An Acceptable Sacrifice: Reflections on Cain and Abel

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Have you ever met individuals who want maximum results with little effort? In schools, there are students who stay up late and study hard while others cram and procrastinate. Yet, those who procrastinate are upset when the others achieve high marks.

You wonder why would they be upset with the others and not with themselves, seeing that they did not put in the necessary time, energy, and effort. Yet, this happens not only in education, but in all areas of life. They do not give their best but want the best. This same scenario is even found in the lives of Christians.

But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. Gen 4:5 (KJV)

The story of Cain and Abel is a clear representation of this phenomenon. Abel brought God his best and it was received. Conversely, Cain brought whatever he wanted and it was not received; Cain got upset. Today, examine your walk with Christ. Are you upset at other Christians who seem to be successful in their walk with God? It is probably because they are bringing God their best. But the “best” does not reside only in the quality of service, but in the character behind the service. Cain lacked both.

Remember, in the story of Cain and Abel, they each did bring an offering. So, our best is not revealed in performing religious activities and devotion, but in our attitude and approach. To bring God your best is to do it with the right motives and a sincere heart. Cain did not bring his best offering due to his attitude, while Abel’s proper attitude was revealed in him bringing the best.

The Christian, today, has to be honest. When you pray, read, serve, minister, and attend services, are you bringing God your best? Again, this is revealed in your attitude and approach. These are affected by your level of spiritual growth and development. Your character as a Christian will directly influence whether you are bringing God your best.

Do you render service and remain faithful to God out of necessity, fear, or from a pure heart with gladness? Gladness of heart comes from a place of mature character. David encouraged the worshippers to “serve the Lord with gladness.”

Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Psalms 100:2 (KJV)

If not your service is not in gladness, ask for help and forgiveness because He will bless, heal, and restore. As you continue to develop your character, you can only “Bring God Your Best.”

The Art of Endurance

        In athletics, there are events that measure success by the speed, strength, and ability. However, there are events, which are a matter of endurance, rather than pure skill or ability. In many of the strongman competitions, certain events not only require skill, but endurance. Not only must the competitor be able to lift or carry the weight, but also they have to do it for a sustained amount of time. Thus, their ability to lift or carry becomes secondary to being able to endure the weight. The same applies to the Christian today.

        We learn the scriptures and spiritual truth, but many do not know how to endure hardships and challenges. We gain skill, knowledge, and understanding, but in the time of testing do not last. Every Christian has to learn The Art of Endurance as they grow in God’s grace and knowledge. Without endurance, the Christian can possess spiritual insight and knowledge, but cannot last long enough to see the fruits of it flourish in life. There are six aspects to the Art of Endurance. The Christian, who understands these, will be successful in their walk with Christ.

1) Endurance is a prerequisite to eternal salvation. Jesus stated that the one, who endures to the end, shall be saved. He did not say the one who did more or knew more. Thus, one major aspect of endurance is that it guarantees entrance into eternal life.

2) Endurance brings stability during uncertain times. Endurance helps one to maintain their pursuits in this life in the midst of adversities. Endurance helps one to see beyond the pain and see the promises of Christ and the hopes and dreams of tomorrow.

3) Endurance guards against the desire to quit. Endurance has the motto that “Quitting is not an Option,” which stifles the desire to give up and quit.

4) Endurance helps to revive faith. Endurance gives the user a since of faith. Endurance causes an individual to remember the Word of God and His personal promises.

5) Endurance brings the believer closer to perfection in Christ. Endurance causes an individual to look past hurts, disappointments, and ungodly desires. Thus, bring a greater level of purity, morality, and holiness in Christian living.

6) Endurance is a guarantee of success in spiritual warfare. Endurance causes believers to outlast every attack of the enemy. One of his tactics is to cause believers to let down their guards and allow him to dominate their lives. But, if the Christian endures, the warfare of the enemy will not accomplish what it is sent to do.

        Yes. Life does bring problems, both great and small. Sometimes, hardships and trials can last for years and it seems as if there will be no end. However, remember the Art of Endurance. It will be worth it in the end. Remember, our walk with Christ has promise in this life and in the life that is to come.

L.O.G.O.S. Apologetics