Summary: There is a principle in the scriptures of keeping the first things first. That which is first in our life is important to God. Is God first in our finances? Relationships? Time? Marriage? Etc.? )Thoughts taken from a sermon series entitled Give It Up by P
Today- talk about giving- important topic in the Bible.
Many of Jesus’ parables have to do with money.
Attitude towards money-barometer-spiritual condition
More important- money- principle- First Things First.
Begin by watching this video- First things First
As we talk about giving- I need $100 bill- for me.
First things First
Read Mtt 6:25-26, 31
Mtt 6:33 "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. NASU
God cares about what is first in our lives.
We must learn the principle of First things First.
Some thinking- church always wants money- ie. $100.
Some of you maybe thinking …
I don’t want to hear about giving.
I am struggling financially already.
I know I should give- I already feel guilty.
Perhaps you feel like the writer of Haggai …
Hag 1:6 "You have sown much, but harvest little … and he who earns, earns wages to put into a purse with holes." NASU
How many would say they have one of those purses?
The Bible has good news- God has answers for us.
Look at principle of First things First in the Bible …
1. God is to be first in our lives
Ex 20:3 "You shall have no other gods before Me. NASU
God must be number one, first/foremost in our lives.
2. God’s Kingdom is to be first in our lives
Mtt 6:33 "But seek first His kingdom … NASU
Kingdom speaks of how we live- Kingdom principles.
3. The first born belongs to God
Ex 13:2 "Sanctify to Me every firstborn, the first offspring of every womb among the sons of Israel, both of man and beast; it belongs to Me." NASU
The first born male, animal or person, belongs to God.
Ex 13:11-14 summarize the story
Donkey- unclean animal, first born belonged to God.
What do you do w/first born donkey- break its neck.
You sacrifice it to God, or … God gives you a choice.
Purchase- donkey’s life- redeem it, w/innocent lamb.
Firstborn belongs to God- the same is true w/people.
Look at the story of the Passover … Ex 12:1-16
What was the Passover?
God- going to destroy- first born- man/animal, of everyone in Egypt because of their sin. Even the Jewish first born would die. God told the Jews- they could redeem- buy back their first born, by sacrificing- innocent lamb- putting its blood on their door posts. Then the death angel would pass over their house- first born- be safe.
In the OT- see picture-what Jesus would do on- cross.
Jesus- die for us, purchasing our freedom/forgiveness.
4. The first tenth belongs to God
OT- first tenth, tithe- people earned- belonged to God.
Lev 27:30 ’Thus all the tithe of the land, of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s; it is holy to the Lord. NASU
Holy- to be set apart- first tenth is set apart for God.
Mal 3:10 " Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the Lord of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows. NASU
What is the storehouse?
Many Bible teachers believe- NT church-others do not
Principle- bring ten percent to the local church.
Offerings then, come above/beyond the tithe.
You may wonder- why would NAME give me- $100?
I told NAME, I am going to give you a $100.
It is mine- I want you to hold it until I ask for it.
When I asked for a $100, he gave it back. Why?
Because it did not belong to him- it belonged to me.
You cannot give what you do not own.
NAME did not really give the $100 to me, because it was mine in the first place- he returned it to me.
Tithing is not really giving, it is returning.
The first tenth belongs to the Lord- First things First.
Mal 3:8 "Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ’How have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.
Here we see another principle …
Keeping what belongs to God is stealing.
I know I am talking OT- cannot throw out- I want to look at the principles of God’s Kingdom.
That which we do first matters to the heart of God.
God must be first in our lives
His Kingdom must be first in the way we live
The firstborn belongs to God
The first tenth belongs to God
Malachi had a promise for the OT believers …
Mal 3:11 "Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes," says the Lord of hosts. NASU