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Put God First (2 of 4)

Mike Connell

Summary Notes

1. Introduction
· Mt.6:24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other or else he will be loyal to one and despise the other”.
· There is a battle for your heart over the issue of money – a daily on-going battle.
· Mammon is a spirit that seeks to capture your heart, loyalty and love.
· Mammon = Aramaic word = “riches”, wealth (assets, possessions, earnings).
· Spirit of Mammon:
Speaks to you Overwhelms people with fear and anxiety
Promises you much Desires to take place of God in your life
Seeks to enslave you
· Money has a spirit power operating behind it – Spirit Mammon – or Spirit of God.
· Associated Spirits
Spirit of Pride – I worked hard to get all this, I am entitled to these things.
Spirit of Poverty – Not enough, why should you have those things and not me.
· V26 - God is generous – He is a giver – it is His nature – He is extravagant.
· V33 – “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you”.
Put God first in your heart and financial matters – faith not fear (anxiety).

2. The First Portion belongs to God
· What should I do with money? – Give the first portion to God and steward the rest.

(a) Ex.13:2 “Consecrate to me all the first born”
- Every first born animal was either sacrificed or redeemed with a lamb
- This was an act of faith – did not know whether animal would produce more
- Didn’t want to give until had 10 lambs and give one – gave the first born in faith
- The offering of the first born redeemed the rest – all others are now blessed.

(b) Rom. 5:8,18 God demonstrates His own love towards us in that while we were still sinners – Christ died for us
- Jesus was referred to by John the Baptist as the “Lamb of God”
- No one took Jesus’ life He offered it up – He is the first born
- God gave the first born so the rest could be blessed

(c) Lev. 27:30 “All the tithe of the land is the Lord’s”
The first portion belongs to the Lord – it is the Lord’s
The first portion is devoted – set apart for the Lord

3. The First Portion determines the nature of the rest

(a) Rom. 11:16 “If the first fruit is holy, the lump also is holy; when we give the first to the Lord all the rest is blessed. When we withhold the first from the Lord the rest is cursed.
(b) Josh 6:18-19 Jericho – all the silver and gold and vessels of bronze and iron are consecrated to the Lord – they shall come into the treasury of the Lord.

· Jericho – was the first city. All its contents were first fruits to the Lord.
· It took faith to give the silver and gold to God – what if they win no other battle?
· They did not wait to conquer other cities and then give tithe to the Lord.
· Achan took what was devoted to the Lord
Money: Devoted before he took it Choice 100% kept all cursed
Cursed after he took it Choice 90% kept all blessed
Result was no spiritual power to prevail in warfare
V2 Key sin: Covetous – greed and deception.

4. Giving the First Portion is an Issue of the Heart
· Giving the tithe, the first portion to God is a heart issue.
· Is God going to be first in my life, have my love and loyalty?
· Key Heart Issues
(i) Honour - Will I honour God and place Him first? (Prov.3:19)
- What value do I place on God and my relationship?
(ii) Faith - Will I trust God with who He is – a generous provider
- Will I trust God by giving my first 10th – tithe?
e.g. Gen.22:1 Abraham gave his first born son
Gen 4:4 Abel gave his first born animal
(iii) Gratitude - Am I grateful to God for all that He has given to me?
e.g. Gen.14:18 Abraham gave tithe out of gratitude to blessing
(iv) Willing - Will I give out of a willing heart or out of duty, fear
e.g. Ex. 35,5 Israel brought with a willing heart
1 Cor.8:12 First a willing mind
· Without exception tithers say – I am blessed God has blessed me
· Without exception non tithers say – I cannot afford to tithe
· The first portion carries the blessing that redeems the rest
· Mt.23:23 “These things (tithe) ought to have done and not neglected the weightier matters of the law justice, mercy, faith”
· Mal.3:8-9 “Prove me in this – bring the whole tithe into the storehouse”