A Matter of the Heart

Today’s Readings

Genesis 4-6

Matthew 2

The man Adam knew his wife Eve intimately. She became pregnant and gave birth to Cain, and said, “I have given life to a man with the Lord’s help.” She gave birth a second time to Cain’s brother Abel. Abel cared for the flocks, and Cain farmed the fertile land. Some time later, Cain presented an offering to the Lord from the land’s crops while Abel presented his flock’s oldest offspring with their fat. The Lord looked favorably on Abel and his sacrifice but didn’t look favorably on Cain and his sacrifice. Cain became very angry and looked resentful. The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why do you look so resentful? If you do the right thing, won’t you be accepted? But if you don’t do the right thing, sin will be waiting at the door ready to strike! It will entice you, but you must rule over it.” Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” When they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. (Genesis 4:1-8, Common English Bible)

A woman met her pastor at the door after Sunday services. She handed him a check made out to the church for

and asks the pastor, “Is this enough?”

The pastor replied, “If it reflects your heart?”

The woman took back her check but was back in the pastor’s study bright and early the next morning. She gave the pastor another check. This time it was for $500. She asked again, “Is this enough?” and once again the pastor told her, if it reflects your heart.

She again took back the check and left. It was three days before she returned again. She gave the pastor a check. This time it was made out for $5000. She said to the pastor, “I can truly say this reflects my heart.”

The pastor said to the woman, “That is all God asks of us.”

That is all God asks of us. It was a concept Cain really didn’t understand. He is angry because his offering was rejected and God accepted his brother’s offering. Cain gets angry with his brother as if Abel was the one to reject Cain’s offering. As a result Cain takes out his anger on Abel. And, Cain’s anger was fatal and permanent. That Abel gave more than Cain might have driven Cain’s anger. Cain didn’t understand that even if Abel had given nothing, Cain’s offering would still have been rejected. Perhaps if Cain gave his entire harvest? It wasn’t even about how much or what Cain gave, it was about the condition of his heart.

The same can be said for us. It isn’t about what we give or how much we give. It is a matter of the conditions of our hearts.

Does what we give reflect our heart?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,


Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved.

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