The Prelude & Object Of Giving – Part 6: Sermon By Apostle Gobanga
As soon as the command went abroad, the Israelites gave in abundance the firstfruits of grain, vintage fruit, oil, honey, and of all the produce of the field; and they brought in abundantly the tithe of everything.2 Chronicles 31:5
On that day men were appointed over the chambers for the stores, the contributions, the firstfruits, and the tithes, to gather into them the portions required by law for the priests and the Levites according to the fields of the towns, for Judah rejoiced over the priests and Levites who served [faithfully].Nehemiah 12:44
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, 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. 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
Tithe is a commandment but first fruits needs you to exercise your discretion. It’s all about your heart.
Sabbath was made for us. It is supposed to serve the purposes of God for your life. In Christ, Jesus becomes your Sabbath – your rest.
First fruit is all about worship, not about money.
Your first fruit is holy and because it is Holy, you must set it part to God. It is holy because God requires it.
You have an obligation to give of yourself unto God (heart, mind and will). This way, first fruit will be automatic.
God is not obligated to do anything for you because you have given. He is Almighty. Your responsibility is to give yourself over to God. Your giving is worship.
First fruit means the promise to come. It is a sign from God of an abundance of harvest that is coming. It may not be in that particular season. It is in the fullness of time.
Give unto God as it is worship. Harvest will come in the fullness of time. You are giving toward the fulfillment of purpose (remember Abraham).
The reason why you are giving is because God is working on your character. He is keeping you from the spirit of gluttony. He wants to be the preeminent in your life.
First fruit sets the pattern for the rest of our finances and resources. It governs the rest.
The forces of supply and demand do not govern the economy of the world. It is a limited principle. When you operate in divine wisdom, you will know when to supply, what to supply and to whom.
When you begin with Christ, by grace you will finish well with Him.
When the first fruit is given to God, it sanctifies (and separates from the devourer) what remains. It is sanctified from wastage.
Whatever you have (money, etc) is sufficient in as far as the season that you are in. It is enough.
Whatever is given as first fruit must be redeemed unto Him. It is devotion unto God. E.g. Dedicating your first born child, etc.
When you do not give first fruit, there is going to be pandemonium in as far as your resources are concerned. Begin your day and week with God.
God is calling us to a place of divine order. If you want your life to fall into place, give first fruits as they are most Holy unto God.
The reward you get after first fruit is greater than you can imagine. Abraham’s blessing outlived him to many generations after. When you die, what will your legacy be?
First fruit has a magnetic capability. There are certain things you will be able to draw to yourself much more than you can fathom.
And I, if and when I am lifted up from the earth [on the cross], will draw and attract all men [Gentiles as well as Jews] to Myself.John 12:32
Jesus offered Himself up as a first fruit for the redemption of all humanity.
First fruit is an eternal covenant. E.g. Jesus offered Himself before the foundations of the world were laid. It is a covenant that perpetuates life.
People who are great givers enjoy favour with God and men. First fruit is like salt. It adds flavour to your life. When you give first fruits, you are telling God that He can trust you with anything.
If you do not hear God to tell you to give to a particular thing, don’t give. Give because you have a conviction of the same. Do not give out of feelings.
When you give your first fruit, you are bringing your life to God because you want your life to be in partnership with God, so that money does not take the place of God in your life.
Only the set man or woman of God over your life should receive your first fruit on behalf of Christ (High Priest) Not certain organizations, foundations, homes, etc.
When you give your first fruit to the set man/woman of God in your life, it is an investment of your life to a vision of God given to the man of God.
When you partner with a man/woman of God, you are partnering with God. There is a wisdom of money/resources that you will not get until you culture yourself to be a giver.
Giving is an attitude of the heart.
First fruits activate certain things:
1. You are encouraging those who work for God.
Not because of the money/substance, but because of your life & commitment to God.
2. You connect to the servant of God and His anointing.
3. First fruit brings a blessing upon your life and family.
4. First fruit enhances the honour you have for God.
5. First fruit ensures that there will be continual increase in everything in your life.
Before God gives us anything, He desires our lives. He does not want to lose you to the world.
God desires that you would be celebrated in heaven greater than how you are celebrated on earth. He does not want fame to steal you from His Kingdom.
Be honest with God. God is asking, “Why do you want what you are asking from Me?” Why do you want the fame? Let it not steal you from God.
6. There’s a specific angel that leads you when you give first fruits to guide you in how you handle your finances.
Behold, I send an Angel before you to keep and guard you on the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.Exodus 23:20
7. First fruits releases destruction to your enemies of your soul.
E.g. carelessness, poverty.
Stinginess limits you to the contours of incapacity.
There are those who [generously] scatter abroad, and yet increase more; there are those who withhold more than is fitting or what is justly due, but it results only in want.Proverbs 11:24
When God becomes first in your life, you will not struggle to do anything for God. You will be sold out to God. You won’t need to hear a sermon.
The sin of sexual immorality is because you have not given your body as a living sacrifice to God, trusting Him with your body (as a first fruit).