DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2021-08-08
WRITTEN AT: Hattiesburg, MS
SCRIPTURE FROM: Deuteronomy 26:10-12
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)
BIBLE TEXT: 10 And now I’ve brought the very first produce from the ground that You, the Eternal, have given to me.” Then present the basket to the Eternal your God, and bow down before Him, 11 and celebrate all the good things He has given to you and your household. Be sure to invite the Levites and the foreigners who live in your town to the feast.
12 When you’ve gathered a tenth of your produce at the end of the third year, the year for local tithing, give it to the Levites, the foreigners, the orphans, and the widows who live in your town. Let them come and take as much as they want to eat for as long as these supplies last.
APPLICATION: I have read many Scriptures in my day, but this particular chapter had a deep impression on my mind. Moses shared God’s commands with the Israelites as they were about to set out on living in freedom. In the first part of the chapter, the farmers are told to give their first fruits to God. They are to gather them in a basket then take them to the temple. Moses gave them guidance on a prayer they are to say before God; followed by a meal with their family and temple leaders while at the temple; culminating with a time of praise and thanksgiving before the Master. Perhaps farmers do this today and I am just unaware of their private actions, but I believe this would be a far reaching testimony to the church leadership, to farm laborers, and to the family members who join in. In fact, I believe that when God sees that He comes before the bank loan, before the utility companies and before equipment leasing companies, then He will know without a doubt where our heart is. I believe that each of us are well aware of the increasing number of widows, orphans, and church workers who receive little or no income who live in our communities, and we wish we could help them all. But notice in verse 12 that every 3rd year, the first fruits are to be made available to these individuals. Today churches are hesitant to help those in need because they have been ‘burned’ so often through abuse, but wouldn’t it be awesome if others were doing their part, like our local farmers? Now imagine for a moment how a widow would be blessed to hear about a farmer who has fruit that he’s giving away. They arrive at his place of business and just stammer in awe as they try to determine why he is GIVING freely to them. Imagine how they will tell the world how awesome that man of God is! Imagine how his business will flourish because of his obedience to God! Friends, I believe that Satan places so many excuses in our minds that we tend to assume we know better than to follow God at His word. Notice that there were no conditions for the farmer to use in who benefits on that third year, other than their class. We tend to place conditions on who we will tithe to, when our income has reach a level to which we could start tithing, when we will stop tithing, etc, etc. Friends, if not for the grace of God, would we even have an income? Since He blessed us first, shouldn’t we go on blessing Him? God said that we are to give of our first fruits, may I suggest that in obedience to God, that we give freely from our income before doing anything with the remaining 90%. Remember, you can’t out-give God!
BLESSING(S) NOTED: Give, and it shall be given to you!
PRAYER: Lord, I’m sure the excuses that we give, must make You sick. To hear a child say ‘Not my hard-earned money’, must really confirm that your blessings have been unappreciated and received vainly. Lord, please remind us each day how You’ve blessed us so that that our hearts may always be filled with praise to our Maker. It’s You oh Lord who have blessed, and who has given everything for our benefit. May we give freely as You have given to us, and may our hearts be filled with praise continually. May our giving be so representative of You that others will see the heart of God as we give, and may they be drawn to You. AMEN!
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