“If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” — Genesis 4:7
Hall of Fame NBA coach Pat Riley expected his players to be “all in,” whether you were a starter or bench player. “There are only two options regarding commitment: You’re either in or you’re out. There’s no such thing as life in between,” he said.
Cain and Abel’s story in the Bible shows us God couldn’t agree more. Abel was a shepherd; Cain worked the ground. Cain presented “some” of the fruit of the ground as an offering to the Lord, while Abel gave of his “firstborn” and “fat portions.” The Lord had regard for Abel, but not for Cain’s offering. Cain thought if he gave some to God, that should be good enough. But we see that Abel didn’t just bring some, he brought the best of what he had in faith.
Too often we think as long as we give God some of our attention, hearts or gifts/talents, that should be good enough. God didn’t reject Cain’s offering because it meant nothing to Him; He rejected it because it didn’t mean anything to Cain. God does not want our leftovers, He wants our best.
Our relationship with God is not transactional, it’s transformational. We don’t give to God so we get from God — that’s transactional. We surrender everything to God so He can change us from the inside out. God’s desire for us is to be transformed by Him, and that only happens when we go all in with Him.
— Sarah Roberts, University of Oklahoma softball chaplain
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