In Genesis 4, two men offer a sacrifice to God. Abel is respected for his offering, Cain is not. Was God against vegetables, the offering brought by Cain? Shouldn’t just bringing a sacrifice be sufficient? What is the deeper meaning here?
If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Gen. 4:7
Giving God Our Best
Abel gave God the “firstborn of his flock.” He gave God his very best. Cain, on the other hand, gave a sacrifice that wasn’t respected by God. Perhaps it was rotten or puny produce. Did Cain keep the best for himself? The issue here is the matter of the heart. When we give God our “leftovers” what are we really conveying our priorities are? Do we view God or ourselves as number 1? Are we just trying to follow a check list of things that look “good enough” to the outside eye?
For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings. Hosea 6:6
God is All Knowing
We can’t fool God. He knows what we are capable of, and where our loyalties lie. He is all-knowing. No matter how much we try to forget this detail. Sometimes we feel so tricky; we look so spiritual to everyone, and we still aren’t giving God our all. But God knows.
Who is Number 1?
By giving God our “leftovers”, we are implying that we put ourselves on a higher rank than God. That God deserves whatever we can’t use for anybody, or anything else? It is hard to say, but some people treat God like the Salvation Army is to many people. After we can’t sell or give away our used merchandise then we truck it to the Salvation Army. God really shouldn’t be the after thought, but rather we should give Him our best time, money and talents. What can we give to offer respect and thanks to God? No one is above his teacher. Luke 6:40
Questions to Consider
- Do you give God tithe after you have paid everyone else and bought everything you want, or do you set aside a portion off of the top?
Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. Proverbs 3:9-10
- Do you have a devoted time set aside or do you only spend time with God if you need something, or have leftover time in the day? This idea isn’t to be legalistic. This concept is to prepare your heart to respect the person you are talking to. If you are distracted or only talk to God when it is convenient, what is this conveying about our heart towards God?
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:6
- Do you use your talents to bring glory to God, by helping others, or do you only use your talents if you can get paid or a return favor? More blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35
Knowing in our minds that God is number 1, but really acting as though He is our leftover mashed potatoes is really only leaving us with this false facade that our priorities are correct. We need to start putting God as number 1 and truly receive the blessings of trusting God with our lives.
Set aside a specific time of day to do devotion, and don’t compromise. Sometimes you may have to make sacrifices to allow you to be faithful to that time. That will be a true test to see if you are going to keep your priorities straight. My goal is 10:30 at night. Hold me accountable.
Inspired by Grace Houle of Poured Out His Love Ministries
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