As we enter into the New Year, many of us are hearing teachings about offering our first fruits unto God. It is a Biblical principle in the Old Testament that occurred when God’s people brought the first of their increase to dedicate to the Lord. It is still practiced around the world.
While we live in the dispensation of grace, we attract God’s favor when we live by His principles. God is pleased when we honor him with a portion of the blessings He bestows upon us. In the early eighties, when I lived in the Himalayan kingdom of Nepal, poor villagers would bring a bag of rice or vegetables from the increase of the field. Frequently, they also brought live animals to offer unto the Lord. In the Bible days, and in many parts of the world today, agriculture is still the main occupation, therefore; it is fitting for them to honor God in this way.
What about those of us who live in the West? What does the Bible say about first fruits offerings? It is wise for us to remember that everything we have belongs to God. Without His blessings and Him giving us the ability, we have nothing to show for in life. God doesn’t need anything from us. He flung the heavens with stars in galaxies. He paves the streets of heaven with gold. What then can we give to God to honor Him?
Give God your time. We can make more of everything else but none of us can buy more time. When we get up each day and tithe our time, it gives Him great pleasure. "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed--or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42 NIV). Nothing can equal our time sitting at the feet of Jesus and learning from Him. When we give God our time at the beginning of the day, He will add favor and success to everything we touch throughout the day. When we honor God with our time, He can’t wait to send angels our way with special deliveries to prosper us.
Give God your first thoughts. Our thoughts precede our words and our words determine our actions. Every morning when I wake up I say, “Thank you Lord for this day. I bless your Name. Something goooood is going to happen to me today. Bring me not into temptation but deliver me from evil.” Many people wake up with a defeated thought. If we’re not careful, our wrong thinking can eat the best of our day. How we train our minds to think the thoughts of God will determine the quality of our lives on earth. Bad news is everywhere. We wake up to it on social media, newspaper, TV, internet, even at work co-workers announce it to us. I’m all for keeping in touch with what’s going on in the world but let’s guard ourselves from rehashing the negative news playing in our minds. Let’s offer our first thoughts to God so He can permeate our day with His blessings.
Dedicate your firstborn to God. Of course, we’ll do good to dedicate all our children to serve the Lord. But there is a special power released when we offer our firstborn to the Almighty. Often, as it goes with the first child, so it goes with the rest. No matter how grown up our oldest may be, we can still pray for them and impact their lives for the best.
Put God first in everything. Our first fruit offering involving our finances can set the tone of our increase for the year. I speak this from experience – if you can prove to God that He can trust you with the little you have now, He will make you the ruler over much! God doesn’t need our finances. He owns it all. Having a generous spirit protects us from self-destruction. You’ll never be poor giving stuff away. Sow where you want to go. When we honor God with the first fruits of our lives, He has promised to make the rest of it better than what we could have ever imagined. I’m praying for you and your increase. I believe and declare 2015 will be an explosive year of growth for you!
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you" (Luke 6:38 NIV).
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