Offerings:Acceptable & Otherwise

Genesis in 3D: Detour  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  49:26
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2 Role Plays: (Props: Overalls, Cowboy Hat, stick horse, SunHat, hoe, weed sprayer, Small grill, Hidden cooler with steak and several veggies, large platter)

Rancher Able:

Enters singing to himself (I’m so Happy..) when he notices the congregation:
Oh, Hi! Let me introduce myself. My name is Abel and I’m the Manager over at the “More than Able” Ranch. Our brand is the >A. We chose that brand because God has blessed me more than I deserve!
I bet you’re wondering why I’m so happy. My heart is full because I have been observing all the great cattle in this area in search of the Best that I can find.
Rusty (pat’s head of stick horse) and I started South Past Bazaar along Sharps Creek (prettiest Black Angus). Mrs. Able sure though the young calves were cute. We think we were able to identify the first calf of the Spring. Then I rode West toward the Wildcat pens before heading North past Peterson Ranch which both had some lovely commercial Cows. I rode up along Fox Creek to inspect the herd grazing there. I guess the lowlands along the Creek sure make the greenest pastures I noticed in the area. Then I concluded my ride up Diamond Creek at the Feed Lots on Crawford Cattle Co.
(Ties reins of stick horse, and brings grill from offstage)
I bought the best I could find from all these great Flint Hills ranchers. Then I selected the Best of the Best to take over to Allen Processing.
So I think I found the best cut, from the best steer, from the best herd, from the best breed because God deserves the very best I have from the very best I can find. God has blessed me so greatly with good stock and protein rich pastures, How could I offer Him anything less than the best?
But I don't want to be selfish. I heard some of you have offerings that you love dearly that you want to give to God also. Bring those stuffies up, if you are willing, and put them next to the grill. After your preacher is done, if God doesn't take them up to Heaven, you can take them back home with you.
This reminds me of an old song that is not in those things you call songbooks, but if we could get Miss Jeanne to play it on the Pianer, I best you could learn it easy enough. (Give of Your Best to the Master)
During Final chorus Able exits, changes hats. After song re-enters as

Farmer Cain:

Man is it hot! The Sun is so bright I sweat all day long trying to raise these vegetables! The only way I can survive this awful heat is to wear this hat to keep the sun off my neck.
But do you know what is worse than the heat? I have come to despise weeds! I hoe them, I spray them, I pull them, and they keep coming back to use up all the ground moisture and choke out all my plants!
I hate the heat and being all sweaty!
I hate the weeds!
I sure wish Dad had not eaten that Pomegranate Mom offered Him!
If it isn't bad enough that I have to deal with this misery, now I hear my little brother Able has gone and given a fancy offering to God. So I guess I ought to also. But I don't have any livestock, except my ox that pulls my plow. Since I can't convince Mrs. Cain to pull the plow, I probably ought to make sure nothing happens to Owen the Ox.
Let's see what I can find leftover from last year's harvest that hasn't been eaten. It looks like this Kale and broccoli are just taking up room in the freezer. If none of you want it, I might as well offer God a veggie plate. Since Ranch Dressing and melted cheese sauce have not been invented in my time, the veggies often go uneaten.
Do any of you have any veggies you want to add to my veggie tray so that you don't have to eat them?
I’ve been told that Elder Crawford is going to be coming by and dedicate these offerings to God.
Walking off: Gloom, despair and Agony on me. Hot heat and steam, excessive misery! If it weren't for weeds, I'd have no crop at all! Gloom, despair, and Agony on me.

Video Bumper & Scripture Reading

We’ve been studying the last 2 weeks and seen that Mankind made a sharp Detour from God’s good Design. This week we see that the Detour continues into the next generation as Adam and Eve’s sons demonstrate contrary behaviors and attitudes.
For us to let this passage say what it intends, we must first view it historically – We’re only talking a few years after the Creation. God has not sent prophets, God has not given His law, God has not required priests, offerings or sacrifices. Something in the conscience of man is prompting the events of this chapter.
Disclaimer: It is essential to note that Cain’s punishment beginning in v.11 is NOT due to the nature of Cain’s offering. The disregarded offering surfaced an anger in Cain. It was Cain’s angry actions that earned him banishment.
Historically we can figure out what Cain and Abel could have, would have and should have.
For us in this room to make sense of this account for our obedience, we must secondly view it Biblically. What else has God said about these events? Since God never contradicts Himself, We must look at God’s interaction with these offerings, and God’s interaction and comments on other offerings, so that we can accurately determine what our practice should be in giving God offerings or sacrifices. If Jesus refers to these brothers in Mt 23 and Lk 11, maybe we ought to pay attention to them also!
Considering the whole counsel of God we can figure out what we could, would, and should do.
We are about to try to drink out of a firehose. I am about to give you so many Scripture references, it will be impossible to fully grasp all of them. By giving you detailed notes, you can go back throughout the week and verify that the points I make come from the verses I provide.
At the end I will give you 2 big takeaways that flow from my big idea that God has been so good to us that He deserves our best

Qualities of Acceptable Offerings (Gen 4:4b)

Voluntary (before the Law)

(Genesis 4, 9, 12, 22, 31, 35: Ex 3, 5, 8, 10, 18) – Cain, Able, Job, Abraham, Jacob, Hebrews before Exodus, Moses, Jethro

First (Dt 18:4)

Deuteronomy 18:4 ESV:2016
4 The firstfruits of your grain, of your wine and of your oil, and the first fleece of your sheep, you shall give him.

Best (Ps 66:15)

Psalm 66:15 ESV:2016
15 I will offer to you burnt offerings of fattened animals, with the smoke of the sacrifice of rams; I will make an offering of bulls and goats. Selah

Proportional (1 Cor 16:2)

1 Corinthians 16:2 ESV:2016
2 On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.

Costly (1 Chr 21:24)

1 Chronicles 21:24 ESV:2016
24 But King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will buy them for the full price. I will not take for the Lord what is yours, nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”

Attitudes Accompanying Acceptability (Ps 66:18)

Grateful (Heb 12:28)

Hebrews 12:28 ESV:2016
28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe,

Generous (Ex 35:5)

Exodus 35:5 ESV:2016
5 Take from among you a contribution to the Lord. Whoever is of a generous heart, let him bring the Lord’s contribution: gold, silver, and bronze;

Genuine (1 Tim 1:5)

1 Timothy 1:5 ESV:2016
5 The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

Contrite (Ps 51:17)

Psalm 51:17 ESV:2016
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Cheerful (2 Cor 9:7)

2 Corinthians 9:7 ESV:2016
7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Attitudes & Behaviors that Ruin Offerings (Gen 4:5a)

Envy (Gen 4:8)

Genesis 4:8 ESV:2016
8 Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.
Cain’s response moved him from disregarded to displaced. From ignored to penalized.

Wrong D eity (Ex 32:8; 1 Kings 18)

Exodus 32:8 ESV:2016
8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them. They have made for themselves a golden calf and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’ ”

Disobedience (1 Sam 15:22)

1 Samuel 15:22 ESV:2016
22 And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.

Deceit (Acts 5:1-5)

Acts 5:1–5 ESV:2016
1 But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, 2 and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? 4 While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” 5 When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it.

Consequences of Ruined Offerings

Rejected (1 Sam 15-17)

Ignored (Zech 7:11-13)

Zechariah 7:11–13 ESV:2016
11 But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears that they might not hear. 12 They made their hearts diamond-hard lest they should hear the law and the words that the Lord of hosts had sent by his Spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great anger came from the Lord of hosts. 13 “As I called, and they would not hear, so they called, and I would not hear,” says the Lord of hosts,

Death (Josh 7:24-26)

Joshua 7:24–26 ESV:2016
24 And Joshua and all Israel with him took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver and the cloak and the bar of gold, and his sons and daughters and his oxen and donkeys and sheep and his tent and all that he had. And they brought them up to the Valley of Achor. 25 And Joshua said, “Why did you bring trouble on us? The Lord brings trouble on you today.” And all Israel stoned him with stones. They burned them with fire and stoned them with stones. 26 And they raised over him a great heap of stones that remains to this day. Then the Lord turned from his burning anger. Therefore, to this day the name of that place is called the Valley of Achor.


Last week we noticed that as soon as God pronounced the penalty for sin, He immediately provided mercy in the form of provision and protection.
This week we find that even following a cold-blooded anger-driven murder, God also punishes Cain (imagine separating a farmer from his land), then Promises protection if anybody attempted to inflict a penalty greater than God imposed.

Sin is serious, but never beyond God’s mercy!

I hope you know me well enough after living among you for nearly 4 years, that I am not bringing a sermon about giving out of some attempt to manipulate or guilt you to give to the Lord’s work.
I am preaching this theme 1st, because it is the next text in our series and the nature of these two offerings cannot be ignored.

2nd, The Lord’s Church is not desperate for your money.

The people of this congregation have a proven record of generosity to the Lord, and our leadership has a history of faithful stewardship to maximize kingdom spread!
I join the Apostle Paul in saying…
Philippians 4:17 ESV:2016
17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit.
Some have tried to swindle God or to ignore the matters of the heart—and it has always ended poorly. Many have tested the Lord’s promises, have honored Him with their resources, and have tasted His goodness.
Our final song will be a reprise of the one that Farmer Able taught us. Join us in choosing to honor God from your heart.
Song of Response reprise of ..... “Give of Your Best
Benediction: 1 Peter 5:10 (ESV) —…the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
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