Examine Your Heart (Genesis 4:8) - Radical

Examine Your Heart (Genesis 4:8)

“Cain spoke to Abel, his brother, and when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother, Abel, and killed him.”
-Genesis 4:8

Genesis 4:8 is obviously a very humbling verse, as we see the first murder in the Bible, like Cain killing his brother, Abel. And we see this picture of strife, and division, and discord, and hatred, and anger, and jealousy. I mean, all these different pictures of sin just come rising to the surface, and ultimately leading to murder of one brother of another. And it just causes me to think about the effects of sin in my own heart.

Like, yes, this is an extreme picture in a sense here, in Genesis 4:8, but I want to encourage you to think about your heart. Where is there, in your heart, enmity that rises up towards somebody else? Then, when do you get angry? What causes anger in you? What people in your life or what circumstances lead to anger in you, or is there any hatred? Is there any bitterness? I mean, just think practically about your relationships. Is there any jealousy? Just examine your heart and your relationships with others. Is there any jealousy anywhere, any unforgiveness, any grudges that you are holding? Is there anybody, when you see them, you just immediately have negative thoughts about them?

And in that picture, I just want to encourage us to pray today, that God would redeem our relationships, that he would help us to look at the people around us differently, to speak not with anger, to respond not out of bitterness, to have desires for others good instead of in jealousy, either wanting what others have in an envious kind of way or actually wanting others bad in some way. Oh, God, help us, we pray. Just see the effects of sin in our relationships, in so many ways.

Sin is detrimental to us individually and corporately. We must take the effects of sin seriously and repent.

This Verse Asks God To Make Us Caring People

The effects of sin creep into our closest relationships, in our marriages, in our relationships with our kids, our friends, family members, church members. And then, God, even when we think about our enemies. You’ve called us to love our enemies, Lord Jesus.

Help us to live like that, like radically different than the rest of the world when it comes to relationships. God, make us a loving people. Make us a forgiving people. Make us a caring people. And make us a compassionate people. God, I pray for these things in my own life. I pray for these things in everybody who’s listening right now.

God, help us. Help us to honor you in the way we love others. Help us to do, Lord Jesus, what you taught us to do, love our neighbors as ourselves. God, help us to think that way today. Help us to desire that way today, when we look at the people around us, in our homes, in our workplaces, wherever we are, as we’re talking with people, as we’re interacting with people on social media, just in every way, God help us to have your perspective on relationships. Help us to reflect your character in our relationships, not all these temptations to sin that are always around us. God, we pray that you would help us to love people, as you have called us to love people. Ultimately, God, help us to love people as you have loved us. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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