Offering your “firstfruits”

There’s usually an order to when we give away things like food, money, and time. First, we want to make sure that we have enough for our own needs. Then, when we think we have enough, we’re willing to give away what we don’t need.

In the Old Testament, God’s people were asked to bring an offering of their grain or fruit at harvesttime. This offering was called the “firstfruits offering”, because it was the first part of their crops before the rest of the crops were harvested. They gave to God even before they knew whether they would have enough for themselves to get through the year. The firstfruits offering was a step of faith, a way of trusting God with their first and best. It was an expression of belief that God would take care of them, whether they harvested little or a lot.

God is pleased when we give to him our firstfruits, giving him our best, rather than what we can squeeze in around other commitments and priorities. This is both an expression of our trust in God and that he is our priority. Giving our firstfruits is an acknowledgement that everything we have comes from him, and we are giving what comes from his hand (1 Chron 29:14).

 

God is pleased when we give to him our firstfruits

In our context, our firstfruits are money and time. These are our valuable commodities which we guard most closely. For the moment, let me talk about giving your time.

St Andrew’s ministries are reliant on God’s people giving their time. I’m so grateful for our members who generously give their time to serve. Our ministries are not possible without them. This is especially the case for our Kidzone and Youth ministries. For example, if we don’t get enough volunteers in our Kidzone ministry on Sunday mornings, we have to limit the number of children who can be enrolled due to appropriate teacher-child ratios. We need people to serve on Sundays in Kidzone, Youth, Elderly care, Music, and Welcoming. Outside of Sundays, we ask for people to serve leading our Growth Groups, and with our mission partners around HK. Ideally, there should be no unfilled volunteering needs.

As we begin planning for our next ministry year from September, can I ask you to do the following things.

First, pray. Ask that God would raise up people to serve in our ministries. Thank God for the time, gifts, and opportunities that he has given you. Pray that he would guide you as you consider how you can serve him and his people.

Second, consider. Think about which ministry area you can serve in. Maybe your first thought will be, “I don’t have the time”. Yes, we all have busy schedules, but remember the concept of firstfruits. We honour God when we make the time. Contact our staff for more information. Carol (Children), Ian (Youth), Juliana (Elderly care), June (Music), and Claudia (Welcoming and Mission partners) would love to speak with you.

Third, get involved. You’ll find that you’re blessed as you serve. You connect with people, make friends, develop your gifts, and make a lasting difference to others for God’s glory.

Vicar

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