October 26, 2017

2 Corinthians 9:7 (NLT) — 7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”

The following story illustrates how important it is to give to the Lord.

2 Kings 4:42–44 (NLT) — 42 One day a man from Baal-shalishah brought the man of God a sack of fresh grain and twenty loaves of barley bread made from the first grain of his harvest. Elisha said, “Give it to the people so they can eat.” 43 “What?” his servant exclaimed. “Feed a hundred people with only this?” But Elisha repeated, “Give it to the people so they can eat, for this is what the Lord says: Everyone will eat, and there will even be some left over!” 44 And when they gave it to the people, there was plenty for all and some left over, just as the Lord had promised.

The unnamed man in this story brought the first grain of his harvest to the Man of God. The man’s name wasn’t recorded because the Holy Spirit didn’t want us to focus on the man but on what the man did. This man knew that the first fruit of his labor belonged to the Lord; so in obedience he gave it.

Exodus 23:19 (ESV) — 19 “The best of the firstfruits of your ground you shall bring into the house of the Lord your God.

Proverbs 3:9–10 (ESV) — 9 Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; 10 then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.

When we honor God he honors us and powerful things happen. Look at what happened in the story just because one man honored the Lord. Nobody pressured or forced this man to give. Apparently he gave willingly and cheerfully and because of that many people were blessed and according to our verse in Proverbs so was that man.

Remember that little boy in the New Testament who decided in his heart to give his lunch to Jesus? (John 6)That was his first fruit and he gave all of it. I imagine to that little boy Jesus was a hero. I mean how many people do you know that could raise the dead and open the eyes of the blind. When one of Jesus’ guys said that Jesus could use some food the little guy was only to happy to give all that he had to his hero.

Jesus said that we should have the faith of little children. Now I know why. We adults question all this giving of tithes and offerings but the little guy didn’t question at all; he just trusted Jesus and many thousands of people were blessed and I bet the little guy was too. I imagine he grew up to be a tither and an offering giver and a server just because his hero asked him to.

If you aren’t already doing it give the Lord the first fruit of your money, your time and talents. When you get a paycheck write the first check out to the church where you are being fed spiritually. Don’t wait and see how the month goes. What show of faith is that? Would you really give your hero leftovers? Our hero has asked us to honor him.

Show Jesus that he is truly your hero and give him the best of your time when you are alert and energetic. Let Him lead you to whom you could serve with your alertness and energy. Right now Lori at Hilltop is looking for volunteers for Family Fun Night. Why not call the office and volunteer and see what the Lord does with that first fruit of your time. I am sure many will be blessed and you will to.

Romans 11:16 (NLT) — 16 And since Abraham and the other patriarchs were holy, their descendants will also be holy—just as the entire batch of dough is holy because the portion given as an offering is holy. For if the roots of the tree are holy, the branches will be, too.

What Paul is saying here is that when we give of the firstfruit of our money, time and talent it blesses the rest of what we have! We will always have the money we need, the time we need and talent we need. Now that is better deal than the Kids Meal Deal at MacDonald’s:)

Be Inspired Hilltop!

 

Comments

  1. Mary Anne Frank says:

    I also thought of the woman at the temple who gave only 2 pennies and it was all that she had. She obviously loved God and trusted Him to provide for her. Oh that I would love Jesus so much that I would give Him all that I have not just a tithe.