April 18, 2009

By Faith: Giving to God With Our Heart

Genesis 4:1-16; Hebrews 11:4

By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did.
Hebrews 11:4


Does faith in God make a difference?

Whether a person believes in God or not, food and clothing cost the same, cars don’t last any longer, bones take the same amount of time to heal, and good or bad things happen.

Look at Cain and Abel. Both had the same parents, the same kind of upbringing. Both had been taught to worship God and to bring offerings. Each had developed a successful livelihood. Yet they turned out so completely different. One became a killer; the other got killed! Faith in God did not spare Abel.

The difference between these two was clearly more than parents, home, environment, and training. The difference was deeper. God saw the difference in their hearts. The difference was in the place each had in their hearts for God. In Cain’s heart, God was crowded out. God definitely took second place to Cain. Cain’s number one concern was with the comfort, prosperity, and power of Cain. No doubt it showed in what he brought God as an offering: average, maybe even second-rate, produce. Abel, on the other hand, brought God his finest and best. And he brought it thankfully.

Two brothers. Two kinds of offerings. But to God only one kind was acceptable. Watch what you give to God—and the attitude with which you give it.

Dear God, help us to give you first place in our lives. May we offer to you what matters to us and is pleasing and acceptable to you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Gordon Pols

Rev. Gordon Pols and his wife, Ann, have two married children and two grandchildren. After serving four congregations in Western and Central Canada, Rev. Pols retired from active ministry in 2007. He is currently doing parttime pastoral work with West End Christian Reformed Church, Edmonton, Alberta. He also works parttime for Crossroad Bible Institute, promoting a Bible study correspondence course for prison inmates.

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