October 28- Let the Force Be With You

Colossians 1:15-16: We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him.

 After college, I did business daily in management of retail. I tried to treat my daily activities as if I were following every directive ever given by the founder of the company. There was always an unseen force of power backing me as long as I operated within these established guidelines. If someone decided to take issue over the color of the restrooms or the layout of the store, I would simply give them a suggestion card to fill out and mail to the main office. Why? Because my role was to represent the company, not run it.

This is the picture we have of Jesus when He came to planet earth. He came as the visible representative of the Godhead: Father, Son, Holy Ghost. He was the face on the company, so to speak. Although He participated in the creation of everything, He did not come as the Creator, He came as the representative. His job was to connect the creature back to the Creator, so He had to come as a conduit.

Everything He did and said was backed by the force of God. He was the original “company man.” Comb through the first four books of the New Testament and see if you find any place where He operated by His own set of rules. He didn’t do it. Now to all of us who receive His example of obedience, the mission is conferred. We have become His representatives on planet earth.  And He now backs us with all the force of heaven. We do not stand alone when we stand in Him!

August 25 – First

Honor the Lord with your capital and sufficiency [from righteous labors] and with the firstfruits of all your income; So shall your storage places be filled with plenty, and your vats shall be overflowing with new wine. Proverbs 3:9-10

I have to say, there are a lot of things I do now that I’m over 40 that made no sense whatsoever when I was in my 20’s.

Take for instance, my shoes. When I was 20, cool was all I cared about. And if I could get cool and a good price, well that was just more money to burn on gas. But at 40, there is definitely a word that starts with the letter “c” that’s at the top of my list when looking for shoes . . . and “cool” ain’t it! “Comfort” is my friend these days and I will pay about any price to secure her for as long as I can. Because time has taught me, I only have one pair of feet!

This old-world word found mostly in Biblical culture also meant nothing to me as a young man. “First fruits,” in my estimation, reflected a day gone by when the world was just a big ol’ garden. But today, I can shed a little light on what I believe is a spiritual principle that yields incredible benefits in any generation when properly applied.

Today’s Proverb seems to suggest that in the eyes of God, the “first” of anything is reflective of the “whole thing.” And when I am willing to put Him first, particularly in my livelihood, He showers the rest with blessings.

Now, there are some out there like me that also thought this was just a Jewish thing (an understanding between God and His chosen people). However, I recently came across this Genesis account of a story many of us are familiar with, yet may have never put two and two together.

And in the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground. And Abel brought of the firstborn of his flock and of the fat portions. And the Lord had respect and regard for Abel and for his offering, But for Cain and his offering He had no respect or regard. So Cain was exceedingly angry and indignant, and he looked sad and depressed (Genesis 4:3-5.)

Both men brought an offering. But Abel brought the “first fruits” of his livelihood. Matters not what it is I’m bringing. It just matters what order I’m bringing it in.

I know most who read this will relate this truth to their monetary “fruits” and that’s definitely alright. But my prayer is that we will all see the deeper picture laden within the first fruits explanation . . . Us!

Before we do anything, to God, WE are “first fruits.” And if we will just roll over, look up, or stop where we’re standing and just say, “Good morning God! Here I am…my “first” belongs to You,” then I think we could expect the unexpected response of a lifetime, every day, and all day.