Who’s getting your first fruits?

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You got paid on Monday. And now that it’s Sunday, there’s not much left to put in the offering plate at church. More of us think this way (and live this way) than will admit it. According to Dave Ramsey, 78% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. So who’s getting your first fruits?

If the banks that own your house and car are on automatic bank draft — carefully timed for the day after your pay check is directly deposited in your account – is the pledge to your church also? Are you offering God your leftovers instead of your first fruits?

The concept of first fruit giving is mentioned 13 times in the first five books of the Bible alone. “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops.” —Proverbs 3:9 Some translate the Hebrew word for first fruits, “bikkurim,” as “promise to come.”

“When you come into the land which I give you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest.” —Leviticus 23:10

But the concept of first fruit is not just an Old Testament one. The New Testament continues this “promise to come” or “bikkurim,” describing the resurrection of Christ as God’s best and perfect gift of redemption to the world. Christ is the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep – and the fulfillment of the promise to come (1 Corinthians 15: 20-28). James 1:18 tells us that we are a kind of first fruits. Romans 8:23 says we have the first fruits of the Spirit. And even in the end, Revelation 14: 4-5, describes the saints as first fruits in a passage that reminds me of our Moravian seal:

“These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless.”

So, about giving your first fruits to church in this present life: It’s easier than you think. Many Moravian congregations now have online monthly giving enabled by credit card on the Moravian Giving Portal. As you make your pledge to your congregation this year, it is easy to schedule monthly payments for the day after payday. Whether you are able to attend all services or not, you’ll be honoring the Lord with your first fruits. Whether payday is on a Monday or Saturday, you’ll be honoring the Lord with your first fruits. If it’s snowing, you’re sick, or you’re traveling, your first fruit gift remains faithful.

Click here to get started now! If your Moravian congregation does not have online giving enabled on the Moravian Giving Portal, call Chris Spaugh at 1-888-722-7923.

 

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Vince Holbrook

About the Author:

Vince Holbrook began as Director of Communication and Marketing in November 2017. He's a career communications professional who teaches public speaking and interpersonal communication at Forsyth Technical Community College and Guilford Technical Community College. He also spent significant time with Gilbarco Veeder-Root, Texas Instruments and Trone Advertising. A graduate of Morehead State University in Morehead, KY, Vince holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism as well as a Master’s degree in Applied Communication from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He is a member of First Moravian Church in Greensboro, NC and also attends Come & Worship emerging ministry at the Liberty Arts Coffee Shop in Winston-Salem.
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