"Honor The Lord With Thy Substance"
When a person recognizes that he owes everything to the Lord, he counts it a great honor to use what God has trusted to his hands for the honor of God. We honor God in our giving when our gifts are "WITH THE FIRSTFRUITS OF ALL THINE INCREASE." "God, who is the first and best, must have the first and best of everything. His right is prior to all other, and therefore he must be served first" (Matthew Henry). First-fruit gifts are required for three reasons: (1) As an Acknowledgement of Redemption (Ex. -13), (2) As a Declaration of God's Ownership, and (3) As an Act of Faith. When we give God of the first-fruits of our substance, we declare that we trust him to provide all that we need.
"SO SHALL THY BARNS BE FILLED WITH PLENTY, AND THY PRESSES SHALL BURST OUT WITH NEW WINE." "He does not say thy bags, but thy barns, not thy wardrobe replenished, but thy presses. God shall bless thee with an increase of that which is for use, not for show or ornament - for spending and laying out, not for hoarding and laying up. Those that do good with what they have shall have more to do good with" (Matthew Henry). A niggardly spirit is an impoverishing policy (Prov. -25; Hag. 1:4-6; II Cor. 9:6). God challenges us to prove him by our gifts (Mal. ; II Chron. 31:5-10; Lk. ). The law dealt with us as children and prescribed an exact amount to give, a tithe. The gospel treats us as men and leaves it to circumstance, principle, conscience, and the constraint of love to determine the amount given.
WHEN YOU GIVE, GIVE ACCORDING TO THE
DICTATES OF A GRATEFUL HEART, GIVING NEITHER MORE NOR LESS THAN YOUR GRATITUDE
AND CIRCUMSTANCES REQUIRE. No one has ever impoverished himself by giving. Yet,
we must carefully avoid any selfish, self-serving ends in giving. Our object
must be to honor God, not to serve and please ourselves. Give with a
self-renouncing spirit (I Chron. 29:14-16; Matt. 6:1-4; 25:37-39). Give the
firstfruits, with implicit faith (I Kings -16). Give only by the constraint of love