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About-Him.Com Devotional 10-21-2006
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By Faith, A More Excellent Sacrifice
Hebrews 11:4¶ 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 gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
By faith, Abel offered a better sacrifice than Cain. I believe that both Cain and Abel had been told of God slaying an animal to cloth Adam and Eve after they had sinned in the garden. God slew an animal to cloth them and then promised a Redeemer who would deal with Satan, the root of all evil (Genesis 3:15). I believe they both knew that God desired a blood sacrifice. By bringing such a sacrifice, Abel proclaimed, "Lord,I am a sinner in need of your mercy.” I receive your promise of the Redeemer who will bruise the head of the serpent, and I look forward to that day. I desire to do things your way, so here is my blood offering."
Cain wanted to honor God, but only on his own terms. He decided to do things his way.
I'm reminded of the singer who popularized the song, "I did It My Way." Upon his death I saw a cartoon of him marching up to the throne of God saying, "I did it my way." I would not want to be in that position. For Cain, fruits and vegetables were readily available and would do just fine to fulfill his religious obligation. In offering such a sacrifice, he was really saying that he was not looking for God's promised Redeemer.
Well, things haven’t changed much. There still are only two kinds of people in this world: Believers and unbelievers.
Believers are those who accept God on His terms. They recognize that God ordained the cross and the blood of Jesus as our only salvation. They accept God’s word as absolute and desire to conform to His word to the best of there ability (). They realize that they can only accomplish this with the help of God’s Spirit dwelling in them (John 14:26). All this they do by faith, recognizing that their own works and any inherent righteousness or goodness that they may have will not save them (Titus 3:5). They must come to God by the blood and the Spirit. There is no substitute.
Unbelievers on the other hand come in many shapes and forms, but they have one thing in common. They all desire to find a different route than that which God has prescribed. No blood and no gore of the cross. No black and white. Everything becomes a relative gray. Basically a murky mess. No such thing as sin. No such thing as the absolute word of God.
Some rely on their good works of charity. A very rich man recently gave away billions of dollars to charity. He stated that perhaps this would help ease the road to heaven. His gesture is admirable, but his billions will never take the place of God’s word and the blood of Jesus, to obtain his salvation (Acts 8:20).
God accepted Abel’s gifts and testified that he was righteous. We don’t obtain righteousness by good works, but righteousness will produce good works that testify to our faith.
Romans 10:3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
Jude 1:11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.
Paul spoke of those who tried to establish their own righteousness because they were ignorant of God’s righteousness. Jude spoke of those who had gone in the way of Cain and followed the ways of Balaam as they sought material gain from following God.
We have that all around us today. People flock to services which seem to be giant motivational seminars. The blood of the cross takes a back seat to the elevation of self. The Old Testament scriptures which promise prosperity and stressed, while the New Testament scriptures which demand self denial and servanthood are seldom mentioned (Matthew 16:24). All of this is the way of Cain and is not an acceptable sacrifice to God. I desire to come by the way of the cross. By doing so, my sacrifices will be acceptable to God and will testify that my own righteousness, such as it is, has been replaced by the righteousness of Christ (Philippians 3:9). My, my, what a difference!
The one dollar bill said, "Well I've been to just about every church you can name. The Baptist, the Methodist, the Apostolic church, I've been to them all...."
The twenty dollar bill interrupted, "What's a church?"
Keep Looking Up!
Don and Marie Spooner
About Him! Ministries
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