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First Fruits

Tithing, the one word that seems to strike fear into the hearts of men and women alike. Some people loath it, others embrace it and even others exploit it’s use. In the end, it is a subject I am not comfortable with simple because I have seen tithing used and abused by many in Christendom and is part of the reason why JAMA does not ‘pass the plate’ or seek to raise funds for the ministry. As He said when we started, “Give it all away for free and I will provide for the ministry.” He has been faithful, we have never lacked for any need and at times He delights in giving us gifts.

So instead of going on some diatribe about giving, let me touch on my own experience with tithing. I first started giving 10% in 1997. I felt this is what the Lord wanted me to do and so I gave 10% of the gross from my paycheck every 2 weeks. To my amazement, I found that some how 90% seemed to go much further and provide more than 100% of my check. I know, makes no sense in logical terms, but the simple reality is that is what we have seen happen year after year after year. It just works…

I’m not suggesting you start giving to a church of local ministry, unless you are led to do so. I’m suggesting you find a worthwhile cause or organization that you know will use the funds wisely and donate to them. Then go on about your life. Once you have prayed about who to give to, then watch as the Lord does what only the Lord can do, multiple a small thing into something huge. This is what He did with a boys lunch that feed 5000 men.

Tithing is the one place the Lord says to test Him. Malachi 3:10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. We did and found He is faithful in taking care of His children.

Blessings

First Fruits
by Os Hillman
“All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the Lord and must go into His treasury.” – Joshua 6:19

One of the earliest examples of the practice of giving God the first fruits of the increase was when Joshua and the people entered the Promised Land for the first time. When they crossed the Jordan River, their first battle was Jericho. God set a precedent with this battle by instructing them not to take any spoils from it. Unlike future battles, the fruits from this victory were to go into the treasury as a remembrance of their first victory in the Promised Land. In addition, the city of Jericho was to be a lasting monument to God’s faithfulness. God instructed Joshua never to rebuild this city. If they or anyone in the future attempted to rebuild the city, the life of the firstborn would be required. Years later in the days of King Ahab, Hiel the Bethelite attempted to rebuild this city and his firstborn died as a result. God never forgets to enforce His Word.

Is your work a lasting monument to the faithfulness of God in your life? Is it bringing glory to the Father? Are you giving the first fruits from your increase to God? God has encouraged us through this story to give the first fruits of our work to Him so that He will be glorified through our work. This is a tangible way for us to acknowledge that God is the source of all blessing.

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