|Genesis 4:3–7 (NCV)|
3 Later, Cain brought some food from the ground as a gift to God. 4 Abel brought the best parts from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD accepted Abel and his gift, 5 but he did not accept Cain and his gift. So Cain became very angry and felt rejected.
6 The LORD asked Cain, “Why are you angry? Why do you look so unhappy? 7 If you do things well, I will accept you, but if you do not do them well, sin is ready to attack you. Sin wants you, but you must rule over it.”
|I find it interesting that right from the very beginning, God experienced the variance of His kids who showed total love and dedication vs those who chose to give half-heartedly back to Him. Cain thought that he could manage to give up some of the fruit and/or vegetables from the ground, while his brother, Abel, chose the firstborn of his choicest cattle to give back to the Lord. I believe I have passed over this many times, because at first glance one might think: well perhaps Cain was the farmer and Abel was the rancher, so they each gave of the best from what they had. However, it is obvious from God’s response in vs 4 & 5 that this was not the case. For God looked at these two offerings and saw where one gave of his very best with a willing heart, while the other gave of what he had because of obligation to give at the altar. God looked at this from a perspective of Abel giving from the sincerity and deep commitment of the heart, versus Cain’s gift being impacted by sin that had caused him to analyze and consider what might he give, in order to get by.|
|Friends, I know you must be wondering how on earth does this apply to us today, since most reading this devotional probably has nothing to do with sacrifices being offered at the local temple. But I would suggest that you first ask God to open your spiritual eyes to the truths of His Word and how they may be applied to your life, then take a moment to slowly read over the above scripture verses again. May I remind you that each day you are faced with making the same types of decisions that Cain and Abel responded to in these verses? Allow me to jog your memory on a few ways that I believe God chooses to test your commitment to Himself: 1). God gives you a good night’s rest and awaits time alone with you each morning. A time where you can converse with Him through prayer, and a time where He could lay out Your ministry for the day through His Word. 2). It’s your day of worship. You know what you should be doing as God’s chosen child, but you’ve heard about how good the fishing is with the current moon, and since every other day you are obligated to go to work, you decide that since God will be there next week, and the fish may not be biting then, you’ll go fishing today. I know there are tons of other things that God desires from each of us, much like the long list of preferences we would like to see in our kinds, but these are just a few examples. Our response to these and other aspects of our Christian walk, shows God whether from the depths of our heart, we are more similar to Cain, or to Abel. Allow God to work on you and make you the type of servant that will represent Him well and be the best representative of His in what you think, do or act. Please don’t misrepresent our God. I believe that God chooses what our ‘best’ is, based on the heart from which we decided what to give, when to give and how to give. While man can only see the outward expressions of your heart based on what you give, God knows your heart and knows all about every thought that crossed your mind as you prepared to give.|
|Lord thank You for giving to us while we were yet sinners and so undeserving of Your unselfish love. Your Word is a light unto our path, and today You have shown us the importance of giving from the very depths of our heart. In our Scripture today it is evident that Abel ‘got it’, while Cain gave grudgingly, hoping he could get away with it. This sounds an awful lot like us, Heavenly Father, so I want to place myself at Your feet today and ask for Your forgiveness, because I have not always given in ways that may have pleased You. Please touch the lives of those that will read this devotional and apply Your Word to the very depths of their heart so that it may impact their world for Jesus Christ. To You be all the glory, honor and praise, AMEN!|
|There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!|
January 5, 2017