Where is your brother?
Of course we all know what happened here. Cain and Abel came to worship and give the fruits of their labor to God. We obviously know that they had been given some sort of place and possible time for this worship, either by Adam or directly from God. Well the time came and they brought their offerings, Cain’s offering was some of his produce and Abel’s was the firstborn of his flock. God respected Abel’s offering but He did not respect Cain’s and this made Cain angry.
Here are some reasons why God may not have respected Cain’s offering
1) It was fruit from the ground which had already been cursed.
2) Abel came with the first fruit of his offering and it does not say that Cain did the same.
3) It was a bloodless sacrifice.
4) Was it that his attitude was wrong?
Did he come to God for the wrong reasons?
Did Cain come to God with what he wanted or he thought God should have?
He obviously felt that it was what God deserved from him?
Have you done that at church or in your life?
Recently I have tried to come to terms with my attitude with the Lord.
My wife and I also had a lengthy discussion about church that really opened my eyes toward the whole thing.
Why am I going to the church that I attend?
What reasons am I going?
What are my motives?
I am called to teach in a Bible study setting or possibly preaching/teaching in some way. The only problem I am having is that sometimes I am not at all sure that I am attending the right church. I attend a church that is much like the former denomination I found myself in even though I don’t agree with that certain denomination. I wonder sometimes if I didn’t start going there because I felt safe because it was all the things that I remember about church but not the legalistic stuff. The traditional taught stuff that man screwed up.
Did I start going there just because I wouldn’t get any hassle from my grandmother?
I am almost ashamed to think that I might be going there just because she might be ok with it.
Am I going there just because I want to teach and they will let me every once in a while?
Is that the only reason I am going?
If you will notice, like I just have, God is not mentioned in any of these questions.
Praise and worship to God is the beginning of the whole reason for church.
We go to worship and praise God in a community fashion as well as uplift and serve our brothers and sisters in Jesus, those folks who are in the same boat.
If I go just because I want to do something, even if it is what I am called to do then I do a disservice to God, myself, and everyone around me.
If I come to God with any motive other than straight out love than I might as well as not come at all.
When I come to church with myself in mind, when I come expecting a blessing. When I come with my own needs and wants in mind, I have come for the wrong reasons and it will show itself in my interactions with others. My relationship with my fellow brethren will not be right and there will be something missing.
I should come out of pure love. Love for Jesus and a love for others.
Do I love others like I am supposed to?
Do I love others like I say I do?
Do I love Jesus like I say that I do?
God tried to warn Cain that he had the wrong motives, the wrong mindset and it was going to lead to something worse. He was trying to warn Cain.
In Matthew 5:21-26 Jesus gives us almost the exact same scenario.
He tells us that if we are at the altar, bringing our gift and the Spirit brings to mind the fact that someone has something against us then we need to stop what we are doing and go make it right before we finish giving our gift to God.
It is a heart thing. Anger leads to murder, not just physically but also spiritually in separation, either in our relationships or with God. If we don’t take care of the problem, no matter how small, when God brings it to us, then it will grow into something more and it will be a bigger problem that might handle us in the end.
God wants obedience and not showy ritual(Hosea 6:6).
God wants our heart and when He says “stop what you are doing and make it right”, He not only means with others, but also with Himself. All we need to do is listen and keep our mouths shut.
Jesus said that others will know that I am His, not by how theologically sound I am, not by how good I am, but by how much I love (John 13:34-35)
And my question to you as well as myself is: “Am I showing that kind of love?”