If there is any message that needs to be preached regularly in churches today, is the message of Faith. It is the foundation of our Christian walk, the engine room of our mobility and without it we cannot transact any business in this kingdom. Faith is our medium of exchange, as dollars is to America and Euro to Europe. Faith is the currency we give in exchange for what we desire from God. By faith we were saved and by faith we received the Holy Spirit. All we have and are going to get will only come by faith in God. As a matter of fact scripture says in Rom 1: 17 ‘The Just shall live by faith’. Who is a Just person? An offender, who through faith in Christ Jesus, was pardoned of his sin, and declared justified. To live means to be sustained. So then a Christian can only live or be sustained in this kingdom by faith in God.
We read in Hebrews 11, the hall of faith, how patriarchs and matriarchs by faith obtained promises and subdued kingdoms, but for the purpose of this text I will concentrate on the first patriarch mentioned, Abel, who by faith pleased God with is offering.
‘By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gift.. Heb 11:4
The word more excellent in this scripture is a comparative statement, meaning that Cain’s sacrifice was equally excellent but when compared to that of Abel, it became less excellent. God showed respect for the sacrifice of Abel but for Cain’s he showed no respect, because Abel gave in faith. How?
‘And in the course of time, Cain brought some fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the first born of the flock’ Gen 4:3 (NIV)
In terms of quantity, we might not be able to compare since they both brought some out of their harvest, but the quality of the offerings were different. One significant thing about Abel’s sacrifice was that he brought the right kind of offering, acknowledging God and having faith in the atonement by the blood Heb 9:22, remember this was the first time after the fall that the bible records that men sacrificed to the Lord. Another significant thing that was counted as faith and that we can learn from when presenting our offering to the Lord is that Abel chose the best, ‘fat portions’ of his flock. It’s not enough to just bring an offering to the Lord, ask yourself, is this the best I can do? Listen, emphasis is not the quantity here, though it’s also important, for the same measure with which you give will be used to measure back to you Luk16:38, but more importantly is the quality of the offering, God deserves your best because He always gives the best to His children. You acknowledge God whenever you give Him your best and not left over. You must give to please God, otherwise there is no point giving: this is giving in faith.
‘For without faith it’s impossible to please Him, for he that must come to God must believe that He is and He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him’ Heb 11:6
‘And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? Offer it now to your governors, will he be pleased with you and accept thy person?’ Mal 1:8
I can tell how important a person is to you by the quality of gifts you give to them. The same with God, the quality of your gift shows how much you acknowledge HIM. David said in 2 Sam. 24:24, ‘I will not offer unto the Lord that which will not cost me nothing’. Your offering is meant to cost you, before it can become a sacrifice well pleasing and acceptable to God.
Another principle we should learn from Abel giving in faith is that the fat portions were from the firstborn of his flocks. He carefully selected not just the best but the firsts of the best. Prov3:9.Although the law on tithing and firstfruits were yet to be established, he new what was right and did it and this was counted as faith. Listen to what the Lord told Cain in Gen 4: 6 ‘why are you angry? why is your face downcast, if you do what is right, will you not be accepted? Your offering without your tithe is not acceptable; your tithe is an expression of your faith in God. When you give a tenth of your increase to God, you are acknowledging Him as the source and He will ensure that the remaining 90% is spent wisely and not eaten by devourers. Mal 3:10.
As I close this piece remember that for you to give in faith, you must have faith in God, which will require you to first of all give your self to Him. In 2 Cor. 8:5 Paul testified of the Macedonians that they first gave themselves to the Lord before giving towards the work of God. The greatest gift you can give to God is to first surrender yourself to Him, give Him your heart and you will be able to give Him anything. If you are yet to give your life to Jesus, I’ll encourage you to do that first. You can pray this prayer with me> Say
Lord Jesus that you for giving your life for me, Today I accept your sacrifice for my sins. I confess with my mouth that you are the son of God and God raised you from the dead. From today, I am saved and a child of God. Amen.
For further Study
Personal declaration for the day
From today, I will always give my best to God.
Questions for you to reflect on
What is the best gift you ever gave to God?
What part of you, are you still keeping away from God?