Put God First (2 of 4)

Mike Connell

Page 4 of 10
“So it shall be, when you son asks you in the time to come, saying what is this”? Or in other words: why are you managing your money like this? Why are you managing your resources like this? You'll say: “It's because, by strength of hand, the Lord brought us out of Egypt, and out of bondage”.

So notice even here, at this first introduction of the law of first-fruits, or the first, giving the first to God, it says very clearly two things: #1, that we should give the first portion to God; and #2, it comes because we're grateful for what He has done.

This is not a matter of law, or obligation, or duty. This is an issue of gratitude, so when your children ask you: why is it, that you manage your finances by giving the first portion to the Lord? You say: because God delivered me out of bondage. I used to live in the world in anxiety and debt and dread; I used to live coveting; I used to live in bondage and fear.

I had all kinds of things going on, my money was in a mess, and now God has delivered me out of all of that bondage. Now I'm in a place of blessing, and here's why I'm in a blessing: I put the Lord first. This is a principle for how families should govern their finances.

Notice it said: “you have to set apart the first born of the womb”. Suppose I've got two sheep, a ram and a sheep; and now I have the first lamb. Now, this is the way we would think: I will wait until I have 10 lambs, and I'll give one to the Lord; but what the Bible says is: no, the very first one, you give that to the Lord.

Now here's the question that immediately would come, if you're under the power of Mammon. What if the ewe fails to bring forth any more lambs? What if it damages itself, when it has that first born, and can't produce any more lambs? Where will I be then? I know what I need to do: I'll keep this one, and I'll wait until I've got 10, and I'll give the tenth one to the Lord. That is not giving the first to the Lord.

Here an act of faith is required. The act of faith is this: I will give the first, and I expect all the rest to be really blessed; and you'll find consistently, whenever it talks about giving the first to the Lord, the purpose of it is to redeem all the rest, so that the rest is blessed.

The hard thing is to think that way, because we don't tend to think that way at all. We think: I'll wait until I've got a few more, then I'll do it. But this is the principle: when we offer the first to God, it puts all the rest under blessing.

That's it in a nutshell; so when you offer the first to God, all the rest of what you have is now blessed; and I'll show you some scriptures related to that, but if you would just take away this one thought: if I give my first to God, then the rest is blessed. There's a blessing on it.

What does that mean? It means: I don't suffer the devouring, by lots of things going wrong, that others suffer. I have opportunities come, that others don't have. It's: somehow, God makes the nine-tenths go further than the ten-tenths.

Now when you're living in bondage, if you can barely making it on ten-tenths, then surely in your mind you'll think: nine-tenths, I'm going to fall over.

What He's saying here is this: you have to act in faith. Your money is under the power of a spirit. Put it in God's hands. Okay, here it is, I give it to You God. He says: no, no, no, no, no. I only require the first portion - you give me the first portion, and all the rest is under blessing.

This principle follows everywhere. Romans 5:8 – “While we're yet sinners, Christ died for us. God in His generosity, gave His first born”.

Jesus Christ was called the lamb of God, the spotless lamb of God. He was called the Firstborn, from the dead; so Jesus Christ - God actually modelled it. God gave, or He gave of His Son.

He gave generously and extravagantly; He gave His Son, who was holy and spotless and clean? His Son, Jesus came to the earth, born of a human body.

Now here's the deal: we are unclean in sin, but God's offering of His first born, makes all of us clean. In other words, the blessing comes on all of humanity, because the first is given.