Summary: Giving the best we got to God
Genesis 4:3-5 (NIV)
3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord.4 But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering1 he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
Footnotes (don’t read aloud)
1. In bringing the offering he did, Cain denied that he was a sinful creature under the sentence of divine condemnation. He insisted on approaching God on the ground of personal worthiness. Instead of accepting God’s way, he offered to God the fruits of the ground, which God had cursed. He presented the product of his own toil, the work of his own hands, and God refused to receive it (Arthur W. Pink, Gleanings in Genesis).
Abel’s offering was accepted and Cain’s offering was rejected!
Why would God accept one and not the other?
Which brings to ask today, what is the church offering to God?
Abel offered God the very best of his fattest calf, and Cain offered some vegetables.
This is the prime example of reaping what you sow.
We give God the bare minimum, however expect him to bless us with the maximum.
Are we giving God the very best we have or are we giving him leftovers. Half the time, your dog doesn’t even want your leftovers. So what makes you think God will?
Think about it like this!
Are giving God filet mignon as Abel did or are we giving him rotten tomatoes as Cain did?
Rotten Tomatoes, what do you mean by that?
God is no fool. He knows the condition of our hearts when we pray, we sing, and pay our tithes.
He knows if we are giving to honor him or honor ourselves
He knows if we are giving out of routine
He knows if we are giving because we have been coerced
2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (NIV)
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
Cain’s heart was not right when he gave his offering, nor was he cheerful. Therefore, it was as if he was offering God rotten tomatoes.
I always like to define a word in the text in order to break it down for better understanding.
Merriam-Websters Dictionary defines Offering as:
1a: to present as an act of worship or devotion: Sacrifice
1b: to utter (as a prayer) in devotion
2a: to present for acceptance or rejection
2b: to declare one’s readiness or willingness
A word that stands out in that is “Sacrifice.” Sacrifice means the surrender of something for the sake of someone else.
American soldiers past and present have sacrificed their time and lives in support of our freedom
Firefighters, Policemen, and civilians sacrificed their lives in order to save other lives September 11, 2001.
And last but not least, God sent his son Jesus to earth to die as a sacrifice for our sins.
What do these three groups have in common? They made an unselfish sacrifice to help someone else. Maybe they didn’t want to, but they did anyway.
So I ask, “What are we offering or sacrificing for God?” Every time people hear a minister or someone make mention of offering, people get nervous.
An offering does not always have to be about money! God also wants our time, dedication and most of all praise.
For the most part, the average Christian spends 5 hours in church in a 168-hour week.
2 hours- Morning Worship
2 hours- Evening Worship
1 Hour- Wednesday Night (Family Training Hour)
That is less than 5% of the week we spend in church. It is sad to say, but that 5 hours is hard for some people to fulfill.
When we are in church, we look as if we have lost our best friend or as if we have baptized in Lemon Juice. Then we worship as if it is killing us. It is an even bigger stretch to get everyone to stand up and sing.
However, let the one of your favorite players hit a homerun or score a touchdown and you will hoop and holler and do a little dance.
It is a good thing that the lord doesn’t base our blessings on how we praise him or on how much time we spend with him.