Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Showers of Grace

Hope raised her surrendered hands in praise of the One who created her, asking forgiveness for her sin. God rained down His mercy upon her. With arms lifted high to the glory of God, she dripped profusely with the generosity of God the Creator, Jesus the Savior, and Holy Spirit the Advocate. Tears of joy streamed down her face as the flood of Jesus Christ’s love and grace marinated her soul. Peace enveloped her!

Showers of love and grace—available for everyone. God causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous (Matthew 5:45). 

Our Creator, the Lord God, desires relationship with us, His creatures. God the Potter holds and molds us the clay in His hands (Jeremiah 18:6), if we are willing. It is our choice whether to turn toward God or turn away from Him. Will we be pliable in His hands or unyielding to His gift of grace? Reflect on the following Biblical account of God’s grace and man’s choice.

Cain and Abel, sons of Adam and Eve, stood before the Lord with offerings from their vocations (Genesis 4). The farmer Cain brought an offering from the fruit of the ground and the shepherd Abel offered the first and finest of his flock. Because God sees the heart, Abel’s sacrificial offering pleased Him while Cain’s random offering displeased Him. 

When he realized God’s dissatisfaction with his offering, Cain’s mood changed. He sulked and got angry. The Lord said, “Why are you angry? If you do well, won’t you be accepted? And if you don’t, sin is waiting at your door to rule you, but you must control it.”

Losing control of himself because of jealousy, Cain found Abel, started an argument, and eventually killed his brother. The Lord later questioned Cain saying, “Where’s your brother?”

Cain said, “I don’t know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

The Lord responded by telling Cain the ground cried out with his brother’s blood and he would no longer be able to cultivate crops from the land. Cain’s farming days were over. And God said, “You will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth.”

Cain, who killed his brother, cried out, “My punishment is too much and as I wander, someone will probably kill me.” (Why do we always think of ourselves first? Forgive us, Lord!)

The Lord promised sevenfold vengeance on whoever slayed Cain. Then He offered Cain, the murderer, a mark of grace so no one would kill him. Yet Cain focused on self-pity and went out from the presence of the Lord. He separated himself from God, settling in the land of Nod. 

The word nod denotes moving to and fro, wandering back and forth. Cain in Nod—can you feel his agitation and restlessness? Could he find peace? The one who pitied himself is to be pitied!
Sin’s consequences are real; sometimes concealed and other times obvious. Misdeeds create unrest in our souls. How do we handle the effects of sin? Do we leave the presence of God and attempt to settle in Nod, a land of uneasiness and anxiety? Or do we run to the loving arms of our Savior Jesus Christ and surrender to His Sovereign will, repenting of our sins and finding peace.

Cain left the presence of the Lord and wandered in Nod, the land of the fugitive. His separation from God created a restless spirit. Why did he walk away from God’s gracious presence? Would you? I wonder if he ever realized the error of his ways and turned back to the Lord.

Hope realized her sinfulness and repented. She submitted to the will of her Heavenly Father in complete surrender. The Lord filled her willing spirit with peace and grace. She walked, maybe even ran, toward the gracious presence of the Lord. Would you? 

The apostle Peter said, “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 (NASB)

Sin crouches near us, waiting for us to stumble. When we stumble, Satan attempts to separate us from God, filling our minds with anxiety and unworthiness. If he can take us to the land of Nod (restlessness), he’s won half the battle.

But remember—Jesus won the victory! He surrendered Himself, even unto death on a cross, so that we might have life abundantly (Philippians 2, John 10:10). If we have believed on Jesus’ name and received Him into our hearts, we have the power to overcome the devil by submitting to God Almighty. Repent and run to the grace-filled arms of Jesus Christ. The land of Nod will quickly become a distant memory and your spirit will find rest in the Lord.

Over the next week, pause and consider our God of grace and mercy. He offers grace to all through the blood of Christ Jesus (John 3:16, Romans 3:24). Will you accept His gift of grace or wander restlessly in Nod? Are you Cain or Hope? 

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 (NASB)

Return next week to learn of the Potter’s plan for your life and bathe in His showers of grace!

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