“Honor the Lord with your possessions and with the first fruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.” – Proverbs 3:9-10 (NKJV)
A week or two ago, a precious friend and sister in the Lord received an unexpected financial blessing. It was given to her – sacrificially, I believe – by an older gentleman she had been helping. Her first thought was not to take this blessing and spend it on herself or holiday gifts, pay bills, or even to bank it, but to spread it around and bless others with it. I was among those beneficiaries.
Because she lives in another state, the process of transferring the blessing proved to be something of a technological challenge, resulting in a slight delay. This morning she called to let me know the transfer was complete, and she apologized for the delay. She was disappointed that the blessing was “late.”
I assured her that it was not late at all, but right on time. I believe the Lord arranged for the blessing to come to me on January 1, so that I could receive it and let it pass through my hands to another, in the same fashion that it came to me. This blessing was, very literally, the first fruits of the new year.
The Bible speaks volumes on the topic of money. It teaches the importance of giving generously and with a joyful heart, and reminds us that it is more blessed to give than to receive. It teaches us how to give and how to receive. It demonstrates the principle of sowing and reaping, and how what we give will be returned to us. God says that when we invest according to His plan, He will rebuke the devourer on our behalf. He even invites us to test Him in this area and allow Him to prove His faithfulness.
The principle of first fruits teaches us to bring the first and best of our increase as an offering to the Lord. Historically, it was presented as an act of thanksgiving for the Lord’s ongoing provision. It served as a statement of faith that God would bless and protect future harvest and increase as well.
Each time we receive financial provision, whether that’s earned income or a gift, we receive seed. The Bible tells us that it is the Lord who provides seed for the sower and bread for the eater. His provision for us will cover not only what we need, but extra to share with others. What we do with that seed is important. If we consume the seed (spend it on our own desires), it’s gone forever. But if we sow the seed (by sharing it as the Lord directs), it grows, multiplies and bears fruit. And that fruit produces what? More seed to sow!
While there is ample biblical, transactional truth regarding how we handle finances, my heart today leans toward that mystery of multiplication and supernatural provision. The currency of the Kingdom is not the currency of this world.
The economy of this world is governed by the spirit of mammon – a consuming obsession with money. Those under its influence will stop at nothing to obtain it.
Kingdom economy is governed by the Holy Spirit. In the Kingdom of God, there is no lack, but limitless supply. Provision cannot be manipulated or controlled. It simply flows. Our part in the process is to facilitate that flow.
By taking the blessing, that was sent to me (literally the first financial provision of this new year) and placing it – all of it – in the hands of another, I am literally “priming the pump” for future increase to flow. The generous heart of an older gentleman prompted him to bless my friend, the Holy Spirit prompted her to bless others, including me, and now I get to keep the blessing flowing by sending it on to the next person, and so on. Not with an expectation of what I will receive in return, but simply for the joy of being part of the flow!
I encourage you to sow generously, sacrificially, joyously out of your first fruits of this new year. Ask the Lord and He will tell you when, where, how much and whom to bless. As we keep sowing and keep flowing, we transfer our treasure from the world economy to the Kingdom realm. And as Matthew 6:21 reminds us, “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Lord, when we fully give our hearts and lives over to You, we are privileged to become citizens of Your Kingdom realm, where the rules are different. Thank You for continually revealing to us the marvels, the mysteries and the rewards of belonging to You. Thank You for this new year, filled with promise and limitless possibility. As we seek Your Kingdom reality above everything else, all that we need will be supplied. As You bless us, it is our joyful privilege to bless others. In this we bring glory to Your Name and establish Your Kingdom here on earth. We love you, Lord. Amen.