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IS SERVICE MORE IMPORTANT THAN DOCTRINE?

DEC 9

Genesis 4:1-12
Memorise 1 Samuel 15:22
“…They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him.”

The story of Cain and Abel as told in Genesis 4 is well known. Both Cain and Abel presented an offering to the Lord. Both were earnest and sincere. Both did so presumably as a service to the Lord and wanted to please Him. However, Cain’s offering was rejected by God, while the offering of Abel was accepted. And we know that that made Cain very angry where he ultimately murdered Abel. Why was the offering of Cain rejected while that of Abel’s accepted? 1 John 3:12 tells us that Cain’s work was evil while that of Abel’s was righteous. Hebrews 11:4 tells us that Abel’s offering was done in faith while that of Cain was not. We know that true faith, which is accepted by God, can only be so if it is founded on truth. Faith that is not founded on God’s truths cannot be true faith. In other words, Abel’s offering was done in true faith. Abel had the correct understanding of what God required in an offering and ensured that the offering was done correctly. Abel knew God’s will and obeyed it. On the other hand, Cain did not please God. No matter how sincere Cain might have been, his offering was not what God wanted, his offering was not done correctly, it was not according to God’s will.


In a very similar way, we can err like Cain. Cain chose to serve God in the way that he thought was best, not what God required. He would have known of God’s requirement and chose to ignore it. He tried to come to God on his own terms, and expected God to just accept it. God rejected his work. In the same way, if we choose to serve God in the way we think is best and not according to how God has instructed us to, our service can similarly be rejected. Likewise, unless we know God’s will, we cannot serve God correctly. No amount of service, no matter how sincere and selflessly wrought will make a difference before God. We must not be deceived to think otherwise. If we are to serve God, we must serve Him the way He desires and the correct way to serve Him is told to us in His Word. The better we know His Word, the more likely we can serve Him correctly.


Thought: Why does one serve God in his own way and not God’s way?
Prayer: Lord, teach me to be humble and to serve You in a manner that pleases You.