The Principle of the First
The thing most likely to hijack your heart is your wealth.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 19:23 NLT
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Matthew 6:24 NIV
● Life trends toward order when God is first and toward chaos when He is not.
1 Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 “Dedicate to me every firstborn among the Israelites. The first offspring to be born, of both humans and animals, belongs to me.”… 12 “you must present all firstborn sons and firstborn male animals to the Lord, for they belong to him. 13 A firstborn donkey may be bought back from the Lord by presenting a lamb or young goat in its place. But if you do not buy it back, you must break its neck. However, you must buy back every firstborn son.” Exodus 13:1-2, 12-13 NLT
We give our first and best to God because He gave his first and best for us.
● Pada – To buy out, redeem, ransom, or release.
● Tithing is the only thing God invites you to test him on.
“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!” Malachi 3:10 NLT
● We are bringing God back what belongs to Him, not giving Him what belongs to us.
3 In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, 4 and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, 5 but for Cain and his offering he had no regard… Genesis 4:3-5 ESV
● What belongs to God is sacred and not to be used for common things.
Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. Matthew 6:21 NLT
You will never be able to afford to tithe until you tithe.
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 2 Corinthians 9:6 NIV
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce. 10 Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine. Proverbs 3:9-10 NLT
Tithing teaches you and those you who come behind you to live by faith.
13 “And in the future, your children will ask you, ‘What does all this mean?’ Then you will tell them, ‘With the power of his mighty hand, the Lord brought us out of Egypt, the place of our slavery. 15 Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, so the Lord killed all the firstborn males throughout the land of Egypt, both people and animals. That is why I now sacrifice all the firstborn males to the Lord – except that the firstborn sons are always bought back.’” Exodus 13:14-15 NLT
● Accept the gift of God’s first for me.
● Commit to returning my first to God.
● Automate my tithe.