An Offering Worth Offering, Part 1of4, by Pastor Phil Sessa

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“In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. But Abel brought 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.” (Genesis 4:3 – 5)

Back when I was in Bible College God taught me a very humbling lesson. I was serving on the homeless outreach team that brought food, blankets, and clothing to the homeless on the streets of Philadelphia. It was winter time and there was a thin layer of snow on the ground. This night I was speaking to a man that asked if I had a pair of gloves for him. I looked proudly at my brand new warm leather gloves that I was wearing and thought there is no way that I am giving my gloves to this man. I looked down and saw a glove frozen into the snow. I picked it up, dusted it off and offered it to the man. With disappointment he turned and walked away from me.

Later that evening while in my dorm room God severely convicted me of my pride and greed. God reminded me that I wore the gloves that He provided for me. The glove I offered to the cold man, God did not respect. I blew it bad because of my pride. I believe that something of this sort happened to Cain when he offered his offering to God in Genesis 4.

Cain and Abel both approached God, both brought an offering to God, both offerings were examined by God, but only one was respected by God. What made Abel’s offering to please the Lord? The writer of Hebrews gives us further insight. Hebrews 11:4 reads, “By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead”

God respects an accurate offering “The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering” One must hit the bulls-eye when it comes to pleasing God. One can’t just throw anything God’s way and expect Him to honor it. In this case the bulls-eye is the heart of God. Abel hit God in the heart with his offering. Abel seemed to know what God would desire to receive from that which he blessed Abel with. Cain was angry with God, but did not offer an accurate offering. He wanted God to accept whatever he threw toward God. What has God blessed you with? Many unfortunately chock on their blessings, rather than bless the Lord with that which He has given. God’s heart is about His glory and blessing others. How accurate of offering are you bringing to God? Is it connecting to His heart?

God respects an authentic offering The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering.” God looked with favor upon Abel. Abel desired to give God his very best. I believe Abel loved God with all his heart, mind, soul and strength. Abel was genuine toward God, he put God first. Abel placed God’s glory before his own, because Abel was authentic. Cain’s offering was not out of his love for God, he did not put God first. God didn’t look with favor on Cain nor his offering. I believe Cain’s offering was not genuine in the sense that it was given as though it were Cain’s best, but God knew otherwise. Perhaps this is one of the reasons after Cain killed his brother that God said to Cain, “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 master it.” One can’t bring an offering with an unrighteous heart before God. Are you authentic with God in your offering, or phony like Cain? To be continued…

Until the nets are filled…Blessings, Pastor Phil <><

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