First Fruits

November 4, 2001 AM
Pastor Chris Abernathy
Columbus, Georgia

Please open up your Bibles with me to the book of Proverbs chapter three. The book of Proverbs chapter three. This morning we will be talking about the first fruits, the first fruits. In Proverbs chapter three, beginning with verse nine, it tells us to,

9. Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of al thine increase:

10. So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

Let's read that again.

9. Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of al thine increase:

10. So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

Let us pray.

Most holy and gracious heavenly Father, we thank You for the opportunity to be in Your house one more time. Father, hide Your son behind the cross today, that Your people would see You and not me. And Father, as I decrease, I ask that You would increase. And let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, oh Lord, my strength, and my Redeemer. In Jesus' Name, amen.

Solomon's wisdom said to honor the Lord with your first fruits. First fruits means an offering. It means to make a beginning. It means to sacrifice. Not only that. It means the chief part or the principle part. It acknowledges that God is our supplier.

Most of us look at the first fruits and giving of our first fruits as if we are paying a bill. But when we think of it that way, we have the wrong mental attitude. Paul said in Second Corinthians chapter nine, beginning with verse six,

6. But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also (what?) bountifully.

7. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

But he doesn't conclude it there. He says in (glory to God) verse eight,

8. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always (not sometime, but always, not every not and then, but always) having all sufficiency (not in some things, but) in all things, may abound to every good work:

Come on, give God a handclap of praise.

When we have the wrong viewpoint, it leads to wrong conduct. We are looking for the increase. Glory to God. We are looking for the overflow. We are searching (glory to God) for God to send the harvest. But there are certain requirements and certain criteria that we have to meet.

If you would, go with me to the book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah chapter thirty-five. Certain criteria that we might have to meet before the blessing of the Lord comes into our midst. In Nehemiah chapter ten (I'm sorry. Glory be to God.) and verse thirty-five.

35. And to bring the firstfruits of our ground, and the firstfruits of all fruit of all trees, year by year, unto the house of the LORD:

Wait a minute. Year by year unto the house of the Lord. And not only (glory to God) our first fruits, but,

36. Also the firstborn of our sons, and of our cattle, as it is written in the law, and the firstlings of our herds and of our flocks, to bring to the house of our God, unto the priests that minister in the house of our God:

God is interested in the first part of our earnings, our flocks, our herds, our money, somebody. He doesn't just want a tenth. He wants the first tenth. Wait a minute. You mean He doesn't just want a tenth? No. He wants the first tenth.

In Exodus thirteen and verse two God said,

2. Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: (And not only did He say that. Right after He said that, He said,) it is mine.

Wait a minute. You mean it's not mine? No, it's not mine. It's Thine. It doesn't belong to me. It belongs to Him. When God said, "It's Mine," He means it's His.

In Leviticus twenty-seven and verse thirty, it said,

30. And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord's: (Why? Because) it is holy unto the Lord.

In verse thirty-one He said, "And if you don't give it right away," He said, "Don't only give a tenth, but add a fifth to that. Oh, you can turn to it and look at it for yourself.

In Exodus twenty-two and verse twenty-nine, He said,

29. Thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me.

Listen, saints of God. Most of the time in the house of the Lord when the preacher begins to preach on the first fruits and on the tithes, he can feel the darts that are coming after him. But I don't care about it. It's my job to tell you just how it is. He said, "I don't want the tenth. I want the first tenth. I want Mine off the top."

Saints, you want to know why our blessings are delayed? Because we pay our tithes and offerings in fragmented pieces. We delay our giving, but we don't want Him to delay His giving.

Listen, saints. Many of us think that we can get by with ten centing God and dollaring God and two-dollaring God. You'll never make it. You'll work that job until the day you die... And not only will you work it eight hours. You might think that you're off (glory to God) at four o'clock, but then all that work that you had at work, you got to bring it home. Working twelve hours, sixteen, eighteen hours a day to try to make ends meet.

That's not what the Lord requires of us. He said, "Bring ye all the tithes and offerings into the storehouse," in Malachi three, "That there might be," what? "Meat in Mine house." Not only that. He said, "Prove me, that I will open up the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing that you won't have what? Room enough to receive.

Then He went on to say, "I'll rebuke the devourer for your sake." Everything that the canker worm, the palmer worm, the locust tried to eat up, I telling them give it back seven-fold." In the Name of Jesus.

A tenth. He said it's holy to Him. But you say you don't have enough to pay your bills. You already don't have enough to pay your bills. So trust God. First fruits honor God. Second fruits don't.

The giving of the tithe is linked to our worship. It's easy to lift up holy hands. But it's hard to put them down in our pocketbook, isn't it? It's a part of the worship.

Saints, you want to know why we're not getting to the place where we're supposed to get? Because we delay our giving. Every now and then we'll give a piece of money. It'll make us feel good for a little while. Tithing here and giving there every now and then. The Bible says in Hebrews eleven that He's a rewarder of what? The diligent. He's a rewarder of the consistent.

Once you get a pattern going with God in your giving, I guarantee you God will take care of every situation and every circumstance. All you have to do is put Him in remembrance of His Word. When it seems like the hard time coming, you say, "Lord, You said. I didn't say it. You said it. And Lord, You can't lie. And You can't repent."

Listen. You've been waiting for the blessing. Sweetheart, I want you to know it ain't coming until you do what He said to do. When you get in line with the principles of God, God works. If you didn't believe He worked, then you wouldn't come Sunday after Sunday. But now that you're coming Sunday after Sunday, apply the principle.

There's no gimmick. I don't have to have hundred-lines and thousand-dollar lines. There's no gimmicks to God. He said, "You do that, and I'll do this."

Luke six and thirty-eight says, "Give, and it shall be given, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure you mete, it'll be met back to you."

The first fruits acknowledge God as our provider. That's what it does. Listen, listen, listen. Your first fruits acknowledge God as your provider. The only place that God did not require them to give of their first fruits or of an offering was in Exodus sixteen, in verse fifteen, when it said,

15. And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat.

It was obvious then where the blessing came from. It came down in miracle form. But see, when I get my paycheck after slaving (glory to God) on my job, it makes me say, "It was the work of my hands that got this money in my pockets." But when I give Him His tenth first, I acknowledge that He is Jehovah Jireh. He is El Shadai. Saints, He is the supplier. Don't forget who He is.

In Acts chapter two when the day of Pentecost was fully come... Let me tell you what that means. It's the feast of the first fruits. The disciples in the upper room (glory to God, hallelujah), they gathered themselves together. And when (glory to God) they gathered themselves together, He said, "Now I will pour out My Spirit."

Let me tell you something. We are called to be the first fruit people. When we give to God our first fruits and our best, we are His first fruits and we are His best.

At Jericho, that city called Jericho, was the first fruits. And God told them that they were not to take any of the spoil in that place. But Achan took of what he was not to partake of, because this was for the Lord. Do you hear what I'm saying? And judgment fell down on him.

Saints of God, He said, "You're cursed with a curse. You're cursed with a curse." Think about that. You don't need no witch to curse you, because you done cursed yourself.

Many times like Daniel we think it's the Prince of Persia that's holding up our blessing, but it's really us. Because we're not giving the first fruits.

In Deuteronomy twenty-eight and verse twelve, it said,

12. The Lord shall open unto thee His good treasure, the heaven to give, the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the works of thine hand: and then shalt thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.

Aren't you tired of borrowing? In the body of Christ most of us are all borrowed out. When they look at our credit report, we are what? Over extended, far beyond where we should be because of our borrowing.

Thanks. This is an important message. No, it's not a message that most people would shout hallelujah about. I don't expect it. But if you really worship God in Spirit and in truth, in your heart you're shouting and jumping and leaping and praising God.

When it's time to give the offering, we shouldn't even be able to contain you. Do you hear what I'm saying? Let me tell you something about the old apostles. It was a blessed situation, because they had all things in common. And they distributed to every man as they had need.

But now days in this modern society, in this modern church (glory to God) we don't have all things in common. And we don't distribute to every man as they have need. We get and we want to keep on getting. Do you hear what I'm saying?

We hang on to everything. Even when we know that we'll never wear it again, we'll hang on to it. Even though that automobile is paid off and I've got a new one (glory to God) and I don't have nobody to drive that old one, I'll hang on to it, instead of being a blessing to somebody else.

Saints of God, it's time to follow the principles of the Word. I don't know where your budget is. I don't know how much it takes to run your household. But let me tell you something. If you profess to Christ's, if you don't help run His household, then you're going to run your household on your own.

The devil is a liar. I need His help. I need Him. You know, you hear the preachers preaching about sowing seeds. Yes, the Bible says He gives seed to the sower. If you are a true sower, then He will provide seed for you to sow.

But many of us never break into that realm. But once I break into that realm, it's going to take me doing something radical to break what Satan thinks and knows about me. He knows that if he can keep me in an economic depression, in an economic recession in my house, then I won't take care of the Kingdom of God.

But I submit to You. It's time to break those chains. It's time to step out on faith and believe God for what He said. It may not come on the first time. But I tell you, after a while, after a while you're going to receive the promises of God.

Give Him Your first fruits. Come on, give God a handclap of praise.

Home | Local Ministry | Sermons | Prophetic Words
Ministry News | Photo Album | Contact Us | Affiliate Ministries

True Vine Ministries International · P.O. Box 12134 · Columbus, Georgia 31907

Designed by Revival Fire Web Designs

Copyright© True Vine Ministries International