"By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead." Heb 11:4 (NIV)
The best way to learn faith is from people. Why? Because faith is not so much a matter of what you know... it's a matter of who you are It's built not out of knowledge but out of relationships. Take Abel, the first faithful man. Three things happened to him because he had faith. They each point out how faith will affect our lives.
He offered a better sacrifice -- Faith affected his generosity.
What was better about Abel’s sacrifice? Cain offered but Abel offered his best. Faith adds up to a willingness to give your best to the Lord. You can trust Him with it!
He was commended as righteous by God-- Faith affected his relationships.
Righteous is a word about relationships, it points to being in right relationship with God. Preschoolers define it as being God's friend. Faith gave Abel a commendation for his relationship with God.
He still speaks--Faith affected his influence.
The most powerful tool you have for influencing this world is your faith. Why so powerful? Because actions and decisions based upon faith simply last longer. Cain may have cut Abel’s life short, but Abel’s faith still speaks! Want to make an impact? Seminars can hone your skills and organization can improve your opportunities and principles can enhance your planning... but it's all a drop in the bucket without faith.
If you're mathematically minded: Impact = (Skills + Organization + Planning + “Whatever”) x Faith. Great skills times no faith equals zero impact. A few skills multiplied by a great faith adds up to incredible impact.
Family discussion question: Where could you “offer your best” to the Lord right now in one specific way?
Children’s activity: Have your children take an offering to church tonight or tomorrow. Put it in an envelope, on which they write (or write with them) “My best for the Lord”.
LISTEN: To Obey is Better...[Keith Green]