“Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce” (Proverbs 3:9 NLT).
I’ve never met anyone who is intentionally planning to fail in life, yet we all know many who are dissatisfied with the status quo that they face year after year. One thing is clear, influential people live an intentional life.
God’s Word is life’s compass. It gives us the instructions to achieve all God has planned for us. One such success recipe is the first-fruit principle.
Most preachers, churches, and ministers like to use this time of the year to remind their constituents about following the first-fruit principle in their financial giving. That is good but this success-principle is much more than giving financially. Today, let me share three different categories of giving God your first.1. Give God your time. How we spend our first five minutes, first hour of the day, or the first week sets the precedence for the rest of the hour, day, and month. Often, we do not have a long spiritual conversation with God, especially if you have a family or a job.
So what does it mean to give God our first time? Like everything else, Jesus is our model. The Bible makes references of Jesus getting up early in the morning or staying up late at night to connect with God. Personally, I like to connect with God throughout the day – when I’m driving, taking a walk, or having a dedicated time in the morning to worship and acknowledge God’s goodness in my life. Whatever your preference is, the key is to connect with God on a regular basis — throughout the day if you can. Here’s the key. Whatever part of your life you involve God with will prosper.
2. Share your talent. Not everything of value has to be monetary. In fact, serving God with your gift can be a huge boost to others. Often we’re encouraged to use our spare time to serve God. Today I’m challenging you to use your talent to serve God first and watch how He’ll bless the rest of our time.
We can certainly serve God in our churches but don’t be limited to an organization or a church building. I have a friend who facilitates young families coming out of debt and staying fiscally fit. Another friend who is an industrialist meets with me regularly on the top of his business hours to give me advice and counsel on developing our international ministry. You can certainly serve as a volunteer in the business chamber, church, or with your favorite charity. One word of caution! Don’t get burnt out. If you’re always made to feel that you’re not doing enough, or unappreciated for sharing your talent, it’s probably healthy for you to find another place to serve.
3. Give God your treasure. God doesn’t need our money. However, what we do with our money reveals a lot about our heart. Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be” (Matthew 6:21). We live in such a material society that money often becomes the driving force in our lives. Even churches and mission organizations spend a bulk of their time and efforts trying to get people to give more. I believe that if we focus on ministering to people, the money we need will take care of itself.
Most Christians are coerced into giving 10% of their income to church. It will benefit us all if we teach people to be generous rather than to nag them. How radical it will be to give away 20, 30, or even 80% of your income! Oh the miracles you’ll see if only you commit yourself to be generous! Give where there are fruits. Share your treasure with the poor and widows for that is the pure religion. Give joyfully and not out of obligation. Give where there is accountability.
By the way, you don’t need to give God anything to be blessed. God has already blessed you. You don’t need another person to stand in for you. Jesus did that! You are blessed because you belong to His family. This year, give God the best of your time, talent, and treasure and watch your life going to another level you’ve never dreamed before.Spread Your Influence: http://www.buildinternational.org
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