“But He did not accept Cain and his offering. This made Cain very angry and dejected.” Genesis 4:5

Offering our best to God isn’t enough. We must realize God wants the best according to His standards, and not according to our opinion of what’s best. In the time of Adam and Eve, it was God’s standard that a blameless lamb and the shedding of its blood was the sacrifice He wanted them to offer. This tradition was passed on to Adam’s children. This was God’s standard for it symbolized the coming of His own perfect Lamb, Jesus Christ. This was how Old Testament saints found their salvation—by faith in the coming Lamb. In the same way, this is also true in our present situation: our salvation is possible by faith in the Lamb of God who came, and will come again.

Cain invented his own way of offering. He offered the best according to his own understanding of best. It was rejected in God’s sight. Take note that God rejected both the offering and the one who offered because it wasn’t the right offering, and it wasn’t done with the right heart. Cain’s rage and his murder of his brother Abel revealed what God saw in his heart. We see the outside; we speculate regarding people’s motives and can quickly be impressed. God is not like that—He sees through and through and there’s nothing done in the flesh void of faith that will ever impress Him. On this basis, Cain’s offering was rejected and so with our offerings to Him, which are not done according to His demands.

This is a case of Cain’s rebellion in the form of offering to God. Upon God’s rejection, Cain could have bowed down in repentance and asked Him for another opportunity to do things right. But no; Cain responded in anger, ending in his murdering Abel. God’s rejection of our creative offerings is a divine invitation to repent. The gall inside Cain’s heart became public as he revealed his worst in rage. Let’s remember that offering to God isn’t the end. The ultimate question is: “Is our offering acceptable to God? Did we bring glory to Him? Was it done in faith?” The offering God desires, as David the king wrote, is a broken spirit and a contrite heart. Brokenness leads us to acknowledge our nothingness and our need of God, and openness to Him.

The perfect sacrifice the Father fully accepts is the sacrifice of His Son at the Cross. By faith in Christ, we please God, and in the context of Calvary and the blood of Christ, we offer praise; we bow down to worship; we boldly pray before the throne of grace; and we daily depend on Him for help. This is most acceptable to God. He heals the brokenhearted, binding up their wounds. He is close to those who on call Him in truth. Let’s not rationalize nor invent other offerings God doesn’t require. Let’s not approach Him in the flesh, but by the Cross. Let’s hide in the righteousness of Christ, and in Christ alone we find the Father’s acceptance of our praise, our prayers, and our service.

This excerpt is taken from Moments of Grace written by Arnel C. Tan and published by OMF Literature Inc. To get the full devotional in print or digital format, please visit any OMF Lit and Passages Bookshop or go to