The story of Cain and Abel is a sad one.
A tale of disobedience, jealousy, deception and murder.
“Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.” Genesis 4:1-8
The bible doesn’t say why Abel’s gift was more pleasing to God but we get a sense that Cain and Abel understood what was required for a sacrifice.
Abel’s obedience has followed him in history. He is listed as the first of the Heroes of Faith (“By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.” Hebrews 11:4) and a man of righteousness/ first martyr for truth (“And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.” Matthew 23:35).
Cain gave something but Abel gave his best.
Let us not be like Cain and always follow Abel by giving our best. Let us fight temptation at its onset …“but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.” James 1:14-16
I say continually to others that all I have, has been giving to me by God and as such I am just a steward who is required to give to others joyfully and with love. Scripture tells us that “the earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;” Psalm 24:1
God not only calls us to be obedient but also that we come to him with a clean and pure heart. If we are desiring to give God our best then we need to check our motives as God knows our heart and will evaluate the quality of what we give as “our best” to him.
Thought: Are you giving joyfully your best to Christ? Are you giving with a cheerful heart your best to others? If not, seek Christ in finding opportunities that you can spread his light.
Prayer: Abba Father, your word reminds us to never worry about tomorrow as tomorrow will take care of itself. You are our Creator and will always provide our needs. Instill in us all a joyful spirit if giving not only our best to you but others as well. Amen