For a number of years New Life have taken a special offering at the beginning of the year. We have called it a “New Year” offering or a “First fruit” offering. The term “first fruit offering” is used because it proclaims the same truths as the first fruit giving did in the Old Testament and it expresses our same confidence in God that the Children of Israel were called upon to demonstrate.
There is however one important difference between the first fruit offerings of the Old Covenant and what we who are of the New Covenant choose to take as an example for our giving.
Those who were under the law of the first covenant were obliged to give the offerings prescribed in that law; the first fruit was demanded of them.
We who have a relationship with God because of Jesus are under no such obligation. We give because it is our choice to do so even when that giving is inspired by and follows the example of the Old Testament.
Any tithe we give and any other offering is not an obligation imposed upon us but a freewill expression of our gratitude to the Lord.
A truth emphasised repeatedly in the Old Testament by the demands of the law was that the first and the best belongs to God, the firstborn son, the firstborn of the flocks and herds, the first of the harvests. We who have benefited so much of his grace should gladly concur that he is worthy of our first and best.
As we take up our first fruits offering what are we expressing?
- We are honouring the Lord and His Christ. “I give this to the mighty God, the Lord of all.” We acknowledge him as creator and the one who sustains all.
- We show our thanks to the Lord for his goodness to us in the past year recognising his faithfulness and gracious provision.
- We acknowledge that all we have at our disposal is his, that “the earth is the Lord’s”. We are but stewards. Whatever we have we hold in trust.
- We are demonstrating our confidence in his provision for the year to come.
“Kingdom living” is offering the first and best of our life to God in worship and using the rest in generous ways that honour Him.
Offering the first fruit to God is an act of faith. It is a declaration of our confidence in His promise to provide for our needs.
Do you believe that God will supply all your needs in 2020? As we give our first fruit offering we are saying, “I believe you Lord”.
This year we will take up the offering in both the morning & evening services on the 2nd, 9th, 16th & 23rd February. The elders will be available to pray with everyone. If you are a tax payer please ensure that you identify your gift by using a First Fruits envelope, so that we are able to claim Gift Aid.