As I consider what I can learn from Genesis 4, as I compare Cain's offering verses Abel's offering, I consider these things.
Verse 4 states that Abel brought forth the " first ling of his flock and of the fat thereof", which can be considered the best part, or the choicest portion of what he had.
The reason Cain's offering was rejected was because of his inner heart, that was merely giving with the wrong attitude, and not giving his very best, thus he could not bring forth his offering in faith. But, actually Cain was not just , not giving his best. He was being sinful.
" If I brought money as an offering during the sacrament instead of a broken heart band contrite spirit, not only would it not be my best, it would also be wrong. In fact, it would be disrespectful, rebellious, and blasphemous.
Another example would be paying money to my favorite charity and then rationalizing that I don’t need to pay tithing. Another example would be confessing my sins to the bishop and offering a bribe instead of repenting." - David Shumway
In my own life, I hope that I will not be sinful in my offering, but I will consider how I can be like Abel, and give my very best.
These things cause me to consider as I wake each day, if I am truly giving my Father in Heaven my best as I lay my own life down as my offering unto him daily, thus losing myself for Him? Or do I choose to serve Him in the convenient ways for myself?
Do I wake up daily and decide that I will serve Him, but not even consider asking in my prayers,
" What way would you like me to serve you this day? Please help me to know what you would have me do this day? " and, go on with out a pause or a desire to truly listen to the thoughts that may come?
Do I validate myself because I consider all of the things that I think I need to do , and think of one thing I did that day for Him? And, lay my one action at the feet of God as Cain did, yet, not consider in what way that I could have given Him my best that day? And ask Him in prayer how I could do better the following day?
Do I compare myself to the unbelieving world, and validate my habits of daily prayer, and scripture study as enough of an offering, and not consider stretching myself for Him? Or giving up something that I may want to do, in order to do more for Him in building His kingdom?
I personally desire to work on offering my very best of myself each and everyday to my God.
I can testify that when you do ask what He would like to you to give up for Him, or how you can offer Him the very best, or the fat portion of what you have, He will give the the small and subtle promptings about what you can do, to offer your whole self unto Him, each and everyday. I can also testify that what He would like us to give up each and everyday, will change often. This is why it is important to ask, and listen.
Lastly, I am thankful for the example that Joseph Smith left us in Joseph Smith History 1:29, as he asked our Father in Heaven in prayer that he might know,
" of his state before him" ?
I hope that we can all pray and desire to know what state we are standing in before Him? If we are offering our very best or our fat portions to Him as Abel did?
I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.