Discipleship, the Grace and Peace Budget and your First Things
At Grace and Peace we do not write, speak or preach often about money or giving. And yet what we do in this matter of giving is an important part of our Christian discipleship, i.e. our walk with God. The following teaching is helpful:
What you do first with whatever is entrusted to you indicates where you are in your relationship with God.
That’s why the Israelites were instructed in Deuteronomy 26 to take some of the first-fruits of all that they produced from the territory God gave them, put it in a basket and bring it to the tabernacle where God dwells. Then they were to affirm their devotion to God by giving it to Him as an offering. In this act of giving their first-fruits they were to declare their appreciation for all God had done in bringing them to their present state and express their devotion to Him.
When we give God our leftovers we will always find it hard to come up with sufficient to adequately express our appreciation. We also will find that whatever is given is likely given grudgingly. When first-fruits are given we find it easier to rejoice in the giving, confident that God will be pleased and will enable us to live adequately on what is left. It thus sets a tone for all of life.
That might also be why there are many encouragements in the Bible to seek God when you first get up in the morning. When He is the focus of our attention first, He will put everything else we encounter the rest of the day in its proper place and enable us to handle it joyfully and responsibly. This no doubt is why Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Someone has rightfully challenged us with the words: Always keep first things first.
Rev. L. Goltz