The Power of Putting God First
What does the first fruit offering mean? Why does God bless the tithe?
I. When we put God first in our lives everything else will work, our families, our businesses, 0ur finances, our peace, and our wisdom.
A. Why? Because when God is first, He promises that everything else will be added. (Matthew 6:33 – Seek ye first.)
II. Unlocking the power of God for multiplication.
A. Today God will challenge the way we think about being generous and living a full blessed life.
B. Today God will teach us His reward and how to live a generous life.
C. Today we will learn the law of God that will cause every area of our life to multiply. Are you ready?
III. God MUST be FIRST – The law of the first:
A. The first always belongs to the Lord. “Sanctify to Me [that is, set apart for My purpose] every firstborn, the first offspring of every womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of animal; it is Mine.” (Exodus 13:2 amp)
B. Someone says, “but that is Old Testament, yep and I say do God’s principles change.” 1Corinthians 10 says “These things are written for our example.”
C. God is teaching us something that will change our lives. God must be first.
1. If it is unclean it has to be redeemed with a clean sacrifice. If it’s clean it has to be sanctified.
2. In order to have God’s blessing, it has to be set apart unto Him, committed to Him, dedicated to Him, redeemed unto Him.
3. Were you born clean or unclean? That’s why Jesus Christ, God’s first fruits offering saved you. Just stop for a second and imagine and think about what God did through Christ as His first fruits offering.
E. “But now is Christ risen from the dead and become the first fruits of them that slept. For since by one man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:20-22)
F. Jesus the clean had to be sacrificed for the unclean so that the unclean could be clean.
IV. Giving the first to God unlocks and multiplies. When and Then!!!
A. Jesus gave His life so that we could give our lives to God. When and Then!!!
B. God never waited to see if we would be good enough and then send Jesus to save us. “God commended His love towards us that while we were yet sinners Christ died for the ungodly.” (Romans 5:8)
C. God gives Jesus first and then His blessings of multiplication manifest. God gives Jesus before anyone believes in Him.
D. We give first fruits and then God’s blessings come. When and Then!!!
E. When we go to church on the Lord’s day it is our first fruits offering and the Lord blesses the rest of the week. When and Then!!!
V. The first fruits must be offered. “The first of the first fruits of your land you shall bring into the house of the Lord your God.” (Exodus 23:19) Where? God’s house.
A. Watch what happens when you give first fruits. “Behold, I send an Angel before you, to keep you in the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared.
Beware of Him, and obey His voice provoke Him not, for He will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in Him.
But if you shall indeed obey His voice and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy unto your enemies, and an adversary unto your adversaries for my angel shall go before you.” (Exodus 23:20-23)
B. God says that when your land produces a harvest you must bring Him the first and when your animal has a baby you are to sacrifice the first one to Him by faith.
1. Why didn’t God say wait until your animal has 10 and then give Him one? Because God is testing you to see who you trust. Who is your provider? Do you trust God or your stuff?
2. Your faith in God will unlock the power of God’s multiplication in your life. You will have more stuff than you know what to do with.
C. In order to walk under the blessing of God, the first fruits offering must be offered to God in His house.
D. “Honor the Lord with your substance, and with the first fruits of all your increase: so shall your barns be filled with plenty and your presses shall burst out with new wine.” (Proverbs 3:9-10)
VI.The first fruits offering teaches us the principle of the tithe.
A. We must give first or it’s not a tithe.
B. God is fair. No matter how much you have or don’t have, its ten percent of what you have that redeems and sanctifies the ninety percent.
C. It takes faith to pay the first ten percent and then your bills. If I pay my car note, mortgage, food, and then pay my tithe, it’s not a tithe because the tithe is required to be given first. This puts God first in our finances.
D. Think about it: Will I do better with the 100% without God’s blessing or the 90% that has God’s blessing upon it.
E. Putting God first means He is first, He has preeminence, He is above all, He is Alpha and Omega, He is King of kings, Lord of lords, He is higher, bigger, greater. He is above all, so I give Him the first always.
He is more important than anything I have, and I trust Him and His providence. The Lord is my provider.
VII. Examples in the Bible of giving God the first:
A. God told Joshua that he was to give the silver and the gold of Jericho, the first city they took for God. (Joshua 7)
Achan stole some silver and gold and hid it which brought a curse upon all Israel. When they went to the next city Ai, a little tiny city, they got defeated. This tells me how important it is for Miracle Place Church to be in one accord, with everyone doing their part in obedience to God.
B. Cain and Abel – “And Abel brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and his offering. But unto Cain and his offering He had not respect. And Cain was very angry and his countenance fell.” (Genesis 4:4-5)
C. Elijah said to the starving widow woman and son, “Don’t be afraid first make a cake for me and the flour will not run out.” (1Kings 17)
D. God always reserves the first, which is holy, only for Himself. God had two trees in the garden. What happened when Adam and Eve took of the tree that the Lord had reserved for Himself.
VIII. Tithe is more than supporting the church, it’s about putting God first and obeying His principle of the tenth.
A. The tithe is holy unto the Lord and God must be first.
B. The tithe is not about giving, it’s about returning unto the Lord what is rightly His.
IV. God’s challenge to us:
A. Make a decision today to honor God first in every area of your life.
B. Ask the Holy Spirit, “What are you saying to me through this message?”
C. Obey God’s voice.