Thursday, November 18, 2010

THANKFUL THURSDAY...Are you having a Cain or Abel Thanksgiving?

It is hard to believe that next week is Thanksgiving!
As we all begin to prepare our kitchens for the big day, I wonder if we have taken time to prepare our hearts as well?

I was reading the other day about one of the first Thanksgiving's. No, not the traditional Pilgrim Thanksgiving that we all know so well. But the first Thanksgiving with Cain and Abel...

"At harvest time Cain brought to the LORD a gift of his farm produce, while Abel brought several choice lambs from the best of his flock. The LORD accepted Abel and his offering, but he did not accept Cain and his offering. This made Cain very angry and dejected. "Why are you so angry?" the LORD asked him. "Why do you look so dejected? You will be accepted if you respond in the right way. But if you refuse to respond correctly, then watch out! Sin is waiting to attack and destroy you, and you must subdue it." (Genesis 4:3-6)

Here we have one thanksgiving, two men, two offerings, and two totally different reactions.
The Lord was looking for both Cain and Abel to realize Who God was and Who He was not! Thus, creating in my mind, the first Thanksgiving, a challenge of who would give gratefully from their heart.

I don't really know why God rejected Cain's offering, but clearly, Cain had a mind-set that just did not set right with God. Abel, on the other hand, gave his offering with a grateful heart and this caused God to smile back at him.

It is that smile on God's face that I want to see. Yes, the turkey turning out just right is important, and having plenty of seats for all of the dinner guests is also very important. But if giving thanks this year is just to please others and not to please God, something will be missing...His smile will be missing from our thanksgiving celebration!


As we all take time to reflect on life and respond with gratefulness, may we not forget that God cares so much more about the attitude behind the gratitude!

So what is on your menu this Thanksgiving? Are you going to have a Cain or a Abel kind of Thanksgiving? Join us this week for THANKFUL THURSDAY and share with us your TT post by linking up below!


21 comments:

The Paper Princess said...

Great post Laurie. Have a wonderful week!

Ramona
http://create-with-joy.blogspot.com

Whidbey Woman said...

Hi Laurie, Thank you for prompting us to prepare our hearts for Thanksgiving. That is so important!
Happy Thankful Thursday.

Karen said...

A Cain or Able thanksgiving. That is something to ponder for sure! Hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

Lynn said...

Laurie,

What a great story and reminder about the original Thanksgiving. Praising Him and I am sooooo thankful to count you as one of my rich blessings. Love you and Happy Thanksgiving.

It Feels Like Chaos said...

Wonderful perspective on thanksgiving and what is truly important!

sarah said...

gratitude is the best.

Joan said...

Great post, Laurie. In the story of Cain and Able, I don't think it was what Cain brought as an offering, but his attitude. The Lord loves a cheerful giver. I want to have an Able Thanksgiving.

Blessings,
Joan

Kristi Lea said...

I believe God didn't accept Cains offering, because it was all about him. He wanted to show God how hard he worked, and how much trouble he went to to bring this offering to God. Abel's offering was all about God. What would God want. We know that what God wanted the most, was the remission of sins. The sacrificing of lambs was just that, the blood of the lambs resembled the blood of Christ that would ultimately be shed for that remission.

I pray that this Thanksgiving, I will have an Abel heart, and my thoughts will be on "what would God want" not, what can I do to please man, or uplift myself!

Great post!

Jerralea said...

I love your phrase: attitude of gratitude!

Thanks for reminding us to take time to be thankful!

genny said...

here for my TT entry. count me in!

LaughingLady said...

We up in Canada had our Thanksgiving a few weeks ago already, but I like to think we had an "Abel" kind of day!!

Great food for thought here again today!

Harter said...

Thank you so much for this post. It really made me think!

Cora said...

I so want to please God and have a smile on His face! That's what He does for me!

By the way, I can't read all the TT entries. All the links are right margined instead of centered and I can only see #1-18 right now.

Mel Cole said...

I asked same question before when me and my husband had our our bible reading. I usually consult with my husband to the things I did not understand in the bible. He said that Cain's offering didn't please God for his offering is not a sacrifice like how our Lord Jesus Christ sacrificed himself for the the salvation of souls of mankind and for the forgiveness of all sins. Still, a very deep subject. And I learned that an act of sacrifice, is not something we are just happy about, but a feeling of pain plays important role as well. Ok, I don't claim to know about the while reflection thing, but, to be in God's grace, we are ought to move deeply and spiritually guided by the Holy spirit.

Happy Thanksgiving to you.

BTW, I can't see the other people who linked their post in your blog. The Mclinky seemed to be scooted to the right side leaving other links unseen.

bp said...

Interesting to think about this, thanks for sharing.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Bethany

NanaNor's said...

Hi Laurie, Great post. We need to prepare our hearts first before we prepare the meal. Hugs.
Noreen

Godsgalnj said...

oh wow - I really like that insight with Cain and Abel. =) And...I, too, want God to smile on me =)

Great post - Have a great rest of the week! =)

Tiff said...

What a good reminder for this upcoming week. Thanks so much for hosting, and for your thought-provoking words.

Nana Jul said...

That was a great post! I'm planning for an Abel Thanksgiving, and putting God first will help me be able to do that.

Thank you for hosting.
Happy TT and Thanksgiving.

jhunnelle said...

I always thought about sacrifice and not gratefulness or thankfulness every time I read Abel, Cain story. This is something to ponder, thank you for sharing.

Brian the old man said...

I love this story! To me Abel brought the best to God, "choice lambs from the best of his flock" and Cain although he brought a gift he did not give God his best. I think God is always looking for us to give our best to Him. Thanks for sharing and Have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving!