Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Firstfruits or lastfruits...

Then there is the biblical principle of ‘first fruits’. Proverbs 3:9 says ‘Honour the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops’ - the principles of tithing and firstfruits overlap. The best book I have ever read on Christian giving is Money, Possessions & Eternity by Randy Alcorn, if you are interested in following up this topic – it’s a good book to read.

‘The firstfruits and tithes certainly overlapped, and it seems that generally they were the same thing. The term ‘tithe’ stressed the exact amount while ‘firstfruits’ emphasized the nature and quality of the offering.’
That is why in Old Testament sacrifice, it wasn’t a blemished lamb that was offered – it was the best! It displayed that, as a follower of God, God deserved the best. He is first in our lives. So the tithe was 10%, while the firstfruit was about motive and what was in one’s heart.

Sadly, many Christians practice the principle of ‘lastfruits’, giving what is left after everything else has been covered. If we are honest, this is true – in a congregation the size of King’s, we know it.

It’s an issue of priorities – ‘I have my list of priorities, once I have budgeted for them whatever is left I give to God...’ That is not what Scripture teaches we should do! But people probably know this already as they read the Bible – there is a big tug going on in hearts because many want to follow God... but there is also a big tug from the More Monster!