What have I given God in 2010 from my labors? From my time? From my finances? From my home? How many times have I been in church in 2010? How much money have I given? How many times have I used my spiritual gift in the church, the Body of Christ to edify, heal or show mercy? How many days have I started my day with study, prayer and devotionals for myself and my family as we gather together in our home to worship Our God on a daily basis?
As I make my January, 2010 list, I map out my schedule of time spent in these areas and time spent in doing what I love as well, going to sports games? Fishing? Movies? Restaurants? And, of course shopping for new items I just can’t live without. Oh, and did I add hunting and learning to use my new gadgets. This on top of driving my beloved children to school. As well as other daily duties. Gee, my map is running off the page before I get to God, What about yours?
I would like to share a study from one of my Bible Teachers:
At my weekly community bible study, our teacher, Mrs. M, was speaking on “giving God the left overs.” Many times we get so busy in our daily lives that we give God our “Left Overs.” Many of us have had our fill of left overs after the holidays. When the food was first cooked, it looked delicious. We couldn’t wait to eat all the beautiful food. Then we make room in our refrigerator for the “left overs”. As the left overs sit in our refrigerator, the food will begin to spoil. We have a short time to eat it before it spoils. We don’t look at the food the same way we did when it was FIRST cooked. When we wake up in the mornings and rush to get the kids off to school or rush off to work without going to God and giving Him our first best fruits of the day, we are giving God our Left Overs. When we fill our days with priorities other than God, we are giving God our Left Overs. We should start the day with God and end it with God. We should give God our first, our best each day. God will not tolerate second best or left overs.
Genesis 4:2-5, 2 “When they grew up. Abel became a shepherd, while Cain cultivated the ground. When it was time for the harvest Cain presented some of his crops to the Lord. Abel also brought a gift- the best of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift, but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry and he looked dejected. God wants our first-fruit. Exodus 23:16 “Second, celebrate the Festival of Harvest, when you bring me the first crops of your harvest.” Exodus 23:19 “As you harvest your crops bring the very best of the first harvest to the house of the Lord Your God.”
Lord please forgive me for bringing to you and my church and my Christian family the “Left Overs.” Now, I must write and study my account of what I have done with my first- fruits? I must admit to all of you even in writing this I was so tired I fell asleep. But, I thought I must get it done because after my busy work week I must get to my busy family week. Hum! When and How does this all END!
Note of interest: I, Sara, helped CF compile her list for map. I apology for not taking more time to really help her list all her activities. Things like care of pets. Big doggie, little doggie, and kitty. Yard maintenance and repair and remodeling of house. Cooking, cleaning, laundry and helping two children with home work and other school and sports activities. My mind can’t handle all this at one time. Sorry, CF
25 thoughts on “Left Overs vs. First -Fruits”
Wendy, all these left overs makes God seem like some old grannie that just gets happy because some kid just shows up!
Wendy, knowing you are a skilled RN in an ICU unit full time on top of this schedule of family obligations and fun and surf I think you best just leave God in the closet where it looks like you have locked Him. He may not want to peek into a schedule like this. Gee, it even scares me!
Maybe I should just bow down and worship you, super woman you are!
Chickenfarmer, I think your blog and truthfulness is like an alarm clock. Lots of noise, radio blasting and clanging that says, anything and everything, just wake-up!
Thank you for your honesty is showing us our day in a day. After reading this so early in the morning and having to get up and look in the bathroom mirror I must say I don’t look very awake this am.
I thank you for always taking time out to pray and encourage others when and wherever needed. I sure want to encourage you to have a great year in 2010 with purpose. Be encouraged today. I appreciate you.
“And Peter said to Jesus, ‘though all others forsake, deny or dessert You, I will never forsake You’, and all the others said the same thing.”
Jesus said,” No one can serve two masters. For either he will hate one and love the other or he will stand by and be devoted to one or reject and neglect the other. You CANNOT serve God and deceitful riches, possessions or another human being or whatever you are trusting in.
So stop being anxious about your life, your food, your clothes, your entertainment, etc. But seek FIRST the Kingdom of God, and all these things, things, things will be added unto you.”
“Just then the rooster crowed. Jesus turned and looked at Peter and being stunned and convicted of sin (and insincerity) Peter went out and wept bitterly.”
Your first paragraph, chickenfarmer, has some serious questions for us to face. I am thinking we most likely wouldn’t serve leftovers to guests that come to our house for dinner. Guess we think more of the world than God.
I think the prophet Haggai had something to say to some people who thought more about building their own houses than building and maintaining the Lord’s house.
“This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the LORD. “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the LORD Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house.”
Yes and in another place God ‘complained’ that His people had built themselves panelled houses while His temple lay in disrepair. Seems like some things nevef change over the millenia.
Chickenfarmer you have so many talents and so many choices to spend your time as I read above. The devil seems to like to whip these altogether and cause the talented to be little cyclones which whirl across the land all involved and wrapped up with stuff which are good individually but when whirled in altogether in our fast track lives taking us over like a cyclone far from God, we whirl all over the land. God keeps sitting in our waiting room and sees our cyclone life and keeps calling, ” Hey I’m waiting. Please come back. I have a lot of important things for you to do with all those talents, come sit with me and let’s talk.” The devil seems to laugh and say I know the right buttons to create a cyclone and I can do it again. We just need to pull the plug on him. Ask God, “Is this something you would have me to do that will count for you?” I know He says this to each of us for we are all guilty of giving God our leftovers. Hopefully we will pull the plug on the devil in 2010 and as Sara says walk with purpose. As she has us say every Sunday. I am a purpose, I have a purpose, we are a purpose.
In reflecting on waiting on God, I remember MG had bought a bench for the retreat center that had the verse from Psalms 46:10 NIV “Be still and know that I am God.”
In Beth Moore’s study this morning she had us to list the action phrase from Romans 13: 12-14 and Ephesians 4: 22-24. These verses seem to fit in with the tug for which door we choose this day. They are as follows from THE MESSAGE
Romans 13:12-14 (The Message)
11-14But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed. We can’t afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around and dissipation, in bickering and grabbing everything in sight. Get out of bed and get dressed! Don’t loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about!
Ephesians 4:22-24 (The Message)
20-24But that’s no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.
She goes on to say that “Most of our wars are fought on the battlefield of the mind.”
Prayer shared by Chris from his church:
O God another week has gone by, we’ve worked, played, and wrestled with life. We have sought the promises of the world and find that they do not last. We have a thirst that only You can quench; a need that only You can fill. You, O Lord, are enough for all our needs, as we hear Your Word, feed at Your table, and engage our hearts in worship to You. In the powerful name of Jesus. Amen.
Good prayer that Chris shared with us, Rena. The point’s being that, CF, you are not alone in this battle against the world, the flesh and the devil. However, that fact should not be regarded as a salve to our consciences, that half or more of our fellow Christians are battling…and some of us truly are fighting it…that which seems to be pervasive in GOD’s church. It is especially difficult with those whom God has called for special assignments in these end times, like teacher, prophet, evangelist, pastor, apostle. Wow, sounds like the church 2000 years ago which is STILL His Church today!!
CF, we will ALL stand before the Bema Seat of the Living Christ and be judged for what we have done or not done for Jesus. As Rena so aptly wrote, the “WORLD’S WHIRLWIND” will not amount to a hill of beans. But to be chosen by Christ to help be responsible & obey our Lord’s calling for EVEN ONE SOUL to be discipled, to be taught a Bible study, to be brought into the Kingdom, to be delivered, to be set free….even just one… is better than whole burnt offerings or even a ride on the roller coaster or the merry-go-round of life.
Jesus is speaking to all of us on this blog. He is coming very soon. May our lamps be filled with oil of the Holy Spirit and not diet Coke or Diet Pepper.
CF, you are right, “God will not tolerate second best or left overs.” I’d like to share the footnotes to the verses you have shared in Genesis. “The Bible does not say why God did not accept Cain’s gift. Perhaps Cain’s attitude was improper, or perhaps his gift was not up to God’s standards. Proverbs 21: 27 says, ‘The sacrifice of an evil person is detestable, especially when it is offered with wrong motives.’ God evaluates both our motives and the quality of what we offer him. When we give to God and others, we should have a joyful heart because of what we are able to give. We should not worry about how much we are giving up, for all things are God’s in the first place. Instead, we should joyfully give to God our best in time, money, possessions, and talents.”
CF, I have been guilty of giving God second best. I have let family, kids, schedules, work, house, husband, time management, etc. come before God too. I pray God will forgive me, and I pray that He will help me to stay out of the “world’s whirlwind”; mentioned above, and continue on in 2010, with His purpose. Thanks for posting this blog, CF.
Without a doubt we sure need to implement the time management skills we already have. Bottom line most of us do just what we want to do!
It is one thing to do things without order. But to admit we do it and continue to do it without concern for anyone but ourselves is maxima selfishness and ridiculous.I really believe the best thing ‘maxima selfishness’ including our motor mouths of telling it and taking time and space would be to move out of the way and stop blocking others for entering into order. There is a very powerful scripture that warns, “… if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Matthew 18:6 NIV
So my summation would be take your second best, your left overs with you and not poison others with your awful stench and obsessive behavior. Left overs are not giving our best or our all. Remember the lady that gave all she had. “They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything–all she had to live on.” NIV Mark 12:44
Footnotes for Mark 12: 41-44, “This widow gave all she had to live on, in contrast to the way most people handle their money. When we consider giving a certain percentage of our income a great accomplishment, we resemble those who gave ‘a tiny part of their surplus.’ Here, Jesus was admiring generous and sacrificial giving. As believers, we should consider increasing our giving–whether of money, time, or talents–to a point beyond convenience or calculation.”
Hum, “Jesus was admiring GENEROUS and SACRIFICIAL GIVING.” Webster defines sacrifice as “an offering, as of a life or object; to a diety. A giving up of one thing for the sake of another.” This woman, in poverty sure knew and understood sacrificial giving. Your right, Sara, “most of us do just what we want to do!”
It would do us well to keep in mind that sacrificial giving whether of time or finances or skills & talent, when given for the express pupose of pleasing the LORD as we give to others to extend His Kingdom, is really for OUR benefit and God’s glory. Jesus doesn’t need the tithe. He’s got plenty of riches. God doesn’t need a fruit basket because He’s under the weather. He can make His own fruit with a WORD and HE’s NEVER under the weather. In fact He sits as King of the deluge. Holy Spirit doesn’t need our Wednesday night offerings or special collections to buy a new carpet for the church. No! But God has people all over the globe who have great needs, who need salvation, deliverance, a Bible, discipling, food, water…like those precious souls in Haiti. He wants us to give so that it might abound to OUR account and that there might be meat in His house so that the Body of Christ can be about good works and those who receive those works will glorify the Father in Heaven.
Romans 7:14-25 “14 So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me for I am all too human, a slave to sin. 15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I know what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is the sin living in me that does it. 18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. 21 I have discovered this principle of life-that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 but there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in JESUS CHRIST our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.”
Right on!! I want to do what’s right with all my heart until it wrangles my flesh, for a moment. Then this proud, bully flesh takes over…well, I guess I allow it. It’s always a fight between the flesh and the spirit. Like Jesus told the sleeping apostles in the Garden of Gethsemane…” the spirit is willing but the flesh…is weak”…and demanding and unreasonable and unregenerate and threatening. I need to run to the Mountain and that Mountain will stand by me…and not that mountain of flesh but The Mount of Olives. The Mount of Calvary, Golgotha. That’s where my purging of sin and rebellion and pride and fear come from. Look to the “HILL” from whence comes my deliverance.
I would like to suggest that we read all of Chapter 7, Romans, from which has been quoted. Paul was talking about the law, wasn’t he” And, I have posted vs. 25. I hope we don’t use these scriptures for excuses when we have the answer but make a big fat choice of just ‘don’t want to follow God, parents, or authority of any kind period.” There is no force against God that makes Christians do wrong, is there? The old joke, ‘the devil made me do it.” Joke it is!!!!
Romans 7:4-6 Message “So, my friends, this is something like what has taken place with you. When Christ died he took that entire rule-dominated way of life down with him and left it in the tomb, leaving you free to “marry” a resurrection life and bear “offspring” of faith for God. For as long as we lived that old way of life, doing whatever we felt we could get away with, sin was calling most of the shots as the old law code hemmed us in. And this made us all the more rebellious. In the end, all we had to show for it was miscarriages and stillbirths. But now that we’re no longer shackled to that domineering mate of sin, and out from under all those oppressive regulations and fine print, we’re free to live a new life in the freedom of God.”
24 “I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?
25 The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.”
My cousin, Kaye, reminded me of this today. And, I need to remember this verse every DAY!!!! Paul was talking to the people of Corinth about their worship of idols………..and how they could overcome that temptation. I Corinthians 10:13 – “You are temped in the same way that everyone else is tempted. But God can be trusted not to let you be tempted too much, and He will show you how to escape from your temptation.” English Contemporary Version
I have read the whole chapter 7, in Romans, as you suggested. I have also read some of the footnotes to go along with it. I think the footnotes for verses 9-11 has helped me, and I’d like to share here. Read with me: “Where there is no law, there is no sin, because people cannot know that their actions are sinful unless a law forbids those actions. God’s law makes people realize that they are sinners doomed to die, yet it offers no help. Sin is real, and it is dangerous. Imagine a sunny day at the beach. You plunge into the surf; then you notice a sign on the pier: ‘No swimming. Sharks.’ Your day is ruined. Is it the sign’s fault? Are you angry with the people who put it up? The law is like the sign. It is essential, and we are grateful for it–but it doesn’t get rid of the sharks.”
Woe, some lessons for me here, as I do not want to be swimming with sharks!
Discipline in a Long-Distance Race
Eugene Peterson in the Message gives us the answer…HEBREWS 12: 1-3 “Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!”
This is great and powerful encouragement to press on and learn.
I Cor 1:18 tells us that this gospel of the cross is the power of God.
And Romans 8:11 is faith building if we will believe it: “It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life.”Message
1 Corinthians 6:12 “You say, “I am allowed to do anything”- but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything.”
Romans 8:11-13 “11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will given life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. 12 Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13 For if you live by it’s dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live.”
I see we are doing as Hebrews 12 instructs, “When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!”
Ok, we know the answer for not ever, ever giving our left-overs and please forbid they are spoiled left overs (that is give wrong info to ourselves or others and the like). We have build our faith by going over the truth of the story, item by item, and we have a shot of adrenaline into our souls! OK, what are we doing today with the new energy that just empowered us. Willie Nelson sang his way, “On the Road Again.” What are we doing?
As I was studying Beth Moore this a.m. she says that our worst enemy is ourselves as it was the Israelites over and over again. You could say they traveled the same old road over and over again and had to be redirected. Yes we too get caught up on the same old road. We are so grateful for people who tell us when we are traveling on the wrong road of life. Beth Moore points out that we often think it is a spiritual attack but like the Israelites we are our on enemy. She says can determine if it is self by asking the following questions: 1. Am I living the will of God? 2. Do I have any confessed sin? 3. Is God simply working his completion in me?
I might change Willie Nelson song to help me remember and I pray I don’t walk away from it and forget it.
On the road again,
I’m on the road again
With my Lord at my side
I’ve been redirected once again.
I’m on the road again with my Lord
He daily holds a mirror to my mind
it shows me if the battle is in my mind
of worldliness or if its with the enemy of this World.
I seek Him and helps me!
Oh I’m on that freedom’s road again
I again walk that freedom’s road
And keep off the spinning worldly road
that takes me no where but to slavery of sin
and far away from my LORD
or Lord I want you by my Side.