The Principle of The First

Dr. Dave always says, life goes better when you put God first. In every area, put God first. Today’s message is about The Principle of the First. 

According to Pastor Robert Morris, this is the most important message he could preach to believers. Catch this principle. It will change everything in your life. The principle of the first runs all through Scripture. We need to pay attention to it and understand it. 

If God is first in your life, everything will come into order. You’ll have tribulations, but be of good cheer, He has overcome the world. Going through difficulty while putting God first positions you for order and peace. Let’s look at three illustrations for this Principle of The First.

#1 The Principle of The Firstborn: The Old Testament was written for our instruction. With that in mind, let's look at the law given pertaining to firstborn animals and the law for the donkey and the lamb.  Exodus 13 required the Israelites to consecrate (set apart or set aside) all firstborn male animals for the Lord. God declared that the firstborn belongs to Him. Donkeys, which were an unclean animal and not acceptable for sacrifice, were to be redeemed or bought back with a lamb that was an acceptable sacrifice. If the donkey was not redeemed, its neck was to be broken. Hear this,  if the donkey was not redeemed with a lamb, they were still going to lose it anyway. This speaks to the tithe. You can bring the tithe (10%) into the House of God and the 90% will be blessed or you can keep it for yourself and lose it anyway. Wouldn’t you rather be blessed? 

There are two classifications of animals in this passage. The donkey represents unclean animals. Lambs represent clean animals. What does this have to do with you in the 21st Century? It's the principle. It’s talking about Jesus and the sacrifice He made for us, for mankind. Unclean animals had to be redeemed with the sacrifice of a clean animal. Humans were born unclean. Did you have to teach your children to be bad? No. They’re born with a sin nature. We’re all born with a sin nature. Jesus was born clean and lived a holy life. He was the lamb without blemish.

The clean had to be sacrificed so that the unclean could be redeemed. This is how important the firstborn is. Note, when the firstborn is sacrificed, the rest are redeemed. The first is the redemptive one. Jesus  had to be sacrificed to redeem us, the clean for the unclean. The law was to bring the firstborn lamb to God and the rest were blessed. The first one is the redemptive one. You didn’t wait till ten lambs were born before you brought one to God. The first was brought before the other nine were born. Again this is regarding the tithe. Pay the tithe first in faith and then pay your bills and buy the items you want. Malachi 3:10 says when we don’t tithe that we are robbing God. You have two choices. You can bring your tithe to the house of God or you can steal it. The firstborn, or first of the increase, is brought to the house of God.

#2 The Principle of The Firstfruits: Proverbs 3:9-10 says to honor the Lord with your possessions. How do you honor God with your car or house? Give God the first tenth of your income and then buy a car or house that you can afford. It’s amazing what God will do.  

Exodus 23:19 says to bring the “first of your firstfruits” to the house of God, emphasizing “first” twice. Additionally, note the word “bring”. Why does God tell us to “bring” our firstfruits rather than “give” our firstfruits? It’s because you can’t give what doesn’t belong to you. The firstfruits belong to God. In the account of Cain and Abel making offerings, God accepted Abel’s but not Cain’s (Genesis 4). “In the process of time it came to pass” that Cain brought his offering. It kind of happened. Abel brought of the firstborn and Abel’s offering was respected. But God did not respect Cain's offering. This was 2500 years before the Law was given to Moses. Principles of Firstborn and Firstfruits were already in existence long before the Law. Many believers give as they “feel led” but the first 10% of their money is the Lord’s. It’s consecrated. It should be brought, returned, to God. 

Cain gave what he wanted when he wanted as he felt led. It’s not that God would not accept it but that He could not. He cannot act outside of His character. Just like God can’t lie because He is the truth. He can’t sin. He can’t change because to change means He could get better, but He’s already the best. God can’t think the way we think. We think to figure things out. God is not trying to figure out anything. He has all knowledge and knows everything at the same time. Nothing has ever occurred to God. He’s never said “do you know what I just thought of?” These are facets of God’s character. In regard to Cain and his offering, God could not accept the offering because He is preeminent. God can never be second. He is above all and before all. Bringing God your seconds will not and cannot be accepted. 

#3 The Principle of the First Ten percent: Leviticus 27:30 tells us that “all the tithe of the land is the Lord’s.” It is holy and set apart for God. This may be more personal to Father God than what you might think. That is because it represents Jesus. Colossians 1:15 explains that Jesus is the firstborn. He is the firstfruits of those who’ve fallen asleep. He is God's tithe. God gave Jesus while people were spitting on Him and scourging Him and nailing Him to the cross in crucifixion. God gave Jesus in hope, faith, that we would accept Him. Tithing is very personal to God. 

So what is your firstfruits when you are setting aside the tithe out of your increase and you have a fistful of dollars? How do you know which dollars are first? The first thing to leave your hand is first. Make sure to give that to God. He won’t and can’t accept anything less. Then proclaim God’s goodness. 

When your son asks you about why you give firstfruits to God, tell him what God has done in your life and for your family. Let him know why you make the sacrifice, because God, with a mighty hand, redeemed you. 

Ask God “What are saying to me?” through this message. Ask Him what He wants you to learn. Understand The Principle of The First. Put God first in every area of your life including finances and watch what He will do.