The Bible talks a lot about bringing God your “firstfruits”. To bring your firstfruits means to give God the best of your efforts. In terms of finances, it means you give back to God before spending anything on yourself. In Scripture, it amounted to dedicating the first growth of your crops, or the first born from your flocks and herds, and even your family.
You give back to God first, and the remainder is for your blessing. These days, we don’t often give God our firstfruits. More likely we give Him our leftovers and expect Him to bless us abundantly in return. This is embarrassing at best, but I must admit my own guilt in this area.
Speaking from personal experience, I’ve long been pretty good at returning the firstfruits financially. God has given me a spirit of generosity and He has taught me to hold loosely to material belongings. In other words, trusting God with the money entrusted to me is easy. Where I’ve come to realize I struggle is in time and talent. In these areas God is often left with the scraps I manage to cobble together for Him.
I’m not a natural morning person, but I’ve gotten pretty disciplined at getting up thirty minutes earlier than I would like in order to spend quiet time alone in prayer with God. It’s amazing and I wouldn’t trade it for anything – even more sleep! I like to think this means I’m getting better at giving Him the firstfruits of my time, but I can’t help but think there’s more to it than this. Thirty minutes out of twenty-four hours seems like a paltry offering.
The area I struggle most with is in giving Him the firstfruits of my talent. In some ways this comes back to time. I have no doubt I have been commissioned to instruct, encourage, and strengthen the body of Christ to live lives wholly devoted to Him. The way God has gifted me to do this is through a pen and keyboard. I write what He tells me to in hopes others may be impacted to live as disciples of Jesus. It is when I write I feel most alive because I know I am doing what I’ve been created to do. I must confess, however, making or finding time to write is a constant struggle and a battle I lose more often than win. Instead of firstfruits, I’m giving God leftovers of time and talent.
In what areas of life are you not giving God your firstfruits? Each of us have areas we struggle with more than others. None of us have it all together or figured out. But here’s what I know: God demands our firstfruits and anything less reflects our opinion of God. If we give Him our second (or third or fourth) best, then we don’t see Him as being worthy of our best. Something else is getting our firstfruits, and God calls that idolatry.
Nothing that comes between us and God is acceptable. If Jesus is Lord of our lives, then He comes first. Period. How can we even think it’s okay to give God anything but our best? Hint: it’s not okay. What changes need to be made in your life to give God your firstfruits in terms of your money, time, and talent? Don’t gloss over this. Take the time to do some honest reflection in prayer with God. Ask Him what needs to change and to show you what you need to do in order to honor Him first and only. He deserves better; He deserves our best. Let’s give it to Him.