Verse: Hebrews 11:4 ESV
“By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks.”
In the Old Testament, Cain and Abel were to bring a sacrifice before God. Cain thought this was his chance to outshine Abel, and he gave an offering much larger than his brother’s. However, God wasn’t interested in what Cain brought. Verse four tells us that the smaller sacrifice that Abel brought was acceptable, and he was commended as righteous.
At face value, this can be perplexing. Why would God not be interested in the larger sacrifice? The reason for this isn’t because of the type of sacrifice, or anything materialistic actually. We find our answer in the first two words of this verse. “By faith…”. The reason comes down to the motivation behind the sacrifice.
While Abel may have not had the most lavish sacrifice, he was giving the sacrifice by faith. Faith is the foundation of what we believe, and this shows that faith was always of the utmost importance. To God, the sacrifice was worthless without faith. Cain’s motivation laid within the hope to outshine his brother, not in God.
My question is, what is your motivation? Why are you serving in church? Why are you engaging in an argument on social media? Are you trying to check a box? I challenge you to investigate your motivation in all you do. Getting to the root of it can give you clarity, in addition to potential next steps that may be necessary. Continue strengthening your spiritual disciplines. Meditate on God’s word, don’t just read it quickly to check that box. Dig deeper into the text, and think about how that potentially can apply to your life.
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for all that you have done in our lives Lord. I ask that you challenge us this week. Help us to explore what our motivation is, and give us the wisdom to take the necessary steps to continue growing with you. I also ask for strength in maintaining and improving our spiritual disciplines. Please help us to seek you out to glorify you in all we do. In your Heavenly Name I pray, Amen.
Author: Justin Artymenko