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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
February 13, 2016

"So now I bring the first of the fruit of the ground that you, O Lord, have given me.” You shall set it down before the Lord your God and bow down before the Lord your God. Then you, together with the Levites and the aliens who reside among you, shall celebrate with all the bounty that the Lord your God has given to you and to your house.
Deuteronomy 26:10-11 (NRSV*)

This passage shows the Israelites recognizing that what they have comes from God. So the proper response is to thank God and celebrate God's goodness to us. And in celebrating, it is important for us to seek to be broad in our love as God is, and so the passage specifies that it is not to be an in-group celebration but also include the aliens among us. No we and they. We are all the recipients of God's grace, and in this we become brothers and sisters.

They gave of their first fruits in thankfulness to God. Our first fruits are usually not those of a harvest of crops, but the money we earn. But the principle is the same. Before we allocate what we have to the mundane things of daily living, we first need to give a portion for God's work. What we give for the work of the Lord should not be the leftovers, but come off the top in recognition that without God we really have nothing.

Do you recognize that God is the ultimate source for all good things? Do you give thanks to God for God's provision? Do you welcome all into your celebration? Do you give your first fruits for God's work?

Bill Samuel

* New Revised Standard Version © Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.

©2016 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Document last modified on Saturday, 20-Feb-2016 17:05:00 EST