"The Lord is more pleased when we do what is right and just than when we offer Him sacrifices." - Proverbs 21:3
Do you ever feel like Cain? I know that kind of seems like a bizarre question. I'm not talking about the killing your sibling feeling, because those of us with brothers or sisters have probably been there at one point or another. I'm talking about the giving to God and feeling like it's not good enough. You can look at the story of Cain and Abel, and realize what the issue was for Cain.
"When it was time for the harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the Lord. Abel also brought a gift - the best portions of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift, but He did not accept Cain and his gift." Genesis 4:3-5
Cain had a relationship with God, that is clear from the next few verses. He talked directly with God, and he even heard God's voice! So, what is the issue? His attitude!
The Bible says Abel gave the best portions of the firstborn lambs of his flocks, while Cain just gave SOME of his crops. See the difference? Abel cared enough to give the firstfruits of his works. He gave God the best of what he had. Cain, well, he just gave some. The Bible doesn't speak to the quality of his gift.
Who do we most resemble when we spend time with God? Cain and whatever time/effort he could spare? Or do you specifically set aside the best of your time and effort to be with God, like Abel? God knows the difference!
1st Samuel 16:7b "People judge by the outside appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
What does God see when He looks into your heart? Is it the utmost desire to serve Him? Is it obligation because we know we are supposed to do certain things, like tithe? Our heart attitude matters so much more than we can possibly realize.
We have all heard the phrase "Fake it til you make it." Well, Church, it's time to stop faking it.