Summary: Our giving should meet certain conditions before it becomes acceptable to God.
HOW TO GIVE TO GOD
What kind of gift did you give to loved ones yesterday - Valentine’s Day? Sometimes special events bother me because I have to be careful in finding the right gift for a person. Because it speaks of whom we are and what we think about the recipient of our gifts.
This is the challenge that our biblical character manifested in Genesis 4:1-10. How do we give to God?
1. Give with faith in God. (Hebrews 11:4)
Hebrews 11:4 says that Abel offered a better sacrifice by faith. In Hebrews 11:6, it is impossible to please God without faith. To have faith in God means that He exists and rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Bringing our offering is not just a ritual. It is recognition of the existence of God and His graciousness upon us. It is also acknowledgement of the fact that He responds to our offering. If we found favor from God, He graciously rewards our faithfulness too. (See Malachi 3:10-12)
When we give our offerings, we should think about the reality and presence of God. God receives our offerings and responds based on it. In fact, giving is an expression of worship to God. Worship is our response to God’s faithfulness and giving is a way of saying thanks to God.
2. Give with the best offering to God. (Genesis 4:2-4)
Since Abel recognized the existence of God and His graciousness, he was careful in the way he brought his offerings. He brought the “fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock,” whereas Cain simply “brought some of the fruits of the soil.”
The words “fat” and “firstborn” imply the best quality from Abel’s flock. The quality of offering given to God signifies the importance we give Him. For Abel, the quality of his offerings showed that God deserves the best.
Be careful when we give because the quality of our offering to God reflects the importance we bestow on Him. God is not please when we degrade His character by poor quality of our gifts. (See Malachi 1:6-8) God is a personal God and also affected by the kind of offerings we bring to His altar.
God is not asking us to give more that we can afford but we should give the best we can. The best reflects the honor we bestow on Him.
3. Give with a righteous heart before God (Genesis 4:6-7)
When God spoke well of Abel’s offerings, he was actually commending Abel as a righteous man. (See Hebrews 11:4) Abel acted in a just and upright manner; He did what is right before God. Even in his death, he simply cried out to God. (v. 10) Cain however manifested from the start an unrighteous heart and this was confirm by what he did to Abel later.(See 1 John 3:12)
Realize that one’s character and relationship with others are important requirements as we bring our offerings to God. (See Matthew 5:23-24) God is also concern on the manner we conduct our lives here on earth and not just our relationship with Him. (See Matthew 23:23)