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Daily Reading: 2 Chronicles 21:1-23:21 ESV, Romans 11:13-36 ESV, Psalm 22:1-18 ESV, Proverbs 20:7 ESV

Daily Verse: “If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.” (Romans 11:16 ESV)

APARCHE (536): “Denotes, primarily, “an offering of firstfruits.” Though the English word is plural in each of its occurrences save Rom. 11:16, the Greek word is always singular.”[i]

Firstfruits offering.

One thing the Bible makes clear, we give our best to God.  Taking the first of our crop and offering it to the Creator makes Him top priority in our lives.  Tithing means giving God the first 10% of your income.  We can also give God the firstfruits of our day by devoting time to Him in the morning before we do anything else.

God knows our hearts.  When we offer Jesus our firstfruits, God blesses the rest.  Living off 90% of your income with God’s blessing makes it far more valuable than 100%.  Everything belongs to God; you can’t outgive Him.  Giving your offerings to God returns what He already owns and shows the Creator the condition of your heart.

Heart challenge.

In his letter to the Romans, Paul talks about firstfruits concerning faith.  If someone gives faithfully, they have their hearts set on Jesus.  But for those who don’t, their branches get trimmed, not connected to the Father.

Engaging our hearts by offering our best to God draws us closer to the Creator.  The action shows where we look for hope and provision.  Instead of turning to the world, we connect with the Big Guy in the Sky.  By doing so, we keep our eyes on Jesus.

Challenge your heart today, and give God the firstfruits of your crop.  Watch how God does more with 90% than you can with 100%.  And as for the age-old question, do you tithe on net or gross income?  The answer lies in another question, do you want God to bless on net or gross?  You choose.

Everything we have comes from above.  Without God, we don’t have life.   In all you do, put God first.  Giving God His due defeats idols in your life and keeps your heart pure.

[i] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Greek Dictionary of the New Testament (p. 32) Thomas Nelson

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