By Victor Ochieng
The Old Testament talks about giving to the Lord the first fruits. This was a practice that God demanded of His people. Today, there are churches that still hold to that teaching, asking parishioners to conform to the Old Testament law. This has, however, drawn mixed reactions from people, with some saying it’s no longer a requirement since we’re no longer under the law.
In fact, there are those who argue that the preaching of first fruits offering is nothing but a tool some church leaders are using to get more than tithing from congregants.
Many religious leaders have totally varying understandings of first fruits offering.
While some say it’s the value you set aside for God from your every earning before taking care of your budget, some say it’s the first paycheck you receive in a new job. Others also say it’s supposed to be a part of every subsequent paycheck.
On the other hand, some churches that say first fruits offering means sparing the first day of every week or first hours of the day to serve the Lord.
How about the significance of first fruits offering? What do its proponents say it serves?
Some say it’s a way to show faith in God that He’ll continue to provide, therefore the confidence in giving. There are also those who say first fruits offering is a “Thank You” message for God’s generous provision.
At the same time, some look at it as a way to “sow seed” for God’s future blessings. This can be in the form of a boost at your workplace or business.
Whether Christians should give first fruits offering is also not clear for most people. Some argue that it doesn’t apply to Christians as it was under the Old Testament law, which Christians aren’t bound by. In fact, people who hold this school of thought cite the fact that the New Testament doesn’t talk about first fruits offering. Giving to the church, many argue, has been left to the personal will on whether to give or how much to extend to the service of the Lord.
Do you think you should give first fruits today?
Well, the mention of it was under the Old Covenant, which has since been rendered obsolete by the provision of God’s grace through the death of Jesus Christ. We’re, therefore, no longer living under the law.
If you want to give, do so from your heart knowing that no law demands it from you.