GOD AND THE MONEY!

This is an excerpt from a Q&A session held in 'The Glory Place' WhatsApp Group, and I am sharing my response below on this controversial subject of God & Money, to hopefully help someone reading this...

So a member sent in the below:
"Good evening... Pls I want you to kindly explain first-fruit to me pls... I need to be enlightened about it..."

And below was the response:

The first fruit principle originated from the Old Testament being one of the laws God gave to Moses for the Children of Israel, which made it a law for them to bring to the Temple the best part of the first set of harvest from their farmland as a means to show their reverence for God Who made the land fruitful for them.

And putting that in our present day context, since most people no longer farm, many believe it is expected as a Christian to give your first-month of the year (January) salary or your first profit / payment from a new job/business to a Church or to a Pastor...
So maybe let me begin on a blunt note: It is not wrong if a believer gives 'first-fruit offering', and it is not a sin if a believer does not give 'first-fruit seed'!

The revelation with regards to giving in the New Testament is not one of law but of faith...
And what that means is, we do not give any offering of any kind because we are forced or compelled to give or even because we want God to give back to us... Rather, we have an understanding that God owns us and everything we own, and because we believe He can supply all our needs, we do not see giving for the furtherance of the Gospel or giving to those who labour to teach and guide us into God's Word or giving to others as a show of our love, as something that we should be forced to do, but rather should come naturally to us because the Spirit of God dwells in us and leads us to do what pleases God...

However, the truth remains that God blesses those who give with the right motives, and there will surely be a harvest, which can come in different forms, not necessarily money... So the believer gives basically because he believes, not because he is compelled to,  or because he is expecting a return. 

So if for instance, giving your first-fruit means you probably would end up complaining and whining, or begging all the rest of that month, then it is rather better not to give, and at least save the name of God. But if you have faith that you will joyfully live contented with whatever you have, trusting God to supply your needs daily, then that's the right way to do first-fruit. Its all about the heart and the faith, and not the religious obligation.

Lets also understand that our relationship with God is one of partnership; that means we have our part to play and God also has His part... And it is not just about a one-time action, rather it is a progressive walk. So, with God, financial prosperity does not answer simply to giving God "God's Money", because there are also the laws of self-discipline, faithfulness, contentment, humility, and the likes, in determining if God will prosper a man...

So I can suffice to say that giving my first-fruit alone is not a guarantee that the rest salaries/profits of the year will be managed by God, or that I will get any supernatural favours or harvest; NO...! Not when I am not doing my job with skill and discipline... Not when I do not humble myself to learn and utilize good opportunities... Not when I spend my money on things that do not bring God glory...

In essence; Most spiritual principles are interconnected and interrelated, that's just the point I am trying to make... So, doing just one religiously with utmost discipline does not necessarily mean God will respond. This is also the reason why some give their tithes and keep busy calculating and updating God on how much they have given so far; then when no return comes, they start complaining or they even stop giving...

Personally, I do encourage believers to give as much as their faith can bear; at least that 10% is definitely not too much for any believer; while some people's faith can actually do the first-fruit. We go higher as we grow in our faith and in our personal relationship with God; just as we may have heard some say they give tithes of over the usual 10%... 

And at the end of it all, the reward actually comes from our response to God by faith, not just the works. But again, personally, I would not agree that a true Christian who professes Christ and believes in His Gospel needs to be forced to give. Not when the person truly has the Spirit of God in him...

And taking a few lessons from Paul the Apostle:

"...What makes you better than anyone else? What do you have that God hasn't given you? And if all you have is from God, why boast as though you have accomplished something on your own?..."
1Corinthians 4:7 (NLT)

"...You must each make up your own mind as to how much you should give. Don't give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves the person who gives cheerfully. And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others."
2Corinthians 9:7-8 (NLT)

I hope this piece helps someone out there. Thank you for sharing with me!

#GodisStillinCharge

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