James 1:18 “He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all He created”
I don’t know how you feel about the subject of excellence but God loves excellence because He Himself is excellent. Why do I think that? Because the Word of God says so! We read in Psa 8:1 “O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens!” We are told that God’s name is excellent. Do you know what that means? The Hebrew word implies powerful, magnificent, glorious, great, honorable, and more… There is no other name like it.
God’s love is excellent. Psa 36:7 says, “How excellent is Your lovingkindness, O God!” God’s words are excellent. Prov 8:6-7 says,”Listen, for I will speak of excellent things, And from the opening of my lips will come right things; For my mouth will speak truth; Wickedness is an abomination to my lips.”
Many times in the “Christian world” we see a spirit of “leftovers” – not excellence. Some people sparingly give a little time to serve others in the church – when it’s convenient and doesn’t take from their personal enjoyment. A commitment to serving others regularly in church is far too rare. When it comes to giving – for most – and I do mean most – it’s the getting rid of junk – outdated stuff and clothes that have little or no value. And even more give nothing. People give leftover older clothes that they don’t want any more – clothes that are closer to out-of-style and shabby than excellent. We see run down churches in disrepair with old beaten up furniture for its furnishings. We see churches that have people at their doorstep with needs for help and benevolence but the churches without the resources, manpower, or finances to do much or anything about it. Does that sound like excellence to you?
Did you now that God always taught His people to give firstfruits and tithes? The tithe was the first ten percent of all source of income that was to be given to the storehouse or temple or to today what we call the local church. The tithe was and still is an acknowledgement that the Lord is the Lord and owner of all we have in our lives. It is an acknowledgement that all that we have is from God and belongs to God. It is the acknowledgement that we are to be the excellent stewards or managers of the 90% He allows us to steward or manage.
Let me take this even to a higher level. The firstfruits were not just the first ten percent but the very best or most excellent of their crop or cattle or whatever their source of income was as an offering to the Lord. It was not leftovers! You could not bring a blemished offering to the Lord. It was the giving of excellence to the most excellent God. Do you know what the result of that was? The people were blessed, the priests were taken care of so they could focus on service to God, and there was plenty in the temple to minister to those needing benevolence. It affected to hearts of the people in an excellent way. It really affected their hearts in that it caused them to be “givers.” They became loosed from thinking everything they had was theirs. It caused them to be loosed from covetousness. It resulted in their freedom of heart, their dependency upon God, and their increased faith knowing they had been obedient to God. It resulted in God’s blessing raining down on His people. When God’s people were focused in this way, what was available wasn’t scraps and leftovers – it was the best for the excellent. 1 Chron. 22:5 says this about the house of the Lord; “And David said, Solomon my son is young and tender, and the house that is to be builded for the Lord must be exceeding magnifical, of fame and of glory throughout all countries: I will therefore now make preparation for it. So David prepared abundantly before his death.” So many religious people find “religious” reasons to attack building a great church. Solomon’s temple was God’s doing and the greatest attribute built to God by man in history. It was excellent and during this time, it was the greatest time of peace in history for God’s people. It became the center of their community, increased the people’s love for God, and everyone was taken care of.
Today’s Fresh Manna calls us God’s firstfruits? It says, “He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all He created.” God is saying we are His firstfruits which means we are the best or most excellent of all He’s ever made.
It’s important to know that. If we are His best or His excellence in this earth (and we are,) then wouldn’t it be good to resemble it? Christianity is not some “barely get along and share your leftovers and scraps with those around you” mentality” If that is your mentality, then that’s how you’ll become! Look around you. Look up. See all that God has created. It is excellent. Likewise, we are to stand for excellence in everyway we possibly can. Look in the mirror before you start your day. Do you look like you just got out of bed and pulled a shirt out of the hamper or do you look excellent? Did you prepare yourself in the word of God and prayer to carry love, hope and faith into this world to represent the Lord, or are you grouchy and the whole world is about to find that out? Are you ready to stand for excellence in your manner of conduct, in your attitude of giving, in the giving of your love and service to others, and in how you represent your excellent Heavenly Father and your Lord Jesus Christ in this earth? Will your work habits be excellent? Will your words be uplifting and excellent? Will you hold up that standard so that when God calls us His firstfruits, those around us can see it! You are His firstfruits and you were meant to be excellent like Him. Put it on. Keep it on. And as you do, watch over time how it changes you!
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.