REVIVAL AND REFORMATION
This week I will be speaking at the Reformers Pledge Conference Gathering at Renaissance Church, in Bakersfield, Calif., from Nov. 19 to 22 with Danny Silk, Stacey Campbell and Bob Hartley. The theme of the conference is “Revival and Reformation.” God is raising up His children to usher in a powerful move of revival and reformation. Both are needed and you are called to be one of these world-changing reformers!
FIRSTFRUITS: AN OPEN DOOR TO GOD’S FAVOR
In the Bible you can find hundreds of verses on prayer, and almost the same amount on faith, but there are more than 2,000 verses relating to finances. Jesus talked about money in 16 out of His 38 parables. In Luke 12:34, Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Your heart follows your treasure. God is always interested in the position of our hearts.
One of the ways you can partner with Heaven as you place your heart in the Kingdom of God is by following the biblical patterns of firstfruits.
Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” – Prov. 3:9-10
The first belongs to God. We find this principle all throughout God’s Word, with the first example being in the life of Cain and Abel:
In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor…” – Gen. 4:3-5
The firstfruits is not the same as the tithe. When a firstborn lamb was born in your flock, you didn’t know how many more lambs that ewe might produce. Even so, God did not say, “Let your ewe produce nine lambs first and then give me the next one.” Instead He says, “Give me the very first.”
It always requires faith to give the first. Firstfruits means giving to God before you see if you’re going to have enough.
WHAT DOES FIRSTFRUITS LOOK LIKE?
We see in Scripture that God calls us to bring our tithes and offerings into the house of the Lord (Malachi 3:10). A firstfruits offering could be the first check from your new job. Or if you get a raise, you can give the first portion of your increase.
Years back when I wrote my first book, Into the Fire, I felt the Lord leading me to give all the proceeds back to Him. At the time, the thought of having that extra income was definitely appealing, but I chose to give God my firstfruits—not knowing that I would be writing a dozen more books in the years to come!
You can’t “out-give” god
We’ve been given so much from the Lord—our time, our finances and more. What areas of your life is the Lord prompting you to give Him your first? Is it in how you spend the first hours of your day, or maybe is it with your finances? Whatever it is, God will give you the “grace to give.” Remember, you can’t out-give God.
When you give your first portion to God, the rest will be blessed!