Abel Hernandez

Recently I was reflecting on why we fail to give our best to others. I say this because a couple of weeks ago, I came across a situation that made me uneasy. Something just didn’t sit right.

My daughter’s middle school group hosted a fundraiser for their church. This fundraiser consisted of selling Christmas trees. They had this event pretty well planned out with all the appropriate signs and the right number of volunteers to guide people to their location. Once potential customers parked their vehicles, they were greeted and we would explain to them how the proceeds of every purchased tree would go to help with the youth ministry. That all sounds fine until something else had to be explained. We would mention to them, that if they simply wanted to donate, they could and the church would donate a tree to a family in need. You may think, what’s the problem with that?

Well let me give you some more insight. The trees were segregated from lest expensive to most expensive. Most people stayed away from the lest expensive trees because they simply weren’t desirable to most families. The nicer Noble trees grabbed your attention and this gave the church an opportunity to earn more money. There were many people who donated money so that a tree could be donated to a family in need. Guess what tree was donated…… Was it the nicest most expensive trees? NO. Was it the trees right underneath the most expensive? No. Well how about the trees right in the middle? No. The trees that were donated to families in need were the lest less desirable trees. The ones that were purposely staged to the far right of the display. The ones no one wanted.

I was left feeling empty and hurt. I questioned many things and at first I was very upset with myself for volunteering. But there was something to be reminded of thanks to this event. We are to give our very best to God always. This attitude should carry over to giving our best to the people around us. Why give those in need our leftovers? How would God respond to such offering? Let’s remember that when Abel gave an offering to God, it was the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. It was the best and not the least.

People of God, let’s be faithful servants. Let’s treat others as they should be treated. Let’s give our very best. The very best means the best of our abilities. It’s sacrificial. This should bring us joy and not heartbreak.

Genesis 4:4 English Standard Version (ESV)

and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering,

Malachi 1:6-14 English Standard Version (ESV)

6 “A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the Lord of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. But you say, ‘How have we despised your name?’ 7 By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say, ‘How have we polluted you?’ By saying that the Lord’s table may be despised. 8 When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the Lord of hosts. 9 And now entreat the favor of God, that he may be gracious to us. With such a gift from your hand, will he show favor to any of you? says the Lord of hosts. 10 Oh that there were one among you who would shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire on my altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you, says the Lord of hosts, and I will not accept an offering from your hand. 11 For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be[a] great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts. 12 But you profane it when you say that the Lord’s table is polluted, and its fruit, that is, its food may be despised. 13 But you say, ‘What a weariness this is,’ and you snort at it, says the Lord of hosts. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick, and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the Lord. 14 Cursed be the cheat who has a male in his flock, and vows it, and yet sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished. For I am a great King, says the Lord of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations.

Acts 5 English Standard Version (ESV)

1 But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, 2 and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? 4 While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” 5 When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. 6 The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him.
7 After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 And Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you[a] sold the land for so much.” And she said, “Yes, for so much.” 9 But Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” 10 Immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.

#GiveYourBestToGod #GiveYourBestToThePoor #BeSacrficial

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