Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. Proverbs 3:9-10 NIV
Tune Ever Tuesday night in March for the next lesson on the 'First Fruits Offering'
Dial 712.770.4010 with Access Code 824311# at 6pm CST | 7pm EST
Click Here to listen to the audio from the second lesson
Greetings, and welcome back. Last week we started a lesson entitled "The First Fruit"; a teaching series God will be educating us on all month. Now, allow me to be honest - when I started this teaching, it was a one message or one sermon type of teaching. However, because of the overwhelming positive responses I have received - we have expanded the lesson to allow others to gain a more in depth understand of why we give a First fruit, when we give our first fruit, how we honor God by giving it, and what does giving a first fruit do for me. In our first week we learn what a first fruit was as well as a fruit itself. (The first fruit is the first produce/product of a season. While a fruit is the product of a harvest that has the potentials (seeds) to produce another harvest of product.) We also discussed where 'offering' is found first in the bible. (Genesis 4:2-5) We learn that Abel & Cain gave out of their appreciation to God for what was already given. In addition to that we even talked about how Abram often times gave to God out of appreciation, but it wasn't until Genesis 14 verses 18 through 22 that we see him give the first tenth to a Man of God in honor of God; which we learned - Abram was giving out of revelation from the Word of God through Melchizedek.
Nevertheless, here we are this week and I want to discuss the separation we see in our tithe and first fruit. We say last week that "every seed has a harvest, but every harvest isn't fruitful", we'll giving your first fruit is to ensure that is it fruitful. After Melchizedek blessed Abraham both physically and spiritually, he then gives the priest of the Most High God, a tenth of everything he had. This is what we call revelation giving, or what we see as a love offering in the book of Leviticus. How is that, you may ask? Might I suggest Melchizedek confirmed publicly what Abraham prayed privately. Notice the priest of the Most High God spoke in Genesis 14:19 the same words Abram vowed to God with. Then he says "And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand." So Melchizedek then say praise God as well because the battle you just won't was given to you. That battle was the harvest of the promise already spoken by God. Abraham knew that so I believe by faith that he caught the revelation and say let me honor God by giving to this man of God. Because like I stated before at this time they had no temple to give their sacrifice to. Normally, like Cain and Abel, when you make a sacrifice it was just like burning it on an altar. That's why it was called a burnt offering from the very beginning, because they would burn their meals/animals offering it to God. In modern day it would be equivalent to you taking your money and ripping it in half, as a sacrifice from you to God. When the priest spoke and confirm the revelation of Abraham's spirit, Abraham willing knew that it was owed to God, even though it wasn't legislated. Catch this, and we'll take about it more next week but notice in Genesis 22 when God tested Abraham it was to sacrifice his beloved firstborn as a burnt offering to God not a first fruit.
What separates the tithe from the first fruit is that one is legislated and the other is not. You owe God a tenth, but your first fruit is optional. Your tithe is the burnt offering. Your love offering is the first fruit. You cant give your tithe as a first fruit because it spiritual law now to tithe, because of Leviticus 1, but remember Abraham was before Moses. He was giving in first fruit of his possession out if teaching and testing. Leviticus 27:26 is another example of spiritual law: “You may not dedicate a firstborn animal to the Lord , for the firstborn of your cattle, sheep, and goats already belong to him." So the first 10 percent is already God's gift, but you first fruit is a gift given from the other 90 percent. Tithe is to the temple, while First fruit is to the prophet, but it is all giving to honor God. What God was teaching Abraham was how to be a good steward over what he had. Often times, we easily give a small percentage but we struggle with God because we fail to believe he is capable of giving it back. However, I dare you to take a step back and realize, like Abraham, God gave the harvest you barely give out of now. However, in order to overflow you have to honor him with your possessions, and a first fruit. The tithe maintains your personal relationship with God, but giving the first fruit back makes a way for the maintenance or the overflow of what you have. When you tithe it maintains current harvest but giving the first fruit makes sure the harvest multiples. When you tithe is maintains the harvest. When you give a first fruit it makes the harvest fruitful. Remember Abraham wasn't obeying God for him, but he was honoring God for the promise that was on his life. The promise to be great, have plenty, and to be the father of nations.
Next week we'll tackle a more in depth study of the purpose of first fruit.
Tune Every Tuesday night in March for the next lesson on the 'First Fruits Offering'
Dial 712.770.4010 with Access Code 824311# at 6pm CST | 7pm EST
Click Here to listen to the audio from the second teaching
Listen, I want to challenge you to give a First Fruit offering. I understand you may have the full teaching. I understand this sometimes seems like a waste of time and money. However, I want to assure you - it is not. God told Abraham, I will give you many of children and make your offspring numerous but Abraham laughed thinking it wasn't possible because his wife could not conceive. (Her ground/womb could not produce at that time.) Eventually after scattering so many seeds, He was finally able to deposit seed into her and she conceived. After that he reaps a harvest, Isaac. Isaac grows and develops for a season or two. Then God says go give me your best fruit. Give me the first fruit of the harvest you received in the latter season. "Your first fruit offering is not your tithe nor your burnt offering. Your first fruit is a portion back to God in appreciation for the Harvest that you brought in." Your tithes are owed to God, your monthly partnership is owed to God, but your first fruit is something that you offer back in return of a having a fruitful harvest. Sometimes, we sow a gift for a harvest (new job) but then we neglect to give the first fruit (a token of honor or appreciation) back to God for his blessing. Therefore I am challenging you to be a doer and not just a hearer of the Word. So be sure to click on the giving link to sow your First Fruit Seed any time this month.
Click Here to Give Your First Fruit Offering Gift.