Today’s Scripture: …Hath 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 hearken than the fat of rams. 1 Samuel 15:22

When we look at the passage of Genesis we see many firsts. We see the creation of the first plants and animals and the beginning of mankind through the creation of Adam and Eve. All is good in God’s eyes. Then, things take a very different turn. Man chooses to sin for the very first time as Eve and then Adam take a bite of the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Cast out of Eden, Adam and Eve begin to experience the consequences of sin as Eve endures the first child birth in history delivering Cain into the world.

Several years later, Adam and Eve now have two sons who are old enough to offer sacrifices to the Lord. The time has come for them to obey God in offering the shed blood of an animal. Abel, a shepherd by trade, humbly brings one of the firstlings of his flock and his sacrifice is accepted. Cain, a tiller of the ground, brings of the bounty of the earth rather than offering an animal sacrifice. He has chosen to “obey” God in his own way and his sacrifice is rejected.

Scripture tells us that it is better to obey than to sacrifice. It is our attitude that matters. Our heart is the real issue. It is not only about how loud you sing in church, how many dollars you put in the offering plate or how often you attend. What matters most is why you are doing it. We cannot simply go through the motions out of duty; we must be motivated by our love for our Heavenly Father.

Today, I challenge you to examine why you do what you do. Is it to keep your testimony up before those around you? Is it to fulfill the expectations of your family? Or, are you simply doing it because that is what you are supposed to do? Friend, if any of these reasons are your motivation, you are not only missing out on Heavenly blessings, but you are also displeasing God. God wants your heart. Take time to examine your life today and get right with Him.

Devotional by Jim Scudder Jr.