My granddaughter set up a lemonade stand and raised ten dollars. Her mom and dad taught her that because God helped her make the money by bringing her customers, she needed to thank God by giving Him a tithe, which was one dollar of her earnings. Then she had to give back a portion to pay for her supplies, and to save a dollar in her money jar in case she wanted something big. She was excited that she got to give God money. She decided to give God two dollars. She believed that if she had another lemonade stand, God would just give her more money. I’m sure He would, too. But her faith was not in the fact that she was giving God money. It was in the fact that God provided for her. She was thrilled she still had four dollars to spend any way she wanted.
This was only the beginning of her lessons in giving back to God–to having a heart filled with gratitude. We know she will learn to sacrifice her time, too. She’ll learn to use her gifts in His service. We will help her see the joy in being a Christian and a child of God. She’ll learn to trust Him in everything. As we teach our children and grandchildren, so often we learn more than them, when it comes to giving of ourselves.
Christians go to church and share a portion of their earnings to honor God and help their local church. Others give a tithe of all they make. Still others give a tithe and more to help send missionaries around the world to spread the gospel message. But how much do we truly sacrifice?
“By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.” Hebrews 11:4
What lesson of faith does Abel and Cain give us about sacrifice? Abel’s faith was counted as righteous, while Cain’s offering brought upon him God’s condemnation. It’s all about attitude and heart, isn’t it?
Anyone can give something. Anyone can offer God a portion of what they have. But it takes true faith to give God the first of what we have and depend upon Him to continue to supply more to us to meet our needs. Only by faith can we offer an offering worthy for God. Abel offered the better sacrifice–the blood sacrifice. He gave the best of what God had provided him. God gives us the best of Himself. He sacrificed His only begotten son so we could have everlasting life. His blood was shed as payment for our sin. He gave His all. This is what God wants from me. All of me. He wants my complete surrender to Him. He wants me totally and completely dependent upon Him for all my needs. This kind of faith is the only worthy sacrifice…in Him do I trust my going out and coming in.
PRAYER: Lord, thank You for the sacrifice of Your Son. Thank You for life and provision and the benefits of your grace. Thank You for the lessons of faith given in Your word. May our faith be increased as a result of what we learn from them.
© Hariette Petersen, SelahV Today, 2010