April 19, 2009

By Faith: Living for God

Genesis 4:1-12

By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice … and by faith he still speaks …
Hebrews 11:4


Cain felt short-changed. We all know how painful that feeling can be. In fact, that feeling can be dangerous and even deadly. In Cain’s case it led to murder. He felt he was short-changed because he had not gained God’s favor but Abel had. Cain’s solution was to get rid of Abel. Abel was sacrificed on the altar of Cain’s desire for success.

God’s blessing, however, does not rest on those who aim to sideline or eliminate his faithful people. Cain’s lack of faith embittered his life. As punishment for his capital crime, he became a permanent fugitive. No rest for the wicked.

Abel was the first to be martyred for his faith in God. His faith literally cost him his life. But he was not the last. Many believers have discovered that persecution is no stranger to people who follow the one true God.

Martyr’s blood, however, cannot be silenced. It cries out to God. God hears the cries of all who lay their lives on the line for him. God honors their love, obedience, and faith by crowning them with resurrection life, with eternal life.

The martyr’s blood of God’s beloved Son was shed for the salvation and resurrection of Abel and all his brothers and sisters in the faith. The truth is that faith makes all the difference!

Thank you, Father, that the faith of all who believe in you speaks even though many have died a martyr’s death. Uphold the faith of all who are persecuted for Jesus’ sake. 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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