First Fruits

First Fruits

Firstfruits – Opportunity for Prosperity – Part I

 

“No Fuzzy Math Here”

 

Proverbs 3: 9  Honour the LORD with
thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: 10
 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out
with new wine.

 

This Friday (10/20/2000), or shall I say Sunday (10/22),
workers for the state of Florida have an opportunity for prosperity.  We have a chance to give a firstfruit
offering because this payday our 3% raises will kick-in.  Often times Christians have assumed that
tithes and firstfruits are one in the same, but this is not the case.  The two are totally different. 

 

Our scripture says “with thy substance, AND with the
firstfruits,” not OR.  The “AND”
suggests that the substance and the firstfruit are different.  So what’s the difference?  The tithe is 10% of whatever a person
receives, but the first fruit is the first of a person’s increase.  Here’s an example, and believe me I won’t be
giving you “fuzzy math.”

 

Let’s say that Gina is making $1000 a month and she gets a
3% raise.   She should now be making
$1030.  So this is how it breaks down
for her:

 

Old Salary – $1000 (Substance)

Raise          $   
30 (Increase)

New Salary $ 1030

 

So what should be done with her increase?  It should be given to the Lord and she
should tithe from the remainder of her salary this payday (October 20th,
2000).

 

Old Salary – $1000………………Tithe To Church        – $ 100 (Substance)

Raise          $   
30………………First Fruit To Lord    – $   30 (Increase)

New
Salary $ 1030………………Total                        – $ 130 (Total To Be Given)

 

The next question we need to answer is this; “Who within the
church gets the firstfruit?”  The
answer, Your Pastor.  This is told to us
in Numbers 18th Chapter.

 

1 And the LORD
said unto Aaron, Thou and thy sons and thy father’s house with thee shall bear
the iniquity of the sanctuary: and thou and thy sons with thee shall bear the
iniquity of your priesthood.

12  All the
best of the oil, and all the best of the wine, and of the wheat, the
firstfruits of them which they shall offer unto the LORD, them have I (The
Lord) given thee (To The Priests).

 

What’s happening here is the Lord is speaking to Aaron, the
priest.  The Lord is telling Aaron that
all the firstfruits belong to the priests. 
Why?  So that the priest won’t
have to worry about having their needs met. 
In modern terms, “The Pastor won’t have to worry about getting a second
job to make ends meet.”  (I’ll show you
that in an upcoming lesson).  This is
one hump some Christians need to get over. 
I don’t see why we should want our pastors to struggle paycheck to
paycheck.  It’s best that we start
praying that our pastors move into a greater realm of financial prosperity so
that same anointing can fall on us.   So
as we give our firstfruits to the Lord, mark on that envelope: “To the Pastor.”

 

How long do you need to give firstfruits?  Answer, once every increase.  In other words, every time you get a raise.  We will go back to Gina’s example.  Let’s say this Friday Gina gives her tithes
and firstfruit offerings.  This is what
should happen the payday following the firstfruit gift or the second payday of
her raise (November 3rd, 2000).

 

Salary –        $1030……………..Tithe
To Church       – $ 103 (Substance)

Increase –     $      0……………..First Fruit To
Lord     $   0 (Increase)

                                                                              
– $ 103 (Total Given)

 

Now let’s go to our scripture.  The 9th verse tells us, “ Honour the LORD with
thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase.”  Of course we honor Him with the tithe but we
also, definitely, for sho’ nuff real need to honor Him with our increase.  Why? 
So that we can get (Excuse my English) MO’ Increase!!   

 

Look at what the 10th verse says, “ So shall
thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new
wine.”   First let’s focus on the word
“plenty.”  If we are told to give
firstfruits in the 9th verse, it’s only to help us get to the land
of “plenty” which is mentioned in the 10th verse.   I know that some people will tell you, “The
Laud will supply all your needs,” and He will. 
But you know what?  He will take
care of your wants as well.  And if you
want plenty then He can be the source of your plenty.

 

Let’s also look at that word “burst” for a quick
moment.  I don’t know about you, but I
needz’ my wallet to “burst” open.  Now
don’t get us wrong, we do minister salvation here, but if the Holy Ghost got
into our business, He would probably say, “Some of your wallets need some
salvation too!”  And to have those
wallets burst open with “new wine” (new money) will do me just fine.  Yes, some of us can sit up and “act” cute
like ain’t nothing wrong, but personally I don’t want to hang out with Mr.
Washington “no more.”  I want to be in
the company of Mr. Franklin (100 dollar bills) — OFTEN, and firstfruit
offerings can get you there.  So as you
give your firstfruit, expect this to be the beginning of your increase because
it is!