Bible reading: Genesis 4: 1-7
Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
…Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat.
And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering.
And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. So the Lord said to Cain,
…IF YOU DO WELL, WILL YOU NOT BE ACCEPTED?… (Gen. 4: 2,3,4,5,7, emphasis added)
It’s good for us to study Abel and why the Lord honored his offering.
We understand from the above passage that Abel offered to the Lord the finest of his flock: firstborn. We can only think of the strongest and healthiest ones, without blemish or disease. And the Lord was pleased with his offering.
All of us desire that our offerings are accepted and honored by the Lord. We can make Abel as a model in our lives as we strive to make our own offerings to God.
By the way Abel offered to God, we can see that it was his desire to honor God with it. That was his sole purpose: to honor God and to please Him with his offering. That’s why he didn’t scrimp on his offering, but only offered the best and the finest he could offer.
What and how do we offer to the Lord?
The Best of the Fruits of Our Labors
We’ve been taught to give our tithes and love offerings. The Bible teaches us on this thing. (I won’t dwell on this in detail because it is exhorted clearly in the pulpit every now and then).
The Best of Our Time and Energy
We must set aside the best time to give to the Lord, not the excess of it. The moment we wake up in the morning, we spend that fresh, ample time with Him: entering His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with songs of praise. Not a hurried time – thinking of the day’s busy schedule and agenda – that we can hardly focus on Him. But a time to kneel down before Him and worship with all that’s in us.
We give the best of our strength, not when we have fully exhausted it with other tasks that we can hardly finish our prayers and we’re ready to collapse to bed.
– Our offering of praise. I delight in preparing songs for my private praise and worship time. (In our Church, we’re taught to praise and worship the Lord in the morning and in the evening in our own homes).
The strong can sing, clap, and dance with all their might, just like David did (and my beloved husband does), and the weak can sing softly. Whatever situation we’re in, what matters is we praise and worship the Lord with ALL our hearts, minds, and souls.
And when the presence of God descends and touches our whole being, and the tears of awe and joy flowing freely – we know that our offering has been accepted.
– Set aside time to serve others: to visit the sick and pray for them, and share the Gospel to the lost.
When we offer our time (availability) and energy (capability) with all our hearts and minds, what we’re really offering are our whole selves: to be wholly there for Him.
Just the Best of Us
We play different roles: wife, mother, servant, teacher, singer in the choir, etc., and we do our best to perform in each role. That, also, is our finest offering to the Lord. But sometimes we fail, we commit mistakes, no matter how hard we try. But we can come before our merciful Savior with our contrite hearts, always needing Him, depending on Him, for He is our all-in-all.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. (Psalm 51:17)