“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
9 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: 10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine. KJV
9 Honor the LORD with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase; 10 So your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine. NKJV
9 Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops;
10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. NIV
If you are truly a child of God, your desire is to honor the Lord. One of the first ways that you honor Him is with your substance; your possessions; your wealth. No one can serve God and mammon; money; possessions at the same time. You can only put one first place in your life.
“No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” Luke 16:13 NIV
You honor God when you bring Him the first fruits of your increase. By offering the first fruits of the increase of your substance, you demonstrate that God is number one in your life. When you make God your priority, He will make you His priority! God says that if you will honor Him with your substance and your first fruits then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. You will be abundantly blessed. You will have more than enough. You will have enough for what you need today and for what you will need tomorrow!
1 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have acquired a man from the LORD.” 2 Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD. 4 Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering, 5 but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. 6 So the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” 8 Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. Genesis 4:1-8 NKJV
Cain and Abel both brought an offering to the Lord. Abel brought the firstborn of his flock and their fat, but Cain brought only an offering of the fruit of the ground – not the first fruit of his harvest. God accepted Abel’s offering, but He did not accept Cain’s offering. Cain was angry with God for rejecting Him, when it was he who had rejected God first because did not honor Him with his first and best. If we do not honor God in a way that is acceptable to Him, it is because we do not have the right heart attitude. If we do not have the right heart attitude, then sin will rule over us. God does not want sin to rule over us. He wants us to rule over sin, for our own sake.
Cain did not kill Abel because god had rejected him and his offering. Cain killed Abel because he had a jealous, covetous spirit. His covetousness was the reason God rejected him in the first place – because he kept the best for himself instead of offering it to God. God sees your heart and God sees your offering. Give of the first fruits of the increase of your substance with a willing heart and the Lord will accept you and your offering.
4 Moses said to the whole Israelite community, “This is what the LORD has commanded: 5 From what you have, take an offering for the LORD. Everyone who is willing is to bring to the LORD an offering of gold, silver and bronze; 6 blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; 7 ram skins dyed red and hides of sea cows; acacia wood; 8 olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; 9 and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece. Exodus 35:4-9 NIV
As a church, we are going to honor God with the first fruits of our increase in the month of January 2002. All those, at The River, who are of a willing heart and mind are going to bring a week’s worth of our salaries and wages and we are going to offer it to the Lord as our first fruits. We are trusting the Lord for a blessing upon us and our families in this New Year, where our barns will be filled to overflowing, and our vats will brim over with new wine!