What are you offering to God?
Genesis 4:3-5a (NRSV) says:
In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel for his part brought of the firstlings of his flock, their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard.
God watches what we bring to God in the context of what we have. Jesus showed this when he called attention to the tiny offering of a poor widow, praising her small gift. He said, “This poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.” (See Mark 12:41-44)
What kind of gifts are you offering to God? Are you offering the first portion or the leftovers? The best you have or something second-rate? What is your attitude as you give?
The story in Genesis 4 continues:
So Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is lurking at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.”
It didn't matter to God that Cain's initial offering was unacceptable. Cain could always start over, do well, and find acceptance. But God said Cain needed to guard against sin, which desired to master him.
What sins have you had victory over? What sins are still trying to master you?
John 1:29 (NRSV) says:
The next day [John the Baptist] saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
The Bible says in several places that Jesus takes away the sin of the world. Jesus has taken away everything you're ashamed of, every mistake you made, every rebellion against God or God's word.
Hebrews 4:13-16 (NRSV) says:
Before [God] no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account. Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
As you approach the throne of grace with boldness today, what will you tell God?
This week, do something on purpose to advance God's kingdom.
What will you do?