Heb. 11:4 - "[Prompted, actuated] by faith Abel brought God a better and more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, because of which it was testified of him that he was righteous [that he was upright and in right standing with God], and God bore witness by accepting and acknowledging his gifts. And though he died, yet [through the incident] he is still speaking."
Abel was blessed. As far as we can tell he was the first to be blessed after the sin of his parents in the Garden.
Abel was blessed because he did the right thing. The testimony concerning him says he was a righteous person because he maintained a right relationship with God. His sacrifice of a lamb was typical of what God would present to us in the future as the once for all spotless Lamb of God, Jesus Christ.
Abel was so righteous and concerned about pleasing God that he was going to do that even if it killed him.
It did. Yet, his testimony of faith is so strong that the Word says he is still speaking today!
After 6,000 years, Abel's faith still instructs us!
His brother Cain, who would become his executioner, still speaks to us as well. He is the epitome of instruction about failing to please God. He is Abel's unrighteous opposite.
After he failed to please God by his paltry sacrifice he became depressed and angry.
God addressed Cain and asked him why he was so angry.
God then counseled Cain and said, "If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it."
Cain's response to God was to plot against and kill his brother Abel.
When faith is the motivator in our life it spurs us onward to seek to honor and please God. We rise to goodness not descend into degradation.
This is why we are constantly being disappointed by the people we rely on to lead us in our government, in our educational system, and yes, even in our churches. While they may be educated, motivated, and even dedicated to the task at hand, they cannot develop and maintain mastery over the spiritual and moral structure of their lives.
Simply put, they have no faith in God so His power and goodness is negated in them. They are morally and spiritually bankrupt. They would like to do good but they don't know how. Eventually their carnal desires override their intelligence and self established goodness and they fail.
"If you do well will you not be accepted?"
It is true. If we accept Jesus Christ we will indeed do well. We will flourish. We will excel.
We will live beyond and above what the mere flesh is capable of.
Keepin' it Real,
Pastor Kevin <><