God has really been dealing with me about honoring the Lord with the first fruits of my possessions. And I’m not just talking about money. But everything that I have.
It started a couple of weeks ago, but has been getting more and more urgent this week. On Monday, I really felt that I need to really get serious with my prayer life and Bible reading.
It’s not as though I wasn’t reading my Bible or praying at all. But it was
sporadic. I let a lot of things come in and steal my time. I would pry throughout the day and read the Bible via a app on my phone here and there, but nothing consistent or at a specific set apart time.
So on Sunday, I set my alarm for 5:30 am.
Then on Monday morning (and every morning since), when my alarm went off, I got up and took the dogs out and then read a little of the personal development book God has laid it on my heart to read. Then I started reading Proverbs. Then I sat there and prayed before getting ready to get ready for work.
As a side note, I started reading Be The Leader You Were Meant to Be by Leroy Eims on Sunday night. I saw it while cleaning up last week and God reminded me that a friend of mine gave the book to me years ago and I never read it. So God kept putting it on my heart to read it. It is a very anointed book, I highly recommend it.
Now back to the subject at hand.
This morning during my devotions, I was reading Proverbs 3 when I came across the following verses: “Honor the LORD with your possessions, and with the first fruits of all your increase; So that your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.” verses 9-10.
Now I’ll add a disclaimer here. The is not a prosperity or name it and claim it message. God will not be manipulated nor is He a magic genie in the sky who grants your ever “wish” prayer. But there is a basic principle at work here.
If you are not faithful in the small things, with what you have, God will not trust you with more things. (Luke 16:10-12) God will only trust you with more if you are are faithful with what ou have.
Then when I was driving to work, I heard a message on the radio on the subject of giving. In this message, the speaker used then example of giving away the stuff we no longer need or use like clothing, appliances, shoes, etc to those we know could use them instead of selling them. Or even giving away things you do use if the Holy Spirit tells you to do so.
It says in Proverbs 3:27-28: Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so. Do not say to your neighbor, “Go and come back, and tomorrow I will give it,” when you have it with you.
Now giving should be done of love from you heart to the LORD without any selfish motive. And not because you were manipulated into it by someone else.
While its true that God’s word does say “Will a man Rob God? Yet you have robbed me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.” Malachi 3:8. It goes on to say in verse 10: Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and prove Me in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of Heaven and pour out for you such a blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. I’ll let you look up the rest of this chapter to see what it goes on to say for yourselves.
We are not just to give so that we’ll be blessed. But because we love God and want to honor Him with all that we have, not just 10%. Although, that is a great place to start.
The blessing He will pour out on us is so that we will have even more to give those around us and to those in need that He sends to us. It is not so that we can store it up for ourselves. Remember the parable of the rich farmer? (Luke 12:16-21)
I could go on to quote many more scriptures like Matthew 25:14-29, Luke 16:9-13 etc. But I will spare you the time. Although, I strongly encourage you to look up these scriptures and study what all God has to say on the matter of giving and money.
The Bible has more to say on these two things that just about any other subject.
Again, this is not meant to guilt you into going anything. Nor am I advocating trying to manipulate God (as if you could).
I’m only sharing what God has been laying on me heart. That if we are not faithful stewards of what we have been given, how can we expect God to trust us with more?
Think about it, if you had an employee who wasn’t faithful with doing his job or what you’ve entrusted to his care, would you trust you them with more responsibility? Of course you wouldn’t! And if you wouldn’t, why would God?
I must again point out that God (and I) are not just talking about your money. This principle applies to your time, your attention, etc. It applies to all of you possessions. Everything that God has giving you and trusted you to have stewardship over.
God doesn’t want you to just throw money at everything and walk away. He wants all of your first fruits, not just your money.
Jesus, died to purchase all of you. So He deserves the first fruits of our time, our love, our attention, etc. He deserves nothing less than all of us, of all that we have to give, not just 10%. Remember that example of the poor widow? (Mark 12:41-44)
Jesus looks at the heart. He knows what the motivations of our hearts are. (John 2:25).
Well, we’ve made our (the Holy Spirit and I) point.
I challenge you to join me in giving our Heavenly Father the first fruits of our lives, our possessions and yes, of our money. But remember, 10% is just a starting point, He owns it all. Remember that and you will not end up serving the “gods” of this age (money, greed, selfishness, possessiveness, etc).
Again, I challenge you to get up early in the morning and spend time with God first thing. Spend time talking with Him (that is what prayer is), reading His word, and singing to Him praising and worshiping Him for who He is and thanking Him for all that He’s done for you. And it will change your life – I guarantee it!
You may not notice a change at first, but others will. You’ll find yourself feeling full of joy for seemingly no reason at all. You’ll find yourself less annoyed and irritated at the things that used to annoy and irritate you.
You’ll start to notice God’s presence and blessings in the little things and in every situation in life. You’ll begin to feel God’s presence where you go and wherever you are.
You’ll find yourself becoming a whole different person than you used to be. And more importantly, others will notice. And these are the truest blessings in life that are far more important and of more valuable than money or possessions could ever be. Jesus taught us Life does not consist of the abundance of the things that we have. (Luke 12:15)
I Know I have found myself becoming a much more calm and less annoyed by the things that used to annoy me. For example: I severely gouged the tip of my left pinky finger at work yesterday and I didn’t get angry or say any “choice words” – as they say- under my breath or out loud, like the old me even a couple of day ago would have (I say this to my own shame and to the glory of God). I even found myself filled with peace and joy while dealing with the doctors.
To the point where at least one of the nurses commented on what I nice disposition I had. I don’t say this to boast about how good I am, but to boost how good God is.
I look forward to see what other miraculous things the Holy Spirit is going to do in my heart and all that God is going to continue to go in my life. These riches mean more to me that money or any possession ever could!
More than that, I can’t wait to see all the miraculous changes and things God is going to make and do in your lives!