Monday, July 25, 2016

First Fruit Offering

First Fruit Offering
The old testament introduces a clear cut plan for prosperity and blessing. It is revealed in Exodus 13. It is known as the “Law of First Things.”
Every first-born child was to be consecrated to the Lord. Every first-born animal that was male was given to the Lord. In Exodus 23:19, the first of the first-fruit harvest of the Lord was brought into the house of the Lord. These were brought unto the priests who set it before the Lord as an act of worship.
In Deuteronomy 26:13 the first-fruit offering was called a tithe (tenth). It was called a “hallowed thing” and served the needs of the priests, the widows, and the poor.
In Proverbs 3:9 it says, “Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the first-fruits of all thine increase.” To honor God this way, brought glory to Him. The attached promise to the tithing principle in verse 10 says, “So your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.”
God receives honor and glory and He blesses His people when they recognize Him as the source for all that we have and when we give Him the best part of what we have. If God is first in our lives, then all is in order. If He is not, then all is out of order.
Principle of Putting God First
When Isreal moved into Caanan, there were ten cities for them to conquer before they could settle in the land. The first city they conquered, God told them that they were not to touch anything in that city. Everything in it belonged to God. They could have everything in the next nine cities. In Joshua 7 Isreal was judged harshly because someone had violated God’s word not to touch anything or keep anything for themselves. It all belonged to God. Achan couldn’t trust God’s provisions so he stole something from that city, which belonged to God.
In Leviticus 27:30, God said that “all the tithe is the Lord’s.” God never changed His mind about honoring Him first. His promise is to take care of His people. God wants this church to be fully resourced from within. Giving is such a big part of growing. Giving always produces increase.
Giving tithes and offerings does not buy God’s blessings. It does release God’s blessings upon our lives. When we started the church in Shell Lake I was 30 years old. I left my secular job to move into full-time ministry. We started out with the least amount of money we ever had in our life. We wanted God to be first in everything. We started out by giving a tenth of our income to the Lord. God put missions on my heart so we began to add another tenth of our income to be given to missions. This came from our limited income. God released a miraculous flow of blessing upon our finances to meet all of our needs. Generous giving is proof of our faith and love for God. More scriptures on tithes, offerings, and giving are found in: Malachi 3:10-11, Proverbs 11:24, Luke 6:38, and 2 Corinthians 9:6-8.

Pastor Amundson