It’s another New Year and I’m so impressed to prioritize the principle of the first in my life. God created the heavens and the earth. He separated light from darkness. He made a week. What did God say about the week “Honor me. Give me one day. ” God is talking about first things first. What’s the first day? The first day of the week is Sunday. That’s why the New Testament church began to worship on Sunday, the resurrection day, the first day of the week. We give our first day of the week to God.
What about when God made Adam and Eve? He said, “Enjoy my garden, all the fruit and each other. But, there’s this one tree, it’s mine. Enjoy all the others but honor me by staying away from this one. Honor me with this one tree.” First things first. Remember the children of Israel? They escaped from Egyptian bondage and were ready to move into the The Promised Land but they had to conquer 10 cities. God said, “Hey Joshua, this first city you’re gonna’ conquer is named Jericho. When you take it, make sure that all the gold, silver, bling-bling—make sure all of it goes to my house.” First things first.
In Exodus 13:2 God said, “Consecrate [or set apart] to me every firstborn male. The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to me, whether man or animal.” Back in Biblical times, the first born child was a huge deal! They were to be set apart for holy usage. The first born animal was also huge. It was either sacrificed; or, if it was unclean, like a pig, a clean animal was sacrificed in its place. Thus, redeeming the unclean animal. It gets better!
The Bible tells us Jesus was the first born of God. His death, burial, and resurrection paid the way to redeem mankind, to pay for our sins. There’s something very special about the first born. First things first. Then, you’ve got the first fruits. God’s speaking again in Exodus 23:19. “The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring into the house of the LORD your God.” The first of the firstfruits. Notice it says bring, not give. “Bring into the house of the LORD your God.” The first of the firstfruits. Proverbs 3:9-10 tells us, Honor 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. Meaning, if we honor the Lord with our wealth, God’s going to honor us. First things first. So the Bible is telling me that the first part of all my income should go to the house of God, the local church. Nothing compares to the blessing and favor of God we experience when we practice the principle of the first!
“Father, I choose to put first things first in 2017.”