Jesus is not just Savior. He is also Lord. He relieves us our guilt for trespasses, but He also slays that trespasses that remain in us. In “The Grace of the Cross,” a prayer from The Valley of Vision, we are reminded of our need for God’s grace that flows from the triumphant death on the cross. Let this spur you onto personal prayer, that God would continue to crucify remaining sin in your life.
“You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth” (Genesis 4:11-12).
In the beginning, God reached into the ground and brought out Adam. Then, He placed Adam into a garden to work the ground. But sin made a mess of God’s design, and the ground was never the same. Adam sinned, so God cursed the ground. Adam had a son who shamefully brought to God an offering of the ground. His offering was rejected, so he spilled his brother’s blood on the ground. Now, leaning into Cain, the holy God he sinned against declared, “Now you are cursed from the ground.”
God is life giving and guiding. In “Truth in Jesus,” a prayer from The Valley of Vision, Jesus is remembered as the way, the truth, and the life. In Him, we find the steps of wisdom that lead to heaven and an abundance of good on the way. Let this design remind you to turn to the life giving God for the wisdom you need for your every pilgrimage.
“The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground” (Genesis 4:9-10).
No one saw what Cain did to Abel in the field that day. But God is not mocked. Nothing is hidden from Him. He sees it all. He knew what happened that dreadful day. Cain’s sin would find him out.
On the seventh day of creation, God rested from His work. We are designed to work and rest, too. Not just on one day, as to unto God, but also each evening as our body needs to replenish and refresh. Some find sleep rather difficult, but for those who in Christ, the anxiety of sin no longer exists. We are free to rest in the Lord. The anxieties of this world can be cast upon His wonderful power. He is our creator and there is nothing too big for Him. In “Sleep,” a prayer from The Valley of Vision, we are reminded that God is the God of rest, and sleep. Let this design remind you that the closer you are to God, the further you are from the anxieties that this world introduces.
“Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him” (Genesis 4:8).
Things escalated. God refused Cain’s offering and anger filled his heart. Mercifully, God told him there was no reason for his displeasure. If Cain would have brought the right offering, it would have been accepted. God continued to instruct Cain about the consequences of his refusal to worship appropriately—namely, that sin would devour him. In other words, God said to Cain, “You dug your own trap, now don’t fall in it.”
Nothing compares to God.
There is nothing in this world that is worth more than our Lord. In a prayer from The Valley of Vision, we are reminded that God’s love is our prize. Often, the things of this world tempt us to find treasure outside of the Lord. It is easy for us to fall to these temptations. But, when Jesus “came into my soul instead of sin, He became more dear to me than sin had formerly been; His kindly rule replaced sin’s tyranny.” Let this design remind you to ask God to make your heart prize His love.
The fourth chapter of Genesis feels like the turn of a new plot in God’s story. It is sinking deeper into the prologue—the narrative of God’s creation and man’s fall into sin. The first couple fell from grace and so did the first family. This is that transitional moment in the storyline.[blockquote class="scripture"]Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have produced a man with the help of the Lord.’ (Genesis 4:1).[/blockquote]
The name “Cain” has a unique way of distracting us. Its mentioning conjures thoughts of evil, jealousy, hate, spite, and brokenness. It leaves a sour taste in our mouth and rightly so. It is what we know about Cain: the firstborn of the first family and, sadly, the first one to take the life of another.
“In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering” (Genesis 4:2-7).
Although sin did not win, it did affect God’s creation. We see this as the story continues. The first sinful couple became the first sinful family. Adam and Eve had two sons: Cain, who was born first, and Abel, who was born after. Cain was a “worker of the ground,” while Abel was a “keeper of the sheep.”
May I live worthy of my vocation.
All Christians are called to serve the Lord in different ways and in various seasons of life. In a prayer from The Valley of Vision, we are reminded that we need God’s grace to faithfully and effective glorify Him through ministry. “Grant me not to be barren, with worthless leaves and wild grapes,” we pray. Let this design remind you that God must prune away things in our lives that hinder our ministry to God’s church and the world.