“Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine” (PV 3:9, 10)
I am a missionary pastor in Nigeria. Over here, most of the Christians believe in the doctrine of ‘first fruits’. They bring their first month salary of a new job, or the first profit they make from any business, to the church. Sometimes they bring it to the man of God who prayed for the work of their hands. In our church, we do not insist on it, but we do not refuse it either. I have seen it, again and again, how God rewards their faith by blessing the work of their hands. This is the testimony of a Christian sister I know quite well. She does not attend our church but she visits me sometimes.
Some years ago she got married to a man who is at least thirty years older. She comes from a poor family. It seems that it was an arranged marriage. They have two children. Her husband is wealthy but not a believer. She became saved not too long ago. But from time to time she comes to see me for counseling and prayer. She feels idle. Her wish was to work, to do something so that God can bless the work of her hands. Her husband only allows her to attend a church close to their house. He is a very jealous man and does not permit her go out except to take the children to school or to go to the market. She prays a lot. Her marriage is not a happy one but she has learned to be patient and to make the best of a difficult situation.
The last time I saw her was about six months ago. I asked her what does she want to do? What did she read? She said that she read agriculture and that she has found a fish pond for hire not far from the house. But the husband has refused to allow her go there. I asked her: what will you do if he permits you to hire that pond and use it as business? She said that she will give all the glory to God. I told her: ‘this is a good answer!’ We then prayed and she left. Yesterday, early in the morning, she came with a 2, 5 KG cat fish in a bag. She said that this is the very first fish she harvested from her pond and she brought it to me. She also said that she dropped an offering in the box. She was so excited… She told me that there are other ponds around hers but all their fishes died. But in her pond, not one single fish died. The other fisher men gathered to see her fishes. They said that they have not seen such a harvest for a new beginner. She was so excited… She remembered the vow and came to give glory to God. Selah!
We all need encouragement. If you cannot find it in marriage, may God direct you heart to a safe place where you can rejoice in what He does for you.
In Christ I declare:
Jesus Christ shall always be by first love!
My heart is His, forever!
God has blessed the work of my hands!
The ‘first fruits’ offering from my business belongs to God!
To God be all the glory
In Jesus name