He told them, The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
In church life – there is a common statement that is very sad. It goes like this – 20% of the people do 80% of the work in the church. At times this might be because the 20% has a hard time sharing or delegating the work load. At times it might be a control issue on the part of the 20%. But most often it is because the 80% aren’t joining in the labors for Christ in the church. Are we part of the 20% or the 80%?
Think about this for a moment. Are we only attending worship in our church and doing nothing else? Are we only taking what the church offers – youth ministry – children’s ministry – family ministry – worship – fellowship events – etc. and not giving anything back? In essence are we takers without being a givers as well?
There is another saying we might be familiar with – it goes like this – you get out of something what you put into it. I wonder what a church would look like if everyone associated with that church were to serve God in some capacity in the life of that church? What if everyone in the church considered themselves workers in the harvest fields Christ has for us? I mean – we can all help somewhere! Right? Continue reading
He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.
The Orioles won again last night (Wednesday) – and so as I write this on Thursday morning for Friday morning – they are 60-46 – the 3rd best record in Major League Baseball. If they win tonight that will make them 61-46 – but that is getting ahead of myself.
I mentioned Sunday – in the sermon titled Let’s Talk About the Pastor – that I loved baseball because I love numbers. I was preparing to be a CPA in college when God called me into the ministry – so I love to crunch numbers and baseball is filled with them. For instance – in order to win 90 games this year the Orioles will need to go 30-26 in their remaining 56 games – very doable. Currently they are playing at a .566 clip and to win 90 they will only need to play at a .536 clip. If they stay at .566 they will end the season around 92-70. See what I mean about numbers? Baseball is filled with numbers. A player that fails 7 out of 10 times for a career can go to the Hall of Fame. Continue reading
1 Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” 2 Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4 But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
The setting was probably a family gathering of some sort – maybe a family time of worship (since all were related to Adam and Eve). The occasion of worship was probably at the end of the year or the time of the harvest. Cain and Abel brought their offerings before God.
This passage doesn’t talk about the size of the offering – as other parts of the Bible talk about a tithe (tenth), alms (above the tithe), or sacrificial giving. It speaks mainly about our heart when we offer to God.
Some commentaries will run with the fruit of the vine and the blood of the animal sacrifice. I really don’t believe that is the trouble here. I do not believe that the Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering because it was a blood sacrifice and on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor because it wasn’t! I believe it is the heart of the offering that matters here.
Cain’s offering suggests that he didn’t bring his best – his first fruit – the portion that God requires. The Bible says: In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The key phrases for me are underlined above. If both were bringing their offerings at the same time – and the difference is not the blood sacrifice – than it must be that Cain bought some of the fruit of his harvest and although Abel brought some of his harvest – it was the best portions and from the first fruit.
In Malachi God is upset at the priest and the people for offering blind, lame, and impure offerings. Could it be here that Cain brought of what he had – maybe even implied here is some of his average crop – while Abel brought the best portions of the first fruits?
Do you give God a tithe and more of your income – your harvest? Or like some – do you offer God the leftovers – after you have taken care of your wants and desires? Will God be pleased by the offering you bring Him?
Just something to think about today as you go on your way.