At your door

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Cross at sunset

“Why are you so angry?” the Lord asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected? You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.” — Genesis 4:6-7

On more than one occasion, I’ve found myself spinning in circles on icy, snowy roads.

I wasn’t driving wildly. Just keeping up with traffic, slow traffic given the conditions.

The next thing I knew I was spinning like the teacup ride at the amusement park.

Thankfully, these rather unsophisticated departures from the highway never resulted in vehicular or bodily harm.

By failing to take the necessary extra precautions, I lost control.

It’s easy to do isn’t it?

Adam and Eve’s son Cain was on icy roads going 100 mph and he didn’t even know it.

Not even divine intervention could convince him to take his foot off the accelerator.

Isn’t that amazing?

God himself warned him, “Look out Cain!”

Spiritually deaf ears led to two dead lives, his and his brother Abel’s, whom he murdered.

Sin got the better of him.

He walked out from behind the protection of obedience and “Wham!” — sin hit him like a freight train.

Sin and its partner the devil have not gone into retirement.

God, through the Bible, his spirit, and those who are following Jesus continues to give warning as well.

People are still choosing either to heed the warning or simply plug their ears.

Truth be told, we’ve done both.

Regardless, today is here.

Decision time is upon us.

Are we alert? Are we engaged with God? Are we living under the protective banner of obedience?

Sin must be fought off, and with God’s help, you are just the person for the job.

Finding favor

Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation. — Proverbs 3:3-4

Without reminders, my life would be in chaos.

I have them everywhere.

Post-it notes strategically placed. Phone reminders going off continuously. Requests to my spouse and coworkers that begin with, “Help! Don’t let me forget!”

I will still resort to writing on the back of my hand in order to keep me from forgetting.

Perhaps you are a part of the reminders-needed club as well. All indications are that there are a whole bunch of us.

Our verses here lay out at least two relational skills we do not want to forget.

Make a necklace if you have to, just don’t forget.

Loyalty.

Kindness.

Make them so much a part of who you are that you cannot be separated from them.

Stand by those whom you know.

Be friendly to those whom you do not.

The reward for engaging in these relational skills is staggering — finding favor with God and people.

Reputations are not bestowed upon us, they are earned.

God desires for us to live in the high and rare air of a sterling reputation.

Through Jesus’ demonstration of love on the cross and the enabling presence of the Holy Spirit once we place our trust in Jesus, we are positioned to build just such a reputation.

However, we are left with one significant responsibility — remember.

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