I love leftovers. Foods like chili and pizza taste better after a few days in the fridge. Business idea: make a cookbook containing all foods that fall into this category. It could be popular with college students (or just lazy people like me who eat the same meal five days in a row).
But there are also spiritual leftovers, and that’s what I’ve been thinking about the last couple of days. I was led to the subject when someone read this verse at a Bible study this week:
“Honor the Lord with your wealth
and with the firstfruits of all your produce.”
In reflecting on this passage, I realized that the verse is talking about giving what is most valuable in your life. In the agrarian society the Bible was written in, a crop yield was life – status, wealth, and social connections all rolled into one. Today, in my life, I say, “Yes, Lord, I will trust you with everything, except for the things most important. I can’t rely on you to rightfully rule over the parts of life that might really affect me if you work in them.” How often do I actually offer the “first fruits,” or the most valuable aspects of my life, to the Lord? Or maybe I should ask, how often do I not offer them?
I give God all my leftovers, and unfortunately, I don’t think they get better after a day or two in the fridge. What’s the solution?
Trust. Which means, the more I believe that God is who He says He is, the less I feel like I have to maintain control over the first fruits.
The verse after Proverbs 3:9 reads:
“then your barns will be filled with plenty,
and your vats will be bursting with wine.”
Hear me: It’s not an equation that says, “Do this and get God’s blessing.” We know we’re way too loved by God to simply be given all the stuff we want. But this is a promise to us – we give God authority over everything, and He does more with it than we can imagine, because He loves and cares for us more than we’ll ever understand. It may look different than we planned, but it will also be better.
So, by all means, I will eat day-old pizza and enjoy it. But when it comes to the Lord, I’m giving Him the first fruits.