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From The Heart

Publish date: 01/30/2011

All the firstling males that are born of your herd and flock you shall set apart for the Lord your God; you shall do no work with the firstling of your herd, nor shear the firstling of your flock. 20 You shall eat it before the Lord your God annually in the place [for worship] which the Lord shall choose, you and your household. 21 But if it has any blemish, if it is lame, blind, or has any bad blemish whatsoever, you shall not sacrifice it to the Lord your God.  Deuteronomy 15:19-21 AMP
Many Christians have a way too casual attitude toward the things of God - starting with their tithes and offerings, their worship, their witness - that filters down to every area of their lives. It’s time for God’s people to get serious about the things of God, their life, and eternity. We are not living for ourselves, we are living for Him - to bring Him glory and pleasure - this is why we are created! Let’s look at what the Lord instructed His people to do.

It is very important to God that His people set aside and bring the firstborn of their flocks and herds to Him. They had to be firstlings – the firstborn of the flock – to show that God’s people trusted Him as their provider. It took faith to bring the firstling – you brought it in faith trusting God to provide and bless your “secondling”, “thirdling”, and “fourthling”, etc. This firstling was to be set aside ahead of time and then brought to the place of worship. It was sacrificed to the Lord at the place of worship and then eaten in His presence. The firstling could not be lame or blind – it had to have no blemish or imperfection whatsoever. It would need to be carefully inspected. If something is inspected, it means that it has to be considered and carefully looked at - with much contemplation and thought – rather than something brought haphazardly or as a mere afterthought.

And [we obligate ourselves] to bring the firstfruits of our ground and the first of all the fruit of all trees year by year to the house of the Lord, 36 As well as the firstborn of our sons and of our cattle, as is written in the Law, and the firstlings of our herds and flocks, to bring to the house of our God, to the priests who minister in [His] house. 37 And we shall bring the first and best of our coarse meal, our contributions, the fruit of all kinds of trees, of new wine, and of oil to the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God. And we shall bring the tithes from our ground to the Levites, for they, the Levites, collect the tithes in all our rural towns.  Nehemiah 10:35-37 AMP

Even though this firstling/firstfruit command was given under the Old Covenant, why would we – under the New and Better Covenant – assume that we are free to dishonor God by giving to Him any other way? Maybe we don’t raise animals - but we do earn a living – we must bring the Lord the “firstling” – right off the top. We honor God by putting Him first, rather than last in our priorities. We should set aside our offering with much thought, contemplation and inspection - and then bring it to His house as an act of worship - to honor Him for His goodness, His mercy, His grace, His loving kindness, and all of His bountiful blessings.

If we really respect a person – a man or woman - and we really want to bless them, we will do something to honor them, such as bringing a gift that reflects our gratitude and appreciation. It is very appropriate – and in some cases, expected – that you bring a gift when you are meeting someone very important. Your gift sends a message. For instance, we give gifts to our husband, wife, family, or friends, on birthdays, or anniversaries, or other special occasions, that reflect how much we think of them. They would be offended if we forgot to bring something or if we gave an inferior gift. What about our Heavenly Father? Is He not more important - is He not more precious to us - than any mortal man? We expect His generous, abundant, timely blessings on us and so we should also honor Him in kind.

Everything we have comes from God. Nothing we have comes from ourselves. He loves us – we love Him. He blesses us – we bless Him. It amazes me how many people expect the blessing of the Lord in their lives and yet the Kingdom of God is neither their priority nor their concern. When we make the Kingdom of God our priority - when we put God’s house first and bless and honor Him – then He will bless and honor us. Let’s honor God by bringing our first and our best – not the last or the lame or the blind. If you want God’s Best then give Him your Best always in everything!