The offering that God pleases is the one that is related to the Blood of Jesus. Your life is related to the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.
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. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.
(Hebrews 11:4 NIV)
Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.
(Proverbs 3:9-10 NIV)
The offering given by Abel had a very special meaning; he chose to give the best of his flock, because God, the only Creator, deserves the best of all things.
His offering was generous and redeeming. He chose an animal that would be the substitute for his sins, recognizing that his life, compared to God's, was of little value.
The Lord values the faith of Abel over that of Cain. Even though he also brought an offering to God, it was not received with thankfulness, because it was accompanied by littleness, indifference, selfishness and lack of recognition of who his Creator was.
1. Decide to be part of the Kingdom of God: We know that in the world there are two spiritual kingdoms: the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of the enemy.
The enemy always tries to conquer people, making them slaves of material things. This is when a strong desire is awakened in the hearts of people to have a lot of money, without caring about those who suffer from it.
God does not need our money nor our offerings, but He gave us the privilege that we could offer voluntarily. When God established the offering, He did it to test our attitude. God tests our hearts to see the way we are offering. The Lord has given us some principles on the importance of giving; To Cain and Abel, God did not tell them that they had to offer, but they were moved to offer to God. Abel prepared his offering because he wanted to give Him the best.
Think about what a child loves most: his toys. And if we told him to share something with us, he would surely avoid giving us those toys. But when you have a commitment to God, you give Him what you love the most.
2. Your offering is just a reflection of your character: When the Lord entered the temple, He looked at what the people were giving. Some deposited large sums of money, but a widow only gave two coins. At the end of the meeting, Jesus asked His disciples what they thought about the offering. They replied that there were very generous people and others very modest (referring to the widow's offering).
The Lord then told them that they were wrong in their judgement, because those who apparently had given generously, gave from their left overs, without effort. However the widow gave an offering that pleased God because it was all she possessed. The Lord always asks for an offering that costs us something, and not just any offering, because He asks for the best.
Abel's offering was recorded in the Bible, because he gave his best. What offering would you give to God so that you could touch His heart? Abel thought of the flock, and taking the best of it, he presented it to God. But why did his offering become the best offering? There is an explanation behind it: With this offering Abel was saying to God that he offered his life to Him and that he wanted to die for Him. But since he could not do this, instead he offered Him that animal with its blood, as a sacrifice.
The writer to the Hebrews said:
In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
(Hebrews 9:22 NIV)
That offering that Abel was presenting was becoming the prototype of Jesus Christ. Christ is God’s offering, and He offered Himself for the redemption of all mankind. If Jesus did not offer Himself as a sacrifice, no one would be saved. That is why Scripture says:
Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
(2 Corinthians 9:15 NIV)
3. Jesus offered Himself for us: There is only one God, the Father. Jesus Christ is the only way to reach God. He said:
"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
(John 14:6 NIV)
Jesus became the way because He gave His life for us. He paid the price in our place, because we deserved to die. Our sins led us to death and destruction. But one day Jesus took our place and offered Himself to God, so that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but shall have eternal life.
When we accept Jesus into our hearts, we are offering our best to God. It is as if we appear before Him and say to Him: Lord, I present myself before You through Jesus. Accept me, for I give myself to You today in the same way that Jesus gave Himself to me. That is the offering that pleases God, an offering that touches His heart, a genuine offering.
On the other hand, there was Cain. He did not give a good offering, because he gave an offering out of his ability, his capabilities, taking the fruit of the earth and giving it to God from the sweat of his brow. God rejected that offering! Works do not count for salvation, only the blood of Christ. If a person has not been washed with the blood of Christ, he cannot be saved, because the only thing that washes away our sins is the blood of Jesus.
4. Giving our best offering: The apostle Paul says that we were saved so that we may walk in good works. After salvation, we should start to do good works. God asks that we give our best offering, our life. But He also confronts us to give up what we love the most.
The proverbist said: "Cast your bread on the waters, distribute to seven and even eight because you do not know the evil that is to come on the earth." When you give to God, you can never give more than He gives you. There is not a single person who can say that he gives more than what God gives him. No one is able to beat God in giving.
With my daughter Sara, we used to play a game that if she kisses me, she should give me a dollar. If I kiss her, she charges me a dollar. One day I gave her five kisses, and I paid her five dollars. She was happy, but I was surprised! Because after a while she came and gave me twelve kisses and paid me twelve dollars. She understands that she cannot give more than what her father gives her. Because if she gives twelve kisses, her father will give her twenty-four kisses eventually. She knows what faith is.
So it is with God as well: When you have a generous heart, you don't question God, but you give with all your heart and then God rewards you. Remember, you can never give more than God gives you. God always loves a cheerful giver.
God was so pleased with the offering Abel gave that it is still remembered on earth today. Abel is remembered for the offering he gave.
5. Your offering is an argument in your favor: When you offer or tithe, this becomes an argument in your favor. When someone does not tithe, an evil spirit shows up before God with arguments to accuse that person. You may remember the centurion who had a sick servant and the elders went to Jesus and said to Him: Lord, it is worthy that you grant him this, because he loves our nation, and he has built us a synagogue. That was an argument in favor of the centurion.
This means that when you have a need, in the spiritual world the angels appear before God and tell the Lord that it is worthy to grant you what you need. These angels will be presenting the report of the offerings that we have given, of how we have blessed the church, of how we have used the finances for the Kingdom of God and that becomes an argument in our favor.
The apostles said to Jesus: Lord, we have left everything to follow you, then what will we have? And the Lord said: Truly I say to you that there is not a single one of you, who has left houses, lands, goods, family for the sake of me and the kingdom of heaven, who will not receive a hundred times more in this life and in the other eternal life.
Of all that you give, the Lord in His heavenly bank says: He earns a hundred times more than he has deposited.
If you have not given correctly to God, you should break that curse. In order to do that, arguments in favor are also needed. Give an extra offering to cancel those arguments, and you will break every financial curse. Then make a covenant of faithfulness with God.
6. Your offering determines your excellence: There is a Greek word called "areté", which means "excellence". The areté of an athlete is the way he runs the race. He wants to have excellence, to be the best.
The areté of a housewife is the excellence in how she conducts her home. The areté of a teacher is excellence in the way he teaches his students. The areté of a Christian is the way he relates to God. When the Lord says that Abel gave a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, He is referring to the fact that the excellence of a Christian is determined by the way in which he gives.
God rescued one of the pastors on my team from a terrible life he had before. Hardly converted and just getting to know the Vision, he made a covenant with God. He declared that of the seven days of the week, he was going to dedicate six to the Lord, leaving only one for himself and his work. And that's how he did it: He worked only one day, but on that day God blessed him so much that he made all the profit for a week in just one day of work. On the other six days, he was dedicated to doing God's work: calling, visiting, and consolidating people.
God began to bless him in an incredible way: giving him people, pouring out anointing on his life and helping him in every area. Last year, in one week he did twelve evangelistic events and won 6000 people for the Lord. All because he made a commitment to God.
You have to ask God to give you that excellence as a believer. In this way you offer Him your life (not what you want) for what God wants you to do, with the purpose of enlarging His Kingdom.
7. Your offering leads to blessing: Faith to offer is the same faith that leads us to conquer finances, because:
The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, without painful toil for it.
(Proverbs 10:22 NIV)
In the book of Haggai, chapter 2 verse 8, the Lord said: "The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the Lord of hosts." Money belongs to the Lord, and the devil has stolen that money, giving it to his people to enslave them and to have control over them in a tyrannical way.
Through the prophet Jeremiah, the Lord said:
“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.”
(Jeremiah 17:9-10 NIV)
God knows that man's heart is full of deception. In order to bless His children, He first has to prove what direction those hearts have taken. For this reason, God allows people to go through certain circumstances in their lives, which will lead to a total detachment, both from themselves and from the goods they have acquired.
I know that the Lord wants to give each of His children the provision they need. He always does it in a much broader way than they can imagine, for God's heart is extremely generous. Furthermore, all men of God were tested first, before they prospered.
8. Understanding the meaning of prosperity: I think it is important to understand that there is a big difference between being prosperous and being rich.
Normally, when it comes to being rich, it refers to a wealthy person who owns many things. But a person can be prosperous without being wealthy or rich. For example: When Jesus lived on earth, He had no wealth, but He was prosperous; We could not say that the Lord was poor. He was prosperous, because a poor man cannot feed more than ten thousand people and that is what the Lord did.
Jesus did not walk with a lot of money in His pocket, nor did He possess it when taxes were collected from Him. But He knew that there was a source of provision directly in God. He said to Peter: "Open the mouth of the fish and take out the coin." The Lord used the bank account of a fish. He said: "Cast the hook, don't bait it, and in the first fish you take out you will find a coin, and pay our taxes with it." In this way we check the prosperity of the Lord.
Although He did not boast of material goods, there were always people who welcomed Him, who opened their houses to host him. That is prosperity.
The whole earthly ministry of the Lord was prosperous. This is seen in His ability to heal so many people. Out of His prosperity He was giving medicine, wisdom, and enriching many people. The Lord lived in the dimension of prosperity.