I. What Happened Genesis 4:1-8
– So, we find here Abel listed in the “Hall of Faith”. Let’s look back and see what happened between him and his brother
- * Eve gives birth to Cain & Abel – Brothers
- * Cain was a farmer and Abel was a shepherd
- * In time they each brought an offering to the Lord – Cain from the First fruits of the ground and Abel the Firstlings of his flock and their fat portions
- * God has regard for Abel and his offering, but not for Cain and his – Conflict
- * This upsets Cain, his countenance falls, God sees it and questions him
– If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up?
– If you do not well sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must master it – Be careful where you put yourself!
– Cain told Abel about His interaction with the Lord and kills Abel in the field
– This could be a story from the book, “Why Bad Things Happen to Good People”
II. Why was Abel’s Sacrifice Accepted & Cain’s Rejected Heb 11:4
– This question has been debated – Blood sacrifice vs. fruit; Heart
– The key to understanding the real answer to this question is the first two words of this verse, “By Faith” – Abel offered his sacrifice by faith and Cain did not
– We can do all the “godly” things we want for the Lord, but its only genuine faith that God pays attention to
– Your work becomes acceptable to God when He has you!
III. The Impact of Abel’s Faith Heb 11:4
– Abel’s choice to live by faith proved he was righteousness – Evidence of salvation
– The value in our service to the Lord is the exercise of our faith in Him – Explain the difference in serving God and serving God by faith – Good works versus being led
– If you want to have an impact on this world beyond your death, your actions must emanate from your faith – God will continue to use your story in the lives of other long after you are dead
– If you love the Lord and want to impact others, live by faith!
– How can we live in faith like Abel?:
- * Be Teachable and Leadable – Arrogance and skepticism won’t lead you to where you need to be in your walk with the Lord; nor will they give you an opportunity for a lasting spiritual legacy – We don’t know it all and He knows best where we should be
- * Look for opportunities in the everyday circumstances of life to live in faith – These subtle moments are our opportunities to be used – Don’t miss out!
- * Say yes when God speaks to you – How do I know? – If you think God is leading you and what you are hearing in your spirit will be a blessing for the other person then act on it and watch how God begins to confirm His moving in your life
– Don’t get caught up in putting on a religious façade – Walk in genuine faith!