A few weeks ago, I taught our Sunday School class of first graders. We’re in Genesis, and the topic was Cain and Abel. Our class discussed why Cain killed his brother—because Cain was jealous God received his brother’s sacrifice and not his. One of the girls raised her hand to asked why God rejected Cain's offering. I explained it was because Abel gave God the best of what he had, while his brother didn’t offer such a costly sacrifice.
As they settled into their coloring activity and color pencils, I sat in a corner of the classroom. I reflected on a discussion I had with a co-worker over a year ago. My co-worker told me her brother enrolled his daughter in kindergarten. The principal of that school spoke with the parents of the kindergarten class and asked for volunteers to help the children safely cross the street. Or, the principal proposed another way to help: the parents could write a check for $250 before the end of the meeting, and that payment would cover their “volunteer” need. It was amazing how fast checkbooks flew out of purses and pockets!
Connecting this observation with our church. Our church does not struggle with financial resources, but we do struggle finding volunteers. Maybe for some of us we need to ask ourselves this question: is giving our money but withholding our time the most honorable sacrifice? If we give what is convenient (money) and not what is costly (time), doesn’t that make us more like Cain than Abel? We must not be like Cain. We must strive to be like Abel. We must seek to give what is costly, not what is easy. If our time is the most important thing in our lives, we must sacrifice that to God. We must give Him our best.
Chuck Hanson with Pastor Chance