“By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts—and by it he, being dead, yet speaks.”Hebrews 11:4

When we live a Christ-filled life, we need not worry about our reputation or remnant that remains after we’re gone.

Whether we realize it or not, every one of us is leaving behind some type of legacy.  For some, this translates into an inheritance for someone else, while for others it refers to how they’ll be remembered.

Now, assuredly, there are those who never think of such things—for they live “for the moment”. . .always trying to “grab for all the gusto they can get”. . .as they frantically flit from one “exciting adventure” to another. . .trying to “drink the cup dry” before they “kick the bucket.”

But, dear Pilgrim, our lives were never intended to be lived in such shallow seas; neither were we created to be proverbial sailboats gliding along on the open waters, driven by every wind that blows.  Instead, we were designed “in the image of God” (Gen. 1:26-27) as spiritual “intentional icebreakers,” helping others find their way to “Jesus, the Author and Finisher of their faith” (Heb. 12:2a).

Truly, it’s only in right relationship with Him that we find life’s true essence and expression.

And, it’s only in Him that “we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28a).

That’s why Abel is featured in today’s Manna as one example of simple faith/trust. We know he was the second son of Adam and Eve after they were forced out of the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:22-4:2).  And, we know he was a shepherd, while his brother, Cain, was a farmer (4:2).

Yet, what’s interesting is that one day they decided to make “an offering unto the Lord” (vv.3-4).  There weren’t any organized churches or religious handbooks to go by; yet, they wanted to worship the Lord, which shows such a need is inherent within us.

So, they set aside a time and place for worship.

Cain brought an offering “of the fruit of the ground” (v.3b), while Abel brought “of the firstlings of the flock and the fat thereof” (v.4a).  Then, we read “And the Lord had respect (Heb. ‘sha ‘ah’—‘to gaze at, inspect, consider, have regard for, show preference for, etc.’) unto Abel and his offering” (v.4b)—which, as we know, incensed Cain and later led to his murder of his brother.

The question is, “How did Abel know what type offering (a blood sacrifice) was acceptable to God while Cain didn’t?”  The answer is “Simply because he’d evidently spent time with the Lord. . .listening and learning His Heart. . .while Cain had been busy doing other things.”  And, the same is still true today, dear Pilgrim.  Only by spending time daily with our Lord can we truly know Him (Phil. 3:10).  And, only then can we rest assured that our life’s work will continue after we’re gone (“being dead, yet speaks”).  Help us to be faithful, Lord.

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated March 20, 2011

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