If the Lord gives the increase , then we will give the first fruits back to Him.
It’s been a guiding principle in our lives, in our family for a decade. The pay check is greater, so a greater tithe follows. A new (er) car is purchased, and the first trip in it is one of service. Our first guests in our new home are a homeless couple. The Lord blesses us with a new child (and another and another and another) and we find ways to help mothers and fathers with hungry, naked, broken children become full, clothed and whole again. Sometimes the giving is at great cost, at great sacrifice. Sometimes it means saying “no,” when everyone else is saying “yes.” Sometimes, regrettably, I begrudge the giving. Sometimes I turn the neighbor children away from our play set and popsicles because I don’t like the finger prints and muddy tracks they leave in their wake. Sometimes, when things seem tight or when I can’t see where God’s provision is just around the bend, I hold tightly to what we have, not wanting to share or trust that He will provide.
But, He does. Abundantly. In miraculous and practical ways. We have never been truly hungry. Never gone naked. Never been crushed. Never been left alone.
And this beautiful thing happens when we allow Him to stretch us beyond what we once knew…we learn to trust, to rest in a deeper knowledge of Him. We see more clearly His great love for us and for the details of our lives. And we become more intimately connected with His people…you know, those same ones who leave sticky fingerprints and muddy footprints all over our lives. We see Christ in them because Christ is at work in us.
Today, what “first fruits” will you share? Your time…who can you serve? Your talents–who can you bless? Your resources–what abundance can you part with to meet the need of another? Your friendship–who is lonely and hurting? Your Jesus–the Ultimate First Fruit over all creation who can and will bring hope and healing.
Father, help me to be more obedient. Help me to open my hands and release all that You have given to me over to Your purposes. Thank You for Your abundant supply. In Jesus’ name, Amen.