Today is Monday, January 1, 2018. Happy New Year! Over the next two weeks we are going to be learning about a simple practice called "First Fruits" giving. It isn't a comprehensive teaching on giving or generosity in Scripture but rather a first, simple practice to grow in greater dependency on the Lord for our provision- a practice many of us struggle with. For some it conjures up feelings of guilt and condemnation. But giving isn't first about a need, it is about a heart, our hearts and who we foundationally depend on for provision- God or our resources (abilities and finances)? I am looking forward to this two week series and seeing how the Lord matures us as a church family in this area. I want to encourage you to resist the temptation to disengage because it may be an uncomfortable subject for you. The Lord wants to grow us holistically in his gospel and this is one difficult but formational ways he does so. Because in love, Christ gave Himself, all of Himself, we are compelled by love to offer our lives back to Him. Let's delve deep into these Scriptures through The Daily, with our groups and our families and with us over the next two Sunday mornings!
grace + peace,
(Take time to write down responses to these questions or discuss in your group)
_ When the topic of giving comes up how does it make you feel, what do you think about?
Take time to acknowledge God as provider, pray that He might speak to you through His word and convict you over the next couple of weeks and pray for our church, that we would mature as family of faith through this series.
DISCOVER [ Deuteronomy 26.1-4 ]
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what do we learn?(Use these questions below each portion of text to clarify the main point)
“When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance and have taken possession of it and live in it, 2 you shall take some of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you harvest from your land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you shall put it in a basket, and you shall go to the place that the Lord your God will choose, to make his name to dwell there. 3 And you shall go to the priest who is in office at that time and say to him, ‘I declare today to the Lord your God that I have come into the land that the Lord swore to our fathers to give us.’ 4 Then the priest shall take the basket from your hand and set it down before the altar of the Lord your God.
_ What is the practice the Lord gives to the nation of Israel in vs. 1-4?
_ Who is the giver of the land in vs. 1?
_ What do you think is the significance of the "first" of the fruits in vs. 2?
_ Where is the person supposed to bring this "first fruit" offering in vs. 2b-3a?
_ What is the person supposed to say to the priest in vs. 3b?
+ HOW am I compelled to confess sin and how does the gospel compel me to respond with a simple step of action/obedience? (Here are some thoughts to discuss in break-outs)
_ Do you practice first fruits giving through your time and resources?
_ If not, why?
_ If yes, have you considered what the Lord is asking you to offer in 2018?
+ WHO are you walking with to discover or grow in Jesus and what is your next step with them, how can we help?