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Devotionals :: Day by Day by Grace :: Today's Reading

Bob Hoekstra :: Day By Day By Grace :: October 22nd

Abel's Acceptable Worship Sacrifice, by Faith

By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks. (Hebrews 11:4)

The Lord desires that people become true spiritual worshipers of Him. "The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him" (John 4:23). This can only become a reality through faith in the Lord. One helpful example of this is Abel's acceptable worship sacrifice, by faith.

Cain and Abel were two sons of Adam and Eve. The time came when they both offered sacrifices unto the Lord. "And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD. Abel also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat" (Genesis 4:3-4a). The sacrifice of Cain was rejected by God, whereas Abel's sacrifice was accepted. "And the LORD respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering" (Genesis 4:4b-5a). Our primary verse tells us why Abel's gift of worship was acceptable to the Lord. "By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain." Abel's sacrifice was given by faith. It came from a heart that believed in the Lord and trusted in His righteous ways. "The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD…but He loves him who follows righteousness" (Proverbs 15:8-9). When the Lord accepted Abel's offering, He was declaring that Abel was righteous in His sight: "through which he obtained witness that he was righteous." Elsewhere, the word confirms that Cain was an unbeliever; whereas, Abel walked in righteousness. "Cain…was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother's righteous" (1 John 3:12).

When we offer worship sacrifices to the Lord, He is looking at our hearts. Are we trusting in Him? Are we yielding to the righteous paths that His word has set forth? Whether we are offering praise, giving thanks, doing good deeds, or sharing our resources with others, we are to do it all by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. "Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased…you…are being built up a spiritual house…to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ" (Hebrews 13:15-16 and 1 Peter 2:5).

Dear heavenly Father, I want to be a true spiritual worshiper of You. I repent of any sacrifices that I have offered from self-interest or self-righteousness. I want to offer my worship to You through faith in Jesus Christ, my Lord, Amen.

Psalm 138:2

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