You only get one chance to enjoy the blessing of firstfruits, after that it isn’t first fruit any more. That is why firstfruits are the most important when it comes to giving.
An Avid Gardener
Spring is the season of anticipation! The first signs of tulips and blossoms after the cold darkness of winter revives something in me. Anticipation of the taste of fresh veggies and fruit lifts as bedding plants are placed out to harden and soil is worked. Earth under fingernails and between toes is a familiar comfort to every gardener.
One of the pleasures of gardening is sharing with others. Whether the beauty of a well landscaped yard, the abundance of fresh tasting eats, or homemade pies, gardeners labour to share! Giving is part of the joy – the natural overflow of abundance.
Every gardener also knows that though they may plant the seed, weed carefully and water faithfully, he is not the one that produces anything!
“A man scatters seed on the ground.
Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up,
the seed sprouts and grows,
though he does not know how.
All by itself the soil produces grain –
first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head.
As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it,
because the harvest has come.”
Mark 4:26 – 29
Giving God the first part joyfully recognizes He is the Giver of all good things; He is the Supplier of all I possess.
“And this same God who takes care of me
will supply all your needs from his glorious riches,
which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.”
Though I enjoy the hard work involved, my hard work produces nothing but sweat and fatigue unless God blesses! Giving Him the firstfruits is simply setting my little basket of thankfulness before Him.
When we give, only God knows how many others will benefit. II Kings 4 :42-44 talks of a man bringing his firstfruits. Elisha takes his little loaves and uses them to feed over 100 hungry men, with leftovers to spare! I’m sure the giver had no idea what would come of his simple gift! Little did he know that generations later some other little giver would be encouraged by his act of obedience.
“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish,
but how far will they go among so many?”
Yes! I know that giving is also a command. The people told Nehemiah,
“We also assume responsibility…
for bringing to the house of the LORD each year the firstfruits…”
Responsibility is a weighty word.
“It is the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something…of being accountable…
the opportunity or ability to act independently…
the thing required to do as part of a job, role..”
Blessing of Firstfruits
But don’t let the weight fool you, the benefits far out-measure anything. God makes it clear that with the giving comes a blessing for your whole household. Who doesn’t want that?
Listen to a snippet from the book of wisdom
“Honour the LORD with your wealth,
with the firstfruits of all your crops;
then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
and your vats will brim over with new wine.” Proverbs 3: 9-10
The barns speak of everyday needs; the vats of new wine refer to spiritual blessing – fresh filling and anointing. In both, there is promise of overflow! It is a picture communion – of bread and wine.
I can’t help but think of the greatest gift of Firstfruit, Jesus Christ, in the implications of bread and wine. I am so thankful for His overflowing gift of life to us all. His disciples were his firstfruits perpetuating faith in other, right down to you and me.
“But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead.
He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.”
I Corinthians 15:20
The cycle of life continues in and through Christ like the passing seasons of my garden. We have many opportunities to share from our little or much.
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