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Principle of First

Worship & The Word / Pastor Robert Morris
The Truth Network Radio
November 28, 2021 7:00 am

Principle of First

Worship & The Word / Pastor Robert Morris

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November 28, 2021 7:00 am

Pastor Robert explains the significance of "firstfruits" and why we offer it to Godbefore anything else.

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Welcome to Worship in the Word with Pastor Robert Morris. Thanks so much for joining us today. We're about halfway through Pastor Roberts' exciting Beyond Blessed series. I'm your host, Patrick, and I'm here with my co-host, Janae.

Hey, everyone. Well, this Beyond Blessed series is a sequel to Pastor Roberts' best-selling book and life message, The Blessed Life. But while The Blessed Life is all about generosity, this new series focuses on stewardship.

And I'll tell you what, it has been a great series so far. We've learned about how stewardship and generosity go hand in hand, what it means to live blessed, and that giving is really all about your heart. In this message, Pastor Robert gives us three principles that will help us to understand why God needs to be first in our lives and our finances.

So let's jump right in. So today I want to share with you, now this may shock you what I'm about to say, but I want to share with you the most important principle that I could share with believers. Obviously the most important thing I could share is the gospel, is that Jesus Christ came to save the lost. But if you're a believer, this is the most important principle I could share, and it's called the principle of first. And it's about putting God first in your life, but since Jesus says where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. I want to talk to you about putting God first in your finances, because if He's first in your finances, then He's first in your heart.

Now let me say that again. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. So if He's first in your finances, then He's first in your heart. And so many people don't relate the two. And I think a lot of people think, yes, God's first in my life, but He's not first in my finances.

Well, we have a problem there. So I want to show you in Scripture how important this principle is, right? So we're going to be mainly in Exodus chapter 13, and Exodus 13 verse 1 says, Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Consecrate, that just means set aside to me, all the firstborn. Whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and beast, now this is a very important phrase, it is mine. In other words, it is my property is what He's saying.

It belongs to me. Then in verse 12 of chapter 13 it says, That you shall set apart to the Lord all that open the womb. That is, every firstborn that comes from an animal which you have, the males shall be the Lord's. But every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb.

We'll talk about that statement. And if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck. In other words, you're going to lose it anyway.

This is what a lot of people don't understand. If you don't return the tithe to God, it's still leaving your account. It's going out. You're not going to get to keep it. You're going to leave it.

You're going to lose it. And all the firstborn among man of your sons you shall redeem. So I have three principles with you today that I want to share.

Here's the first one. The firstborn must be sacrificed or redeemed. The firstborn must be sacrificed or redeemed. Now what I'm doing is I'm taking something that's from the law. We understand this is from the law. But we're trying to figure out what the principle is behind this. Why did God say this in the first place? And how does it apply to us? So the firstborn must be sacrificed or redeemed. But how do you know which one to do? I mean it says you have to sacrifice it or you have to redeem it.

How do you know whether to sacrifice it or redeem it? You know because God gave two animals that are exemplary of two classifications of animals. He gives a donkey and a lamb. A donkey is exemplary of unclean animals. A lamb is exemplary of clean animals. Exemplary just means example. And so if you don't get hung up on that word, it's an example. A donkey is an example of an unclean. A lamb is an example of a clean animal.

Okay? So here's how you know. If your animal, like a sheep, has a firstborn, you have to sacrifice it to God. It belongs to God is what he says. It's mine. If your unclean animal has a firstborn, you have to redeem it. The word redeem means to buy it back because God owns it.

You have to buy it back or redeem it with the sacrifice of a clean animal. Now let me say that one more time because in a moment you're all going to go, oh. Okay?

Everyone, you want to practice? Oh. Okay. All right.

All right. So if you have a clean animal and it has a firstborn, you have to sacrifice it. Firstborn clean have to be sacrificed. If you have an unclean animal, it has to be redeemed with the sacrifice of a clean.

Okay. So what in the world does that mean for us today? Well, let's just think about it. You and I, when we were born into this world, spiritually speaking, in our spiritual state before God, were we born clean or unclean? Unclean, right? Because we were all born in sin. That's what the Bible says. They all came from Adam.

We were born in sin. As a matter of fact, I can prove it by asking the experts here who are parents. If you're a parent, you're an expert at this. Okay? Here's one question to prove it. Did you have to teach your children to be bad? No. Or did it come naturally for them?

Right. It comes naturally, right? We have to teach them to be good, right? So you and I, we were all born unclean. Was Jesus born unclean or clean? Clean. Listen very carefully. Here comes the O part.

The clean had to be sacrificed so that the unclean could be redeemed. That's what we just read. That's the principle.

Do you follow me? That's the principle. So, so many times we read something like this in the Bible, and especially the Old Testament, and we just read over it.

But 1 Corinthians 10, which is New Testament, says everything happened to them as an example for us. And it's written for our instruction. There's a reason for this. So in other words, if your sheep has a lamb, you have to give the first one to God. You have to sacrifice the first one. Now, I want you to notice it's the first one, not the 10th one. In other words, God doesn't say, wait until your sheep has 10 lambs and then give me one of them.

And you can give me the one that you don't like that keeps getting in your garden every day. Right? He says, you give me the first one before you have the other nine. See, this is what people don't understand. It's not just 10%. It's the first 10%. The reason is it takes faith to give the first one before you have the other nine. It doesn't take faith to have 10 and then give one. That's not faith. That's not faith at all. So it's the faith that enacts the blessing. And it's all through Scripture.

Now, I'm going to, again, this is going to, you may have never thought about this. Jesus is actually called the firstborn. And he's actually also called firstfruits. And I'm going to show you on point two, firstfruits belong to God too. Firstborn and firstfruits belong to God.

But here's what I want you to realize. Jesus is God's tithe. Here's why. Because you don't wait to see if you have enough to tithe. You give the tithe first.

Okay. God didn't wait to see if we would straighten up to give Jesus. God gave Jesus when we were mocking him and spitting on him and nailing him to a cross. Romans says it this way. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. While we were still sinners, God demonstrates his own love toward us while we were still sinners. See, another word Romans says is that he gave Jesus in hope.

That word hope, the root word is faith. So he gives his first, his firstborn, his firstfruit in faith that will come. I'm telling you, tithing is a whole lot more, it's a lot deeper to God than what we think it is.

It represents his own son. And it's all through scripture. You give the first to God and the rest are blessed. When the people, the children of Israel went into the Promised Land, God said bring all of the silver and gold from Jericho into the house of God.

By the way, remember the tithe always comes to the house of God. Bring all of the silver and gold, and I'll come back to the word bring in a moment, bring all of the silver and gold from Jericho into the house of God. Bring it all.

Bring it all. Why? Why would God say that? Why wouldn't God say conquer 10 cities and give me one?

It's real simple. Jericho was the first city. I'm telling you this principle runs all through scripture. He said you bring me the first, the rest are blessed.

And remember when they kept some of the first, they lost the second battle. And the word God used was the same as in Malachi where he said you're robbing me. He said the children of Israel have stolen from me.

They've taken something that was for me. Now remember this says consecrate? I want you to, if you can go back and read it, Joshua 6 and 7. In Joshua 6 he says it is consecrated to the Lord. In Joshua 7 when they kept it, he said it's cursed.

This is amazing. If more people understood this, they'd tithe. Because it's consecrated when it's given to God, it's cursed when you keep it in your tent.

It's very, very important. So all through scripture we now understand that God says you bring the first one to me and the rest are blessed. Hey, you're listening to Worship in the Word with Pastor Robert Morris. We're about halfway through this Beyond Blessed series.

To get a copy of this series or any of his other series, visit or call 833-933-WORD. You know, Patrick, I found what Pastor Robert said about how the firstborn must be sacrificed or redeemed really interesting. Me too, you know, especially since I'm a firstborn. But I'm so grateful that Christ was sacrificed so we could be redeemed. Jesus is God's tithe. You know, it really is so great to think that our money is consecrated when the first is given to God but cursed when we keep it. I know I don't want to live with any cursed money.

Me neither. And I love how it's really not that complicated when Pastor Robert breaks it down. If you give the first to God, the rest is blessed. It's as simple as that. Absolutely.

Well, he definitely has more insight to give us. So let's continue on with him now. Okay, so firstborn must be sacrificed or redeemed. Here's number two. The firstfruits must be offered because the firstfruits belong to God. Proverbs 3, 9 and 10, honor the Lord with your possessions.

I wonder how many people have never seen that scripture. With your possessions. And with the firstfruits of all your increase. So that your barns shall be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine. Exodus 23, verse 19. The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring into the house of the Lord.

Again, it comes to the house of God. But again, I want you to notice the word bring. God does not use the word give when he's talking about tithing. He uses the word bring.

Here's the reason. You cannot give what doesn't belong to you. You can only bring it. And according to scripture, you only have two choices with the tithe. You can bring it to God's house or you can steal it. Those are the only two choices in scripture.

Bring it or steal it. One or the other. So it's all through scripture. Now, when I was in college, one of the students asked one of the professors, why did God accept Abel's offering and he didn't accept Cain's? It's a great question.

The professor was really honest. He said, you know, I really don't know. I just don't know. I don't have any revelation on that.

Later when God showed me the principle of firstborn and firstfruits, there it was. It's simple. As a matter of fact, all of you will see it.

All of you watching at home will see this. You'll see this because it's simple. All right. Firstborn belongs to God. Firstfruits belong to God.

All right. Watch Genesis 4. By the way, this is 2,500 years before the law, before tithing. Now, it's mentioned in the Bible with Abraham and Jacob, 500 and 400 years before the law, but before it was a part of the law, 2,500 years. Genesis 4, verse 3. And in the process of time, that's a very important, those are very important words.

In the process of time, it came to pass. It just sort of happened that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Notice it does not say firstfruits. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat, and the Lord respected or received Abel and his offering, but he did not respect or receive Cain and his offering.

That's simple. Cain was a farmer, but he didn't bring firstfruits. Abel was a rancher, but he brought firstborn. God said, I'll accept that. I will not accept that.

Now, here's what you need to know. It wasn't just that God wouldn't accept it. It's that God couldn't accept it. A lot of people don't understand, when I was first studying theology, I can remember the very first time the professor said, there are some things God can't do. It offended me. I was like, hey, God can do anything.

No, listen to me. God can never act outside of his own character. In other words, God does because he is. It's not that he is because he does. In other words, he isn't loved because he loves.

He loves because he is love. It's very, very important. So here's the other thing. This relates to Cain and Abel. God can't be second.

He can't be. This is, theologically, this is the theological word preeminence of God. It means he's higher than all. He's before all. He's above all. He's first of all. God's first. He's first in the universe. He's first. He'll never be second. He can't be second. Now, as pastors, sometimes we'll say, put God first in your life.

Well, that's a good little saying. But even if God's not first in your life, he's still first. You didn't rearrange the cosmos. God's first. So the reason God couldn't accept Cain's offering is because it wasn't first. God can never be second. Now, you need to think about this because a lot of us give God leftovers. And in Malachi, this is what God says.

You bring me the lame and the blind and the maim sacrifices. And this is what he says, I do not accept them. I will not accept that.

And he can't accept it. If you're just tuning in, you're listening to Worship in the Word with Pastor Robert Morris. You can find this series and any other series on our podcast at You know, whenever I heard the story of Cain and Abel's offering as a kid, I often wondered why God didn't like Cain's offering. I mean, was it that God didn't like vegetables as much as he liked meat?

You know, I mean, I don't really like vegetables that much either, so I understand. Yeah, but I love that Pastor Robert explained it in the section. God doesn't like leftovers.

Yeah, that's so good. This definitely challenged me to think about the ways in which I give to God, not just when it comes to my life. Am I giving him my leftover time and energy or my leftover love and attention? Right. Or is everything I'm giving him the first and very best?

That's certainly something to think about. In the meantime, Pastor Robert has more to share with us, so let's jump back in. So first fruits must be offered. Here's the third thing. The tithe must be first. It's got to be first.

Here's the reason it's got to be first. It belongs to God. And God's first.

Here's the scripture, Leviticus 27, verse 30. And all the tithe of the land. All. By the way, do you all know what the Hebrew word for all means? All.

Yeah, okay. And all the tithe of the land. All. Bonuses.

All. Whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree is the Lord's. It belongs to the Lord. It is holy or set apart for the Lord. Some people say, well, how can the tithe belong to God because God owns it all? Yes, God owns it all, but he has set apart the tithe for his house.

He's just set it apart. It's consecrated for that. And because it's consecrated, if it's not given to his house, it's stolen.

Okay. So, and I just have to say this. You know when it says, will a man rob God, yet you've robbed me in tithes and offerings? Okay, I never understood the word offerings because I knew the tithe belonged to God, but how could I rob God in offerings?

You know what? I just want to give you a deeper revelation. It's possible that God is saying, you've robbed me from blessing you. You're robbing me from the opportunity to open the windows of heaven over you and rebuke the devour for your sake because you won't trust me with just 10% of your income.

It's amazing. Okay. So, the tithe belongs to God. So, how does this work out? All right. So, I told you I love math. I need to give you a mathematical analogy. All right.

But please don't tune me out. I'm very good at math because my father was. I inherited it. My wife is not good at math. She's good at hundreds of things more than I am, but she does not understand numbers to save her life. I mean, she just cannot understand numbers. And it's just life.

And I've had to accept that. So, Debbie and I were buying something. I'll tell you something funny. Debbie and I were buying something one time for $7.99. And so, the lady said to me, I'll have to add the tax on the calculator because the cash register is broken. And I said, it's 66 cents.

That quickly. And she said, she did like this on her little calculator, and she said, it's 66 cents. And I said, okay. So, I paid for it, got out in the car, and Debbie said to me, how do you do that?

Now, let me help you guys. I thought that she was actually asking me. How do you do that? I found out later, she couldn't care less how I do that. She's just complimenting me, you know, being sweet.

But I told her, and I kind of said it in the wrong way. I said, well, sugar, $7.99 is close to $8. Our tax rate is 8.25. 8 times 8 is 64. A quarter of 8 is 2.

64 plus 2 is 66. I said, that should happen in less than a second in your mind. She said, it doesn't. And then she said, but I know what 25% off means, which meant I'm about to get you back, you know. And then she said, and if it's 50% off, it's free.

What? And then she goes like this. Like, I'm the one that doesn't understand math, you know. She said, Robert, if it's 50% off, it's free.

And I said, what do you mean? She said, everyone knows 50% off is the same thing as buy one, get one free. So it's free. And she said, and then she said, and if it's 75% off, you're making money. So let me just give you a natural math thing.

That was just for fun, okay. So if I paid you $1,000 for a job, you have $1,000 in your hand. So you have 10 $100 bills. A tithe is 10%. So you got $1,000. So how much is the tithe? $100. Some of you, they can carry the one, okay.

But you got 10 $100 bills in your hand. So which one's the tithe? First one. But how do you know which one's the first one?

So listen, it's the first one that leaves your hand. See, if you go home and say, let me set aside some from the mortgage and the utilities and groceries and clothes, and here's God's part. That's not God's part. You gave God's part to the mortgage company. And the mortgage company does not have the power to bless your finances. But God does.

And some people do this. Let me set aside some, set aside. Oh, there's not enough left over for God.

Okay, so let me finish this. At the end of this chapter, he says, your son's going to come and ask you about this. And when your son comes and asks you, you tell him, son, we used to be slaves.

We used to not own any land. But God redeemed us with a mighty hand. And everything we have now, God's given us. So we gladly tithe through the Lord. So when I was young, I would write the check, get it back before I did online, I'd write the tithe check, put it over to the side, and then I'd pay the rest of the bills. My oldest son came in and saw the tithe check and said, Dad, why are you giving so much money to the church? And I remembered this scripture.

And I took my son and I sat him in my lap. And I said, son, you need to know something about Daddy that you didn't, you don't know. But Daddy wasn't always a Christian. And Daddy was a very, very bad man. But God, with a mighty hand, set your Daddy free. And therefore, your Daddy gladly gives to God 10% of everything in us. Gladly. I loved Pastor Robert's answer to his son's question. You know, it really puts a lot of things into perspective. We used to be slaves, but God has redeemed us and given us all we have.

So I will gladly give 10%, emphasis on gladly. We encourage you to take a moment to think about what Pastor Robert shared today and really listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to you. To get a copy of this Beyond Blessed series, visit or call 833-933-WORD. And be sure to visit or call 833-933-WORD. You can also follow Pastor Robert on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We hope you've enjoyed this message. Next time, Pastor Robert will be sharing more insight from the Beyond Blessed series, so be sure to tune in then. Have a great week!
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-16 17:10:35 / 2023-07-16 17:20:43 / 10

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