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Sacrificial Servanthood

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About the Sacrifice

(NIV)
Genesis 4:2–5 NIV
Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 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.
Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4 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, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

Leaders Launch

The priority of Abel

: Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4 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, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

Sacrifice

This is the first known offering recorded in the scripture and this was a thanksgiving offering not a sin offering. This is important place to start because it reminds us that our sacrifice here is not to make a way to God or to overcome our guilt, the inclination of our heart is to be one of thanksgiving.
I am as human as anyone here…but I have to get a grip of the inclination of my heart. I don’t earn browyn points with God, I respond to God… I in thanksgiving offer my service to him… remembering what he has done. Loved Darrens thoughts on Sunday.
And we see here that ABbel offers the best. Scholars are not too sure the difference between the offerings. But

Abel offers his first.

This isn’t give to get…this is in response to the goodness of God.
He changed his prioirties, it would have no doubt slowed down his income.
This was a thanksgiving offering not a sin offering.
We have pendulumed as a church where now we give God what fits in…
Can makes it fits with his schedule…

Abel offers his best.

Cain offers some of the fruits of his labour. Here it is…here is what I have.

Abel gave in faith

Didn’t give to get - do you know the faith it would have taken - but had seen his parents give and be blessed... knew that god was good. Let’s not give because we have to - to please God, just enough...
This is the first known offring recorded in the scripture and not a sin offering but a thanksgiving offering.
Heb 11v 4 By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings.
Cain was the master of his own destiny and it reveleased a heart not fully devoted.
It should be a warning to us and a challenge to us…
4v7 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.” [1]
And we see here that ABbel offers the best. Scholars are not too sure the difference between the offerings. But
We have a challenge… this is no small thing, not just a motivational talk… we have a challenge and it is to give our first, our best and in faith. If you don’t, if you are slack, if you give God mah, whatever… it will show in the other areas of your life.
Sin is at the door crouching….
Here is the thing about the way you lead and serve this year… You have the chance to honour God, or deal with your heart. That is the advantage of service…
HOW… Well we live in a new testabment so we have an insight they didn’t have…
But the answer is in Abel himself….

Abel leads us to Jesus.

Heb 11v4…And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.
How does he speak… he reminds us of Jesus.
- His blood is shed for his reighteousness…
- Jesus is offered as God’s first. Jesus is offered as God’s best. Jesus is offered in faith for us.
And of course to drive the point home Cain murdered, the first murder ever, perhaps not knowing what he had done. And we too are cains… all of us, all of humanity put Jesus up there on that cross and we too cry, what have we done…we didn’t know. And just like for Abel, Cain could have been utterly cursed, cast out, but in reality God dealt gently with Cain and in many ways he is blessed by grace.
In the same way we too are offered incredible grace. Jesus says of us, ‘forgive them father for they know know what they do…” And in the greatest turn around in history we actually know are blessed by his murder.
Abel offers his best.
And it is that grace, that inspiration, that wonder that causes us to be wholehearted in the way we lead an serve this year. Sure be excited about Catalyst, sure serve the leader who has called out to you, sure be motivated by the people you care for….
BUT ultimately, the power comes from this truth…. Jesus gave his best, his first and in faith for you.
- Priority in time
- Priority in talent
- Priority in treasure

The Willingness of Isaiah

Abel offers his first.
Here I am Lord send me…

The Love of Peter….

Above all love each other deeply
This isn’t give to get…this is in response to the goodness of God.
[1] The New International Version. (2011). (). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
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