“Once you enter the land that God, your God, is giving you as an inheritance and take it over and settle down, you are to take some of all the first fruits of what you grow in the land that God, your God, is giving you, put them in a basket and go to the place God, your God, sets apart for you to worship the Lord. Then place it in the Presence of God, your God….. Prostrate yourselves in the Presence of God, your God. And rejoice! Celebrate all the good things that God, your God, has given you and your family; you and the Levite and the foreigner who lives with you”.
– Deuteronomy 26:1-2,10-11
When I was a teenager, my Grandma Bonnie shared her offering strategy. It was an old strategy, yet very simple. Grandpa Fred and Grandma Bonnie always had enough but not necessarily much left over. They shared a car. She spent her days at home caring for their children. The kids came close together and her life was very busy. There were many needs and God always provided. Even when life was tough, even after the fire at their farmhouse, God was a good God who provided for their needs.
When it was Grandpa’s payday, Grandma made a point of gathering all the bills she had collected and writing the checks in order of necessity. The first she always wrote was her tithe to the church, even before their house payment, car, or groceries. The first check was always their first fruits to God.
Giving honor to God is the most important thing we do as a people of faith. Often it seems easy for our gifts to be what is left after all of our necessities have been prescribed. However, isn’t giving our best to God the most important part of our Christian walk? Giving the very best of ourselves, of our earnings, of our crops, and of our praise.
Deuteronomy calls us to prostrate ourselves in the presence of God. Prostrate mean to lay oneself on the ground face first before God, praying and offering ourselves with every bit of our bodies, minds and spirits before the Lord. This is the first fruits of praise. May we reflect upon how we continue to lay our lives down before the Lord, giving our best to God, our God.
Prayer: O God, our God, thank you for giving us all that we need. Help us to remember that all we have is Yours already. Help us to have the courage to give you our first and best fruits of praise, gifts, service and money for your glory. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Rev. Laura C. Kelsey, Author
Rev. Kelsey is proud to pastor the First Presbyterian Church of Pontiac, MI. Together with the faithful and loving worshipping community at FPC. she enjoys sharing God's Word with others, working to help folks experience God's love and discern their direction in life, and lovingly reach out to the greater Pontiac community.