"Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him." Genesis 4:8(NKJV) This verse of Scripture documents the first murder ever committed, as Cain became jealous of his brother, Abel, because God accepted Abel's gift from his flock but rejected Cain's gift of fruit. The very next verse (v.9) was the first utterance by Cain of a popular phrase that most of us have heard, "...am I my brother's keeper?" Cain's murderous sin led to a separation from God, and he was cursed to live as a "fugitive and a vagabond" (v.14) for the rest of his days. Now, I know most of us have never and would never commit murder, but 1 John 3:15 (NKJV) tells us that murder is more than a physical act as we read, "Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him." Jesus even takes it a step further in Matthew 5:22 (NKJV) where He states, "But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, 'Raca!' shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be in danger of hell fire." The Bible is telling us that murder is not a physical act, but a state of the heart. Jesus tells us throughout the Gospels, "love your neighbor as yourself." (Matthew 19:19 NKJV, 22:39 NKJV, Mark 12:31 NKJV, Luke 10:27 NKJV) Even more surprising and tougher for us today is what Jesus says in Matthew 5:44(NKJV), "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you..." The world is growing colder and more heartless every day, and it is up to us, as Christians and followers of Christ, to be an example of unconditional love and show unbelievers the true nature of Jesus Christ. Now, we may not like everyone we meet and they may not like us (actually, it is a scientific fact that at least 10% of people will not like you...shocking, I know =-o), but that doesn't mean that we can not pray for those who mistreat us, love them from a distance, and then allow God work in their lives. Let's stand together as Christians and show the world the wonderful love of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and remember the words of 1 John 2:10 (NKJV): "He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him." Are you your brother's keeper?
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Great reminders for all of us. Thankfully, God will help us love even those we don't like. Thanks.