First Fruits or Leftovers?

From The Heart

Publish date: 05/20/2007

Thoughts on Stewardship from the Book of Genesis

First Fruits or Leftovers?
Foundation Scriptures—Genesis 4 verse 1-5

And Adam knew Eve as his wife, and she became pregnant and bore Cain; and she said, I have gotten and gained a man with the help of the Lord. 2 And [next] she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 And in the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground. 4 And Abel brought of the firstborn of his flock and of the fat portions. And the Lord had respect and regard for Abel and for his offering, 5 But for Cain and his offering He had no respect or regard. So Cain was exceedingly angry and indignant, and he looked sad and depressed. Genesis 4:1-5 AMP

Verse 3 says that Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground in the course of time. The King James says he brought it in the process of time. Abel brought his first fruits, but Cain brought his leftovers.

Some people think that God rejected Cain's offering because He prefers meat over vegetables, but that is not true. God does not expect anyone to bring what they do not have. By faith, Abel put God first. Before he partook of the fruit of his labor, he honored God with his first and his best—the firstborn of his flock and of the fat portions. God was pleased and received Abel's offering. After a while Cain brought a portion of his harvest to the Lord, but it was not his first fruits, neither was it his best. Obviously, Cain had no faith in God and no respect for Him. Cain grew angry when God had no respect for him or his offering and when He did not receive or accept it. When Cain saw that his offering was not accepted, he could have and should have repented and changed his own attitude and behavior. However, he got mad at Abel, who was accepted, and killed him instead.

Many people do what Cain did—they spend their money and pay all their other bills before they bring their offering to the Lord. The tithe is the first fruits—the first tenth of all your increase—of all your income. God honored Abel because he brought the first fruits of the flock. Your attitude in your giving is a huge part of your giving. People might see your gift, but God sees your heart and your gift. God knows when you are putting Him first and honoring Him in your giving or not. God does honor first fruits, but He rejects leftovers. The Bible says that Cain was very angry and depressed. This is what happens to you when you bring God your leftovers. People who are angry and depressed—mad at God and mad at believers who are blessed—are people who have been bringing God their leftovers!

Comments: Pastor Adonica Howard-Browne

Even if you get paid on a Monday and you only go to church on a Sunday, you should set it aside to bring to the Lord before you spend any other money on anything. When you work for a boss, your company is required by law to take your taxes out and pay it for you. Why? Because the government knows that they would have a hard time getting it from 90% of the people if they gave them the option to pay it themselves and they don't want to wait until the end of the year and find out that you have already spent it and can't pay it anyway! Money has a funny way of disappearing unless we have a definite plan and we execute that plan right away. Even though you receive your pay check without the taxes that were taken out, your gross income is still your income and 10% of your gross income is your tithe.

Before you decide to argue about this—remember that no one is going to make you do anything you don't want to do—it is completely your choice and your decision. However, you must also remember that God is not obliged to bless you either! The tithe is a covenant obligation—it establishes your covenant with Almighty God. By paying your tithe—first—you activate the power of God to work on your behalf—to rebuke the devourer, to protect you, provide for you, and favor you!  

Comments: Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne

One of the things that every believer has to do is honor God with the first fruits of all their income—the money coming to you before you even pay your taxes. If you don't bring your first fruits, then it is a sign that you have forgotten God in your life. By bringing the first fruits you signify that you have put God first place—above everything—your house; your car; even your hopes and dreams. Something happens when you put God and His house first place —He will put your house first place!

Prayer and Confession:

Father I make a decision to honor you with the first fruits of all my income. Thank you for your abundant blessings on my life.