You know how they say that children learn by repetition? Well, I think God has been using that method with me lately in order to press upon my heart the importance of giving Him the first fruits not only every morning but in everything I do. I had been reminded gently of this truth thru a couple of blog posts that I read recently. It obviously didn’t get thru to me the first time so God reminded me again thru a sermon I listened to while driving 3 hours to pick up my daughter from sleep away camp, and then again thru the Women in the Word series at She Reads Truth when I read about Hannah. But what does it mean to give God the first fruits? I don’t think it’s my place, nor is it my intent to delve into the theological meaning of the first fruits as referred to in the Old as well as the New Testaments, but I’d like to share some of the spiritual meanings that God has been conveying to me lately.
God should be first and foremost in everything I do.
God should be first and foremost in everything I do. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. When we’re in love with someone, they’re our first thought when we wake up in the morning and the last thing in our minds when we go to bed at night. Such should be our relationship with God. I should go to Him first thing in the morning, thank Him first for every blessing, seek Him first in times of trouble and give Him first of whatever I receive. Elkanah and Hannah rose early in the morning to worship the Lord. Moses was in the habit of going up to the mountain to meet with God and always fell facedown first in submission to God whenever confronted with challenges. We are reminded in Proverbs 8:17 (KJV), “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.”
While driving up to pick up my daughter from sleep away camp, I listened to several sermons from Pastor Kjos of Brightmoor Christian Church, a local church. As he gave the example of Mary and Martha, the one message that stood out clearly to me was that God wants us to love Him first and serve Him second. I need to love Him first because He first loved me. We need to sit at His feet and listen to Him first. He is our source of wisdom and strength, and all that we need in order to serve Him effectively. We need His blessings in order to go and bless others.
Offering up the first fruits to God is an act of surrender.
Offering up the first fruits to God is an act of surrender. I am acknowledging and trusting in His sovereignty and providence. It’s also a demonstration of my gratitude as I’m giving God the honor that is due Him. Hannah prayed for many years that God would bless her with a child. When God finally blessed her with a son, she offered him right back to God. She says in 1 Samuel 1:27-28, “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord.” She knew that her son was a gift from God and rightfully belonged to Him. She trusted God to provide and care for her son and raise him up in His will.
Giving my first fruits means
giving God my best and not the leftovers.
Giving my first fruits means giving God my best and not the leftovers. When I give Him the very first part of my day, I am giving the best part of my day because I am eliminating the chance of less important things in my life crowding out time with Him later in the day, and forcing me to give Him my leftover time, if any at all. When I give of my material possessions, I shouldn’t be thinking of myself and my livelihood first, I ought to give without reservation, knowing that what I have is not mine to begin with and that God has already provided for my needs.
Whatever I do in the name of the Lord, I do it with passion and dedication, because nothing could be more important. It says in Colossians 3:23-24 (NLV), “Whatever work you do, do it with all your heart. Do it for the Lord and not for men. Remember that you will get your reward from the Lord.” I give Him my best because He gave us His best, “he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
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