them with Thy wisdom and discernment, and fill them with Thy holy love and mercy and grace, In Jesus’ name, amen. Thank You, Lord, we love You.
More Encouraging Scriptures
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud; instead, associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Give careful thought to do what is honorable in everyone’s eyes. If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Friends, do not avenge yourselves; instead, leave room for God’s wrath, because it is written, “Vengeance belongs to Me; I will repay,” says the Lord. But If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him something to drink. For in so doing you will be heaping fiery coals on his head.
Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good. Romans 12:16-21 – CSB
Let everyone submit to the governing authorities, since there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are instituted by God. So then, the one who resists the authority is opposing God’s command, and those who oppose it will bring judgment on themselves.
For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Do you want to be unafraid of the one in authority? Do what is good, and you will have its approval. For it is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, because it does not carry the sword for no reason. For it is God’s servant, an avenger that brings wrath on the one who does wrong. Therefore, you must submit, not only because of wrath but also because of your conscience. And for this reason you pay taxes, since the authorities are God’s servants, continually attending to these tasks. Pay your obligations to everyone: taxes to those you owe taxes, tolls to those you owe tolls, respect to those you owe respect, and honor to those you owe honor.
Do not owe anyone anything, except to love one another, for the one who lovesanother has fulfilled the law.
The commandments, Do not commit adultery; do not murder; do not steal; do not covet; and any other commandment, are summed up by this commandment: Love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no wrong to a neighbor.
Love, therefore, is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:1-10 – CSB
An innocent little six year old was mercilessly gunned down by someone in a fit of road rage recently.
I wondered how was this possible?
The Lord led me to the story of Cain and Abel in the book of Genesis.
Cain and Abel were two brothers, the children of Eve, “the mother of all the living.”
When her first son was born, Eve called him “Cain,” a name related to a word for “lament” or “wail.” Eve said, “I have gotten a man from the Lord…”
BDB Definition: 11b) husband, 1c) human being, person (in contrast to God), 1f) champion, 1g) great man
The Bible says of Cain that he “…was a tiller of the ground.”
The word for tiller means: H5647 (Strong)
‛âbad, aw-bad’, A primitive root; to work (in any sense); by implication to serve, till, (causatively) enslave, etc.: be, keep in bondage, be bondmen, bond-service, compel, husbandman, keep, labour (-ing man), (be, become) servant (-s), transgress [from margin], (set a) work, be wrought, worshipper.Serve self
Where Eve seemed so filled with hope after Cain’s birth giving him a name that meant “Champion,” she seemed to have lost her faith sometime after his birth.
For she named her second son Abel which means:
BDB Definition: 1) to act emptily, become vain, be vain; 1a2) to be utterly vain;1b1) to cause to become vain; 1b2) to fill with vain hopes;
People who have lost their dream call faith “vain hope.”
Also, branding a child with such a name is akin to calling them hopeless, futile, or vanity.
It would not be any wonder then that Abel would find refuge out in the fields with his Father God while tending the sheep rather than with a family who considered him “… filled with vain hopes.”
Abel was given the name of someone whom his parents saw as having no expectations.
And this was surely to open the door for his brother to also adopt the same attitudes toward him as someone who was worthless.
It might not be difficult for a man to murder a brother whom he neither loved nor valued. For Cain had no love for his brother the Bible says.
“This is the teaching you have heard from the beginning: We must love each other. Don’t be like Cain. He belonged to the Evil One. Cain killed his brother. But why did he kill him? Because what Cain did was evil, and what his brother did was good.” 1 John 3:11-12 – ERV
“Cain and Abel both offered sacrifices to God. But Abel offered a better sacrifice to God because he had faith. God said he was pleased with what Abel offered. And so God called him a good man because he had faith. Abel died, but through his faith he is still speaking.” ~ Hebrews 11:4 – ERV
After Cain had killed his brother, the Lord asked him where Abel was. Cain sarcastically replied, “I don’t know, am I my brother’s keeper?”
BDB Definition: 1) to keep, guard, observe, give heed/ 2) 1a1) to keep, have charge of/ 3) 1a2) to keep, guard, keep watch and ward, protect, save life/ 1a3) to watch for, wait for/ 1a4) to watch, observe/ 1a5) to keep, retain, treasure up (in memory)/1a6) to keep (within bounds), restrain/ 1a7) to observe, celebrate, keep (sabbath or covenant or commands), perform (vow)/ 1a8) to keep, preserve, protect/ 1b1) to be on one’s guard, take heed, take care, beware/ 1b2) to keep oneself, refrain,/ abstain/ 1b3) to be kept, be guarded
God revealed through the Lord Jesus Christ that we are indeed to be our brother’s keeper. We are to love and to lay our lives down for one another.
Abel was asked to sacrifice His will to God even as Christ would one day be asked to sacrifice His will to the Father that all might in Him be given eternal life through His sacrificial death.
Abel gave God what He asked of him. This pleased the Lord greatly.
For Abel like Christ in effect had said, “Father I want Thy will not my will…”
How did Abel know what God’s will was?
He spent all his time with the Lord every day in a close relationship with Him.
While working in the fields he was abiding in His Maker. He listened to God speak to his heart.
God wanted something that was difficult for Abel to give Him. Something that Abel loved, prized, and valued very much. The finest of his flocks.
Yet, what else was worth having if he kept it back from God and lost his intimacy with the Lord by withholding that thing which God had asked him to sacrifice?
What could be more important than his relationship with the Lord, his Creator?
Abel knew what God required of him, he knew and cared to do God’s will.
The Bible says that the ungodly don’t care to know about or to do God’s will. They just want to please themselves.
‘“At harvest time, Cain brought a gift to the Lord. He brought some of the food that he grew from the ground, but Abel brought some animals from his flock. He chose some of his best sheep and brought the best parts from them. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift.But He did not accept Cain and his offering. Cain was sad because of this and he became very angry.” ~ Genesis 4:3-5ERV
Cain offered to God the sacrifice of man; the sacrifice that insists on doing its own will and pleasure. Such a sacrifice may take a lot of time and effort to accomplish, and appear beautiful but it will not satisfy our Creator if it is not what He asked for.
God’s will is that we obey Him no matter what that obedience looks like, no matter how displeasing to us it seems. The Lord needs to know that His will matters to us more than our own our own will.
He created us to worship HIM. We were not created to please and worship ourselves.
Abel obeyed the Lord and offered the blood sacrifice He required. Cain did not.
Hebrews 9 explains that under the Law that without the shedding of blood there was no forgiveness of sins. A blood sacrifice was required for the atonement of the sins people had committed. That was just how it was. We may not like it or understand it. But that was why Jesus Christ, God’s Son had to die to shed His spotless blood for the sins of all humanity to redeem us and put a fallen world back in right relationship with God. This is the truth. Cain refused to believe this truth of the need for the blood sacrifice to atone for his sins to be made right with God. He would do his own work and labor to please and satisfy God. Yet, God only wanted the sacrifice of an innocent pure lamb to atone for the man’s sins. He need only go to his brother and procure a sheep to sacrifice to the Lord. It was that easy. Cain made things hard in his unbelief.
Cain was furious when he saw that God was pleased with Abel’s sacrifice and not with his own.
The Lord asked Cain, “Why are you angry? Why does your face look sad? You know that if you do what is right, I will accept you. But if you don’t, sin is ready to attack you. That sin will want to control you, but you must control it.”~ Genesis 4:6-7 – ERV
God up and told Cain His will and the man simply ignored the holy revelation! It went right over Cain’s head because he had no regard for the Lord any more than he valued his brother’s life.
If he had loved and feared the Lord then he would have obeyed Him. Christ equated love for our Lord with our obedience to Him.
Jesus said to His disciples: “If you love Me, you will do what I command.
Those who really love Me are the ones who not only know My commands but also obey them. My Father will love such people, and I will love them. I will make Myself known to them.”
…All who love Me will obey My teaching. My Father will love them. My Father and I will come to them and live with them.
But anyone who does not love Me does not obey My teaching. This teaching that you hear is not really Mine. It is from my Father who sent Me.” ~ John 14:15,21,23-24 – ERV
The rest of the story is a very sad one.
Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” So they went to the field. Then Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. Later, the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”
Cain answered, “I don’t know. Is it my job to watch over my brother?”
Then the Lord said, “What have you done? You killed your brother and the ground opened up to take his blood from your hands. Now his blood is shouting to Me from the ground.So you will be cursed from this ground. Now when you work the soil, the ground will not help your plants grow. You will not have a home in this land. You will wander from place to place.”~Genesis 4:8-10,12 – ERV
The price Cain paid for his sin was enormous. Cain’s former gift of being able to till the soil successfully became a curse as God said, “Now when you work the soil, the ground will not help your plants grow.
Whereas Cain had been the family’s hope for success and prosperity, “their champion,” he now became the disappointment, the one who was truly filled with “vain hopes;”one who could no longer produce. The Lord not only took away all former expectations of success, but also drove him away, branding him with the indelible mark of a murderer, condemning him to the life of a wanderer. (*See Genesis 4:13-16)
Have we ever stopped to think of what we give up when we ignore the Lord’s voice, giving in to our stubbornness, anger, own desires, and lack of faith over simply obeying the Lord’s will?
First we must like Abel abide in Christ to love God and to know His will.
Second we must care to obey His will once He reveals that will to us.
If we don’t love others, we won’t love, honor and value our God. When we do not love and value others we disobey God’s will.
Christ said, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:34-35 – KJV
Jesus once told a religious ruler that the two greatest commandments upon which hung the whole Law were the first two: Jesus said unto him, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” ~ Matthew 22:37-40 – KJV
The Apostle John wrote, “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from Him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” 1 John 4:20-21 – KJV
In the parable of the Good Samaritan Jesus let us know that in God’s eyes, everyone is our brother and sister. Not just people in our religious affiliations, our fellowships and social cliques. The Lord does not see as we see according to the teaching Christ gave us in that parable.
As I contemplated the enraged man who’d gunned down the innocent child on the freeway, I couldn’t help but wonder if he, like Cain, had lost his love and value for human life made in God’s holy image ~that life of which God says we are to be his keeper, his guardian, and to keep ourselves from harming.
Would that people knew God’s will and would do it!
Then I thought are we not too like that furious man when we explode like a seething time bomb with bitter words; words like lethal verbal weapons, over everything under the sun, ever finding fault, seeking to destroy with bitter criticism, accusation, and judgment, ever so quick to assume false conclusions without having all the facts? The internet and social media are daily inundated with these incidents of “virtual road rage.”
And if we regard not the life of our neighbor, resisting God’s will to be our brother’s and sister’s keeper, we absolutely do not love, fear, nor honor God our Heavenly Father, the Bible declares. (*See 1 John 4:20-21)
Jesus said, “…the bad things people say with their mouth come from the way they think. And that’s what can make people wrong. All these bad things begin in the mind: evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual sins, stealing, lying, and insulting people. These are the things that make people wrong.” Matthew 15:18-20 – ERV
“Heavenly Father, may You give us Thy divine love for one another, that we may also love and honor Thee, in Jesus’ name, amen.