1. The Heart of Cain
a) Cain responded to his brother’s righteousness with envy and hatred.
b) We must confront our own hateful thinking and ask for forgiveness.
2. The Love of Jesus Christ
a) Jesus showed that true love is sacrificial and charitable.
b) Perhaps the most tangible way we can show the love of God is by meeting present needs.
c) Having the love of Christ reassures us that we are God’s children!
Questions for further thought or discussion:
- What does the story of Cain (Gen 4:3-8 ) reveal about the human heart? How should you respond when you fall short and others are favored?
- Who defines love for us? What does it look like?
- What are some ways Christians can show sacrificial love for other believers? What does sacrificial giving look like for you?
- Who needs your love today?
Lord, help me to believe and practice love, not in words only, but by making sacrifices to meet the real needs of those around me.
11 For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
19 By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; 20 for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.