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Your Way or Yahweh

One of the oldest stories in Scripture is about Cain and Abel, two men who are trying to connect with God but they go about it in very different ways. One relies on his works and one relies on only the work that God can do. One did it the right way and one did it the wrong way. Read the story of Cain and Abel here.

Religion versus relationship.

The “way of Cain” is trying to connect with God through our own self-righteous works ... my way. That’s what religion is about. Cain’s way was a way without blood, a way that seemed right, but the end was death. Cain’s actions were prideful; they didn’t draw him closer to God but rather created more distance from God. If you’re trusting in your own self-righteousness, you’re not going to get to heaven. "Look at all the wonderful things I’ve done in my life!" That's what religion produces. It lifts us up in pride and we begin to hold up our earthly works, creating self-righteousness.

Don’t do it “your way,” do it Yahweh!
Jude 1:11 - “Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished …”

The Israelites’ name for God was Yahweh, or Jehovah, their One and Only True God. The Hebrew word ‘Jehovah’ consists of the consonants YHWH. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob knew God by his name Yahweh (Gen. 26:24-25); the name YHWH was connected with the Hebrew words ‘I Am’. God reassured His people by stating His name in words ‘I Am That I Am’ (Exodus 3:13-14).

The Bible refers to God by many names (watch for upcoming blog posts on this subject), but for now, ask yourself:

  • Have you gone in the way of Cain, the “religious” way, living pridefully and holding up your works, trusting in your own self-righteousness? OR

  • Have you gone in the way of Abel, who brought the firstlings of his flocks … a blood sacrifice … just as Jesus is the firstborn of every creature and offered His life?

Abel had a relationship with God and offered a blood sacrifice. Cain’s way was religious, without a blood sacrifice, trying to connect with God through his own self-righteous works.

Religion doesn't redeem you; redemption comes only through the shed blood of Jesus Christ and a personal relationship with Him.


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