By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. (Hebrews 11:4, ESV)
What will make your life story a legacy of blessing to your children and grandchildren? How can you ensure that your voice will continue to be heard, not as a voice of discouragement but one that fortifies the ones you love? Believe God’s promises! Live for the kingdom and pray for its coming. Don’t give up trusting that what Jesus did for us is only the beginning of restoring all things to the pristine glory of the garden of Eden.
Abel and Cain were of that generation whose parents lived in the garden and who saw the introduction of rebellion into God’s kingdom on earth. But each of them took a different path in light of that reality. Abel brought an offering to God in faith that God was in the process of restoring all things and was repentant for his own rebellious heart. He was trusting in God’s promise that He would raise up a seed who would eventually crush the head of the serpent who tempted his parents to desert the Living God.
Cain, on the other hand, took the path of demanding that God make his life one of comfort and joy. He couldn’t wait for the restoration. And when his brother was commended by God and his offering was not, his jealousy took a lethal turn. Abel’s faith spoke as his blood cried out from the ground. Abel still speaks as one who lost his life in the service of God’s promise. He did not believe life was to be found in the things of this world, but in God’s promise alone.
If you were the Hebrews and reading or hearing this account you couldn’t help but think of how one of the reasons you felt like leaving Christianity was the suffering you had experienced in life. This in fact is the cause of many who profess faith in Christ to give up on Christianity. They think it is their merit badge that should bring God’s unmitigated blessing on their lives and suffering should be a thing of the past. It is not.
Your children and grandchildren won’t look back on your life and say, weren’t grandpa and grandma so cool the way they gave up on God, got bitter about life, and gave us an example of those who don’t believe.
Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you. —Shannon L. Alder