You forgot to bring lunch to work. But you need a break so you just go hang out in the cafeteria. A friend sits next to you and offers you a banana. Well, thanks, yes.
Your friend pulls two bananas out of a brown paper bag. One of them is brownish-black, squishy, oozing some kind of rotten smelling liquid, and attracting a few dozen fruit flies. The other is bright yellow, fresh smelling, and firm. Which would you prefer?
“Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops” (Proverbs 3:9). God loves you so much that he put you first, ahead of his own Son, Jesus Christ.
When it came to dishing out justice for sins, he put you first, and his own Son last, so that Jesus paid the price of punishment when he died on the cross.
When it came to a place of honor, he put you first, and humiliated his own Son, Jesus Christ. Then Jesus rose from the dead and came back to life!
Jesus was the first one in history to conquer death, and he did it to break death’s power not just for himself but for you. Jesus is a firstfruits gift of God for you!
More than that, the Bible says, “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things” (Romans 8:32)?
God gives to you so generously! So don’t make God the eater of your leftovers. Give him your first and best.
One of my seminary professors told us he experienced this in the first church he served as a pastor. A man drove up to the church in a truck with a trailer, and on the trailer was a riding lawnmower. It appeared that he’d be mowing the church lawn with a lawnmower that looked well used, caked with green grass, and belched a bit of blue smoke when he backed it off the trailer. But instead of mowing, he drove it up to the front entry of the church.
The pastor met him there, and the man on the riding lawnmower said, “Pastor, I want to give the church this riding lawnmower. It works great, but I bought a bigger, newer one.”
The pastor boldly told the man, “I’m sorry, but we can’t accept this.”
“What do you mean?” the man innocently asked.
“Well, it’s not your firstfruits,” the pastor explained. “God doesn’t want your used lawnmower. He wants your new one.”
The man turned around and left quietly. Later that day he returned with the same trailer, and the new lawnmower. Firstfruits.
What do you think that man experienced from that point on, each time he mowed his lawn with his old mower? Or whenever he used the new one at church? Honor. Worship. Joyful generosity.
At CrossLife we teach firstfruits giving as a portion of income that is offered to God—the first and best. Experience the honor, worship and joyful generosity that comes with firstfruits giving!
PRAYER: God, you generously give me your own Son and all things. And you ask me to honor you with my firstfruits, which I want to do more generously and more joyfully. Help me grow in faith and to give you my firstfruits gifts, then experience the honor, worship and joy of living generously. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Read 1 Corinthians 16:1,2. What habits of firstfruits giving do these verses teach?