Day 69: Priority Giving

Read Deuteronomy 26:1-4

Grandma gave Johnny two‐nickels each Sunday. One nickel was for the Sunday school offering. The second nickel was for an ice cream after church. As Johnny walked to worship, he crossed over a bridge. Stumbling, he dropped both nickels and one fell through the timbers into the creek. Picking up the remaining nickel, Johnny looked up to heaven and said, “Well, Jesus, there went your nickel!”

Multiple surveys reveal that we want to be more generous, but we can’t. Our expenses seem stacked against us. This proves to be true regardless of income bracket. We tend to spend whatever it is we make. In fact, stats show that the more we tend to make, the less we tend to give. The only nickels we have left after stumbling through our bills leaves little left over for Jesus. That is why God commanded priority percentage giving—or “first fruits.” We are to give to God before anything else. God’s command about first fruits is intended to teach us a valuable lesson.

In 1 Timothy 6:17, the Apostle Paul penned words that express the same intent:
“Command those who are rich in this present world not to … put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.”

You might be tempted to think that this verse doesn’t apply to you because you’re not “rich.” But there is a big difference between being rich and feeling rich. By world standards, most people in our church are rich. Yet whoever I ask, “How much more money would you need to make to feel rich?” (whether they make $25k or $250k annually) they all say, “More!” Being rich or not, the focus of first fruits giving and the Apostle Paul’s command is about where you put your hope. By making our gifts to God our first priority, we help ourselves remember where our true hope is: God and not the so‐called “almighty dollar”!