It seems that I’ve hit this phrase in several different studies I’ve been working through over the past few months. It’s not something we talk about all that much…I think because as we have moved from an agrarian society to a more technological one, the metaphor is less clear to us than it might have been a hundred years ago. But, it is something worth thinking about. Why? Because God deserves better than our leftovers.
Think about it. Every marriage seminar, class, training…even my premarital counseling taught me that I should “give everything I have” to my work. My spouse needs me, my kids need me…and they don’t just need a shell of a dad at the end of the day, they need my “I am home now and ready to engage” best self. This was something I struggled quite a lot with in my early years of leaving the house at 5:30 and getting home at 5:30. There just wasn’t a lot of “quality dad” left, unless I took a moment, gathered my strength, and walked in to the house ready to vacuum, clean, cook, help, give horse-back rides, or whatever needed to be done.
Does God deserve any less? The Bible has no less than 28 verses that talk about giving God our first fruits. (Google it!) Why again? Because where our treasure is, there our heart is also? True, but there’s a more important element, still. Richard Exley says in his book, ‘The Making of a Man,’ “When a man honors God with the firstfruits of his time and energy, he is demonstrating his confidence in Him. He is trusting God to make his labors fruitful.” In other words, God is worthy of our best…and we demonstrate our confidence by trusting that God will make our labor even more fruitful through our obedience to Him.