Fearless Faith – Giving God Our Best, Colin Munroe, Lead Pastor; Hebrews 11:4, Genesis 4:1-11, Luke 12:13-21 ESV

Fearless Faith – Giving God our Best

Hebrews 11:4 (ESV)
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.

How is Abel’s faith demonstrated in an offering to God?

Why was Abel’s sacrifice more acceptable than Cain’s?

Abel was commended righteous by faith, just like Abraham!

Genesis 15:6 (ESV)
And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness.

What pleased God that He accepted Abel’s gift?

Genesis 4:1-8 (ESV)
Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD.” 2 And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. 3 In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground, 4 and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, 5 but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. 6 The LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” 8 Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.

So, back to our questions:

How is Abel’s faith demonstrated in an offering to God?

Why was Abel’s sacrifice more acceptable than Cain’s?

Luke 12:12-27 (ESV)
Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 14 But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” 15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

Jesus doesn’t mention dishonesty or that he exploited others.

Isn’t this barn builder an example of responsible planning?

Yet Jesus calls him a fool. Why?

Luke 12:18-19 (ESV)
And he said (to himself), ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’

Luke 12:18-19 (MSG)
Then he said, ‘Here’s what I’ll do: I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll gather in all my grain and goods, 19 and I’ll say to myself, Self, you’ve done well! You’ve got it made and can now retire. Take it easy and have the time of your life!’

He effectively stockpiled enough so that he could wine, dine and recline!

Luke 12:20 (ESV)
But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’

The rich fool went to the wrong person and asked the wrong question.

His mistake wasn’t that he planned but that his plans didn’t include the Lord!

Jesus wasn’t critical of the rich fool’s affluence but his arrogance; Jesus didn’t condemn his individual goals but the absence of God in those goals.

Ideally we ask God what He wants us to do with the resources He has entrusted to us. I believe He has a purpose for everything He gives us!

Big idea

Buildup of wealth is a popular defense against fear

We use financial terms like “trusts” and “securities” and we often put our hope and trust in them.

Without God, trusting in stuff makes sense in an uncertain future, but God is a faithful Shepherd and He doesn’t want us to put our trust in money.

Matthew 6:24 (ESV)
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

Luke 12:32 (ESV)
“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

We are told in Hebrews to be content because God is with us:

Hebrews 13:5-6 (ESV)
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

Psalm 37:25 (ESV)
I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.

Our Heavenly Father is the lavish good gift giver and is faithful to provide for all our needs. He is our Good Shepherd and the source of every blessing!

So HE is Generous and Dependable! Do you trust Him?

1 Timothy 6:17-19 (ESV)
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

US News: Almost half the world’s population is living on less than $5.50 a day – Oct. 17th 2018

Proverbs 30:7-9 (ESV)
Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die: 8 Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, 9 lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the LORD?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.

Hosea 13:6 (ESV)
but when they had grazed, they became full, they were filled, and their heart was lifted up; therefore they forgot me.

So how can we escape this? Avoid the mindset that it’s yours and you earned it.

Deuteronomy 10:14 (ESV)
Behold, to the LORD your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it.

1 Chronicles 29:11 (ESV)
Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all.

Let’s contrast the rich fool with the woman in the Temple:

Mark 12:42-44 (ESV)
And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. 43 And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. 44 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

1 Timothy 6:17 (ESV)
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.

Psalm 49:16-20 (ESV)
Be not afraid when a man becomes rich, when the glory of his house increases. 17 For when he dies he will carry nothing away; his glory will not go down after him. 18 For though, while he lives, he counts himself blessed —and though you get praise when you do well for yourself— 19 his soul will go to the generation of his fathers, who will never again see light. 20 Man in his pomp yet without understanding is like the beasts that perish.

Luke 12:21 (ESV)
So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”