The First

THE FIRST

God’s Provision for a New Year

Prov 3:5 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” (NKJV)
Prov 3:9 – “Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the first fruits of all your increase…” (NKJV)

MUST TRUST

This new year will very possibly bring some kind of increase to you and your family. That is how God works. God’s blessings and favor on His people bring fruitfulness which is an increase in our lives. The question is how will we handle the increase God provides?
God has a purpose in increasing us. It is an issue of trust. God wants us to have a confident reliance and faith-filled dependence in Him. That is why God says in Proverbs three to trust the Lord before He mentions the blessing of increase.
Pastor Jack refers to trust as “to be secure and fear nothing for oneself.” The Bible says in this chapter trust is health to our navel. No, this is not referring to our belly button but rather to an umbilical cord. Trust is to plug into God without reservation knowing all your provision is found in God. We must be secure in the Lord knowing He is all we need.

MORE TO COME

Then the Bible says, “Honor Him with the first fruits of all your increase.” This was referring to the literal fruit of harvest. Today it is related to our finances. First fruits are part of God’s timeless covenant with His people. God asks us to give the first of our financial, or material, increase to Him. God’s purpose in giving Him the first is not only about the release of things in your life, but also to know how the Lord works.
For example, giving the first of one’s fruitfulness is about trusting the promise that more is coming. Just like a first child is an assurance there are more children to come, first fruits guarantee the same.
Have you had an expected, or unexpected, increase? That is a guarantee more is coming so you can give the first portion up.

OFFERING THE FIRST

First Fruits is about “increase” not “income.” We budget our income but our increase is a bonus. Tithing has to do with income not increase. Increase is something you didn’t have before but now you do – a raise or something unexpected. The problem with us is when we receive an increase, we most likely will grasp on to it. We fear this is all there will be. It was unexpected and we falsely assume we can’t expect any more.
Our first thought is, “Shouldn’t I keep this? I can use it to get ahead.” Our response should be before this increase came; I didn’t have anything anyway. Most of us respond to increase as if it is all that will come. When we get extra, we are afraid that is all. God wants to remove that fear from our lives and give us faith in Him as provider.
Giving the first of your increase is a statement of faith. It says to God, I trust you for more. It is about offerings and offerings have to do with worship. Worship is about a trusting relationship with someone you love or adore, while offering is giving freely to someone you love and trust.

UNLIMITED INCREASE

When God asks us to bring the first part of that increase to Him, we immediately think how much is that? Interestingly, God never tells us what that amount is. It is an offering. It is up to each of us.
In this new year God is asking us how will you relate to the increase I want give you? If we wrestle with what we should do with it, God may ask you, “Where did you get it?”
“Ah… from you, Lord.”
“What do you think you should do with the things you didn’t count on?”
Each of us must answer that question for ourselves. This is our prayer for the new year. “Lord, all I have is yours. Teach me to relate to everything you give me without fear there may not be more.”
Pastor Jack has aptly said, “We have learned to live in the limits of income but now God also wants us to live in the unlimited dynamics of increase.”
May you have blessed increases in 2022

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