Tuesday, January 11, 2011

GROW UP - Genesis 4... Bring Your Best

If you're a parent, you can identify with the fact that every child has their own unique personality. I have two daughters and the two of them have completely different temperaments! One is a neat freak who functions off a calendar, lays our her clothes the night before, is more soft spoken and process things to death. The other... her room is constantly cluttered, lives in the moment, can't decide on what to wear, runs late, is very vocal and doesn't really think about consequences.

I scratch my head often because I don't understand how we can do the exact same "parenting plan" and get two different responses to almost everything. We have learned that each child, with their own unique personality and different ways of learning, still must have the same expectations within our home. Both kids must share in the responsibilities of the home, do their homework, treat people with respect, go to bed at the same time, etc. We don't change what is right or acceptable just because they are unique and different from each other.

In Genesis 4 there were two brothers: Cain and Able. The bible identifies that they were different from each other; "...Able kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil...". The time came when they were to bring an offering to the Lord. The bible doesn't say that mom and dad (Adam and Eve) made them do it, but it does imply that the Lord had a certain expectation of the offerings that they brought.

"In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” - Genesis 4:3-7

See, Able brought his first fruit; unblemished firstborn of his flock, but Cain just brought some of the common fruit of his harvest, not the 'first fruit'. Regardless of who we are, the Lord expects us as His children to bring our very best, and to do anything less than that is consider unacceptable.


The Lord accepted Abel's offering and rejected Cain's. Can got pretty ticked. Maybe he thought it was unfair, or made excuses. God gave a word of correction to Cain about what God expects, but Cain would not receive it. See... our gifts are a reflection of our heart. It wasn't the fact that God loves meat more than He loves fruits and veggies... God just wants us to bring our best.

God gave Cain more than an opportunity to change what he was to bring, God was wanting Cain to change the condition of Cain's heart. I don't think Cain sinned with his offering, but the current condition of Cain's heart was going to give and open door to sin to work in his life... "...sin is crouching at your door...". Cain refused and he went on to kill his brother Abel out of jealousy and anger.

What is the attitude and condition of our hearts? Are we willing to bring God our best, even if it's inconvenient? Giving our best is a sacrifice. Are we willing to sacrifice for our Lord who sacrifices His best for us? Let's not get careless or sloppy with the condition of our heart... let's give God the very best!