We are stewards of what God has given to us, and how we manage this reflects on our values and priorities in life. Jesus taught that we demonstrate what is most important to us and that we honor God when we practice “first fruits giving” by giving to God the first portion. Giving our first fruits is the practice of planning our giving right into our household budget and making giving a priority and commitment.
Matthew 6:24 warns us,
No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
Practicing “first fruits giving” helps us to keep God first in our priorities.
Biblical Principals of Giving:
God Himself has entrusted us with many precious things: time, money, materials and opportunities. Our objective is to maximize the investment of all that has been put into our hands – that’s stewardship. The Bible outlines three specific principles related to giving:
On the first day of every week, each of you is to put aside and save whatever extra you earn, so that collections need not be taken when I come. 1 Corinthians 16:2
Planned giving is first fruits giving. We glorify God with our gifts to Him and those gifts should come first from our blessings.
… From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required …Luke 12:48
Giving in proportion to how God has blessed us. We are called to use our blessings for His glory.
Percentage giving is an element of proportionate giving and means giving a planned percentage of your income. The Bible outlines a benchmark of 10% of our income, called a tithe.
It should be everyone’s goal to tithe. If it seems overwhelming, then begin where you are and focus on growing gradually to 10% as you grow in faith.