First portion to the first love

“When you arrive in the land where I am taking you… you must set some aside as a sacred offering to the Lord. Present a cake from the first of the flour you grind… as you do with the first grain from the threshing floor. (Numbers 15:18-20 NLT)

Not just entering the promise land requires obedience to God so He would fight for us, staying in the promise land requires a continual obedience so His power will keep us!

It is essential that a mutual trust is established between God and ourselves right from the beginning that we would be His people and He would be our God. This means we obey God and He will protect us and provide us.

First step to show God that He can trust us is by showing our first love is for Him. This means keeping Him first in all we earn, spend and do!

If we really trust God we trust His command to tithe (first portion) of all we earn!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways,and He will guide you on the right paths.
Honor the Lord with your possessions and with the first produce of your entire harvest; then your barns will be completely filled,and your vats will overflow with new wine. Proverbs 3:5-6, 9-10

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Who am I to doubt His provision

“…You may gather the food for six days, but the seventh day is the Sabbath. There will be no food on the ground that day.”
Some of the people went out anyway on the seventh day, but they found no food. Exodus 16:26-27

It is important to realize that for a child of God the provision comes from God and it also includes the Lord’s gift of rest.

His provision is more than what we need for food, bills and living – it also has what we need to obey and live out this awesome Christian life!

This practically means, His provision may look ‘not enough’ in natural but it has enough to meet all our needs, the portion to return back to the Lord (yes, tithe) and no need to work on Lord’s day to make ends meet.

It is a blessing to understand that this kind of provision is a supernatural Lord’s gift to us, and it does avoid a lot of frustration if we believe.

The LORD asked Moses, “How long will these people refuse to obey my commands and instructions? They must realize that the Sabbath is the LORD’s gift to you. That is why he gives you a two-day supply on the sixth day, so there will be enough for two days. On the Sabbath day you must each stay in your place. Do not go out to pick up food on the seventh day.” Exodus 16:28-29

The sign for God-dependence

“… and I will present to God a tenth of everything he gives me.” Gen 28:22

Jacob made this vow at Bethel which was on the way to his uncle’s town. This was the very first time Jacob had left his home – with a choice before him, either to live an independent life or a God-dependent life.

It is so true that we can only obey God when we are trained to obey our parents (the very first authority in our lives). Yes, Jacob was trickster, but he trained himself to obey his parents (Gen 27:8 Rebekah, Gen 28:1 Isaac) whether it sounded good or not.

On contrast, we see his twin brother Esau was the right opposite (Gen 26:34-35, Gen 28:6-9) – always put into practice to rebel against parent’s instructions. No wonder why he struggled to live God’s will, and had lost his birth right and the Abraham’s Blessing.

Jacob, only because he heeded to his father Isaac’s command was able to be in Bethel on his way to his uncle’s house. Jacob had no clue that he was walking in God’s will, and that he had slept right in God’s presence (Bethel means God’s House), and received one of the most enviable promises from God – “… I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.” Gen 28:15.

Right then, Jacob was convinced in God’s plan and wanted to live a God-dependent life (even though he would struggle to get there), and establishes a sign of commitment – The Tithe, an act of returning back 10% to God of all that He would give to him.

Only thru’ this Tithe commitment Jacob establishes a personal dependence-relationship with God, and we see that God no longer addresses Himself to Jacob as “I am God of Abraham and Isaac”, but as “I am God of Bethel… where… and made your vow to me” (Gen 31:13).

This God-dependent The Tithe sign that we establish will sure catch the attention of our children (both posterity and spiritual ones) and make them to strive for the Abraham’s Blessing of faith that begins with a simple obedience.