new zombies

With it being Halloween, I thought I’d kick off  new blog series called New Zombies. I’ve been wanting to write about this for close to a year now. And since “The Walking Dead” had it’s premier on October 31, 2010 (Days Gone By), I thought enough days have gone by for me. Here’s the first installment. Hope it’s helpful and challenging.

It was by faith that Abel brought a more acceptable offering to God than Cain did. Abel’s offering gave evidence that he was a righteous man, and God showed his approval of his gifts. Although Abel is long dead, he still speaks to us by his example of faith. Hebrews 11:4 NASB

Did you know that Abel never had a word of his recorded or written down for anyone to read? When I realized this, I was surprised. I was struck by the fact that in the short time that he lived, God decided to include him in the “Hall of Faith” not because of anything Abel said but because of how he lived. In fact, it was his life that “spoke”.

Read the story of Abel here:

Now Adam had sexual relations with his wife, Eve, and she became pregnant. When she gave birth to Cain, she said, “With the Lord’s help, I have produced a man!” Later she gave birth to his brother and named him Abel.

When they grew up, Abel became a shepherd, while Cain cultivated the ground. When it was time for the harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the Lord. Abel also brought a gift—the best portions of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift, but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected.

“Why are you so angry?” the Lord asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected? You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”

One day Cain suggested to his brother, “Let’s go out into the fields.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother, Abel, and killed him.

Afterward the Lord asked Cain, “Where is your brother? Where is Abel?”

“I don’t know,” Cain responded. “Am I my brother’s guardian?”

10 But the Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground! 11 Now you are cursed and banished from the ground, which has swallowed your brother’s blood. 12 No longer will the ground yield good crops for you, no matter how hard you work! From now on you will be a homeless wanderer on the earth.” Genesis 4:1-12

You have probably heard this saying before: your life is speaking so loudly that I can’t hear a thing your lips are saying. Or maybe you have heard it this way: your talk talks, and your walk talks but your walks talks more than your talk talks! In both cases it is clear: what you do matters more than what you say. Abel understood this as well.

The Main Idea:

Your LIFE speaks LOUDER than your WORDS.

Are you ABEL to have such faith? To trust God to use your life and the way that you live as opposed to trying convince people through your arguments, debates and even conversations? Not that God can’t use your words but how much more your life? And a life that is consistent in words and deeds is much more potent!

Abel’s story has outlived his life. His impact lives beyond the grave. How can we obtain a life of such influence?

The Breakdown:

Bring Your Best

When they grew up, Abel became a shepherd, while Cain cultivated the ground. When it was time for the harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the Lord. Abel also brought a gift—the best portions of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift, but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected.

“Why are you so angry?” the Lord asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected? You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”

Notice what is written in the passages above: Cain brought “some”. It was just something Cain wanted to give. He gave what was “leftover”. God wasn’t happy with less than the best. If we are going to give unto the Lord, (and the Lord requires we give) what we give needs to be of our best and the very first.

By Faith

It was by faith that Abel brought a more acceptable offering to God than Cain did. Abel’s offering gave evidence that he was a righteous man, and God showed his approval of his gifts… Hebrews 11:4

Anything not of faith cannot please God. Hebrews 11:6 is clear on this matter:

And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. NLT

God accepted Abel’s gift not because it was “better” than Cain’s but because it was offered “by faith”. What’s interesting to note is that God gave Cain another chance to offer. All Cain had to do was to admit that he had not given the best by faith. Sadly, he didn’t want to do the right thing.

God rewarded Abel because it was given in faith. Cain was dejected and jealous. The sin grew and lead Cain to commit the first murder in recorded history. Side-note: doing the right thing may get you killed. Living by faith may cost you your life.

Bounded?

Although Abel is long dead, he still speaks to us by his example of faith. Hebrews 11:4 NASB

Our influence is not bound by space and time. Our message and stories can out live us. We can impact people even from the grave as is evidenced by God’s mentioning of Abel in Hebrews 11. It takes great faith to live for something that will matter after we are gone but that is what this life is all about: investing in a Story much bigger than our own.

The Application:

How do your words and life match up?

Do you give your best to the Lord? Or do you give “something”?

Are you living for yourself or for God?

What do you do “by faith”?

Would you risk doing the right thing even if it would cost you your reputation? Your life?

How has God given you another chance to “do the right thing”?

Final Thought:

You will be remembered for something, the question is for what?

 

George Profile George Lockhart is the Creative and Mission Pastor at New Vision Church in Fayetteville, GA and the President of Vision 2 Ministries.

 

Advertisements

One thought on “New Zombies: Abel

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s