Its 2018 and a New Year! So why not talk about the first offering that was ever recorded in the Bible? Today, I wish to bring your attention to one aspect of the Offering that was given by Cain and Abel.
“Time passed. Cain brought an offering to GOD from the produce of his farm. Abel also brought an offering, but from the firstborn animals of his herd, choice cuts of meat. GOD liked Abel and his offering, but Cain and his offering didn’t get his approval. Cain lost his temper and went into a sulk.”
Genesis 4:3-5 MSG
We often treat Offering time in the church as a mundane routine and doing a favour for the church.
But to God it mean’s more than that. We often focus our attention on the amount and whether the church deserve your $10 in your wallet. This is a sad and a real truth and I am guilty of this very attitude. Cain and Abel put all they have into their farming and livestock, yet God was only pleased with Abel. Cain had to plow, seed, water, harvest, refine and much more but God did not respect Cain’s offering. As I was meditating recently on the above verse, God brought my attention to a line that showed the attention that Abel put in his giving. It says “…Abel also brought an offering, but from the firstborn animals of his herd, choice cuts of meat….”. Not only did he offer the firstborn animals, he also put aside the choice cuts of meat. I imagine myself going to the butchery and spending hours inspecting and looking for the best cut of meat with the perfect marbeling. What I am saying here is, Abel’s preparation in his offering took time and was a deliberate rather than checking and fulfilling a part of his religious duties. God is not interested in your spare change, He is only interested in your heart.
As the book of Genesis doesn’t offer much into why God was pleased with Abel’s sacrifice, the book of Hebrews offers us the answer;
“By an act of faith, Abel brought abetter sacrifice to God than Cain. It was what he believed, not what he brought, that made the difference. That’s what God noticed and approved as righteous. After all these centuries, that belief continues to catch our notice.”
Hebrews 11:4 MSG
It was Abel’s act of faith coupled with his giving that pleased God. Abel was believing for something during the Offering.
As we enter this 2018, lets not treat this New Year as another day. You might be even thinking, “I’ve seen this before. Don’t we go through this cycle every year?!”.
And that’s the folly that Cain make. He made an ordinary offering believing for nothing because he believed like the rest of the world that he makes his own luck with hard work.
Like Abel, let us not treat offering like another religious duty instead let us believe by faith that He is going to give us the breakthrough. 2018 is no ordinary year. I believe it is going to be a year if breakthroughs and fulfilling of the promises in our lives.
So the next time, when the offering bucket passes by remember, it is an opportunity for you to partner with God.