“By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain,
through which he obtained witness that he was righteous…
and through it he being dead still speaks”
It was the element of faith that made Abel’s sacrifice more excellent than that of Cain. We must come to realize that it is not the thing that is offered but the measure of faith in which the thing is offered that pleases God. God’s ways are higher than ours and His way of evaluating the offering of our hearts is different. We see (as did the disciples) the greatness of the religious buildings of our day and we marvel at their size and scope and yet Jesus sees rubble and sand. We see great programs, “evangelistic strategies” and great religious endeavours in which vast amounts of resources are used to “market” the Gospel and build up a particular church or fellowship without any concept that we are here to be “witnesses unto HIM”. Looking back over the history of the church we see that her most fruitful servants had little of the world’s resources, but they were rich in Faith and Love; because of that God bore witness to their simple preaching and thousands were swept into the Kingdom. We must consider our ways and allow God to search out our hearts that we may find ourselves living and moving by a faith that is springing forth from a pure heart.
“And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury,
and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites.
So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all;
for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God,
but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had”
LUKE 21:2 – 4
Our focus is too often upon the external appearance rather than the true spiritual value of a thing that is done or spoken. God looks to the heart of a thing. He sees past the appearance and looks into the heart, to see what motivated and initiated the thing that was done.
“But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things”
ACTS 5:1 – 5
We may need to be reminded that this is a New Testament truth and if we have difficulty reconciling this with our concept of God we need to seriously consider our ways. In this day of apathy this story often repeats itself, without the dire consequences, because God’s greatest judgement is to leave us to ourselves and our own ways. True living faith is not interested in the appearance of a thing but only with the pleasing and glorifying of its Author. Faith ever seeks to bring Glory to God!
That is why by FAITH Abel offered up a more excellent sacrifice than Cain.
“Wheresoever we be, whatsoever we are doing, in all our work,
in our busy daily life, in all schemes and undertakings, in public trusts,
and in private retreats, He is with us, and all we do is spread before Him.
Do it, then, as to the Lord. Let the thought of His eye unseen
be the motive of your acts and words. Do nothing you would not have Him see.
Say nothing which you would have not said before His visible presence.
This is to do all in His name”
H. E. Manning