Is it possible to live a life that is Blessed?
Blessed - Held in reverence. Honored in worship.
Everybody wants to be a champion. Everybody wants to get First Place. No athlete says my goal is to win a silver medal.
Anyone who wants to be successful doesn’t strive to be second place. Every football team wants to win the Super Bowl. Then they will hang a flag over their arena and let everyone know that they got FIRST PLACE! Nobody hangs a banner that says "We finished 5th Place in the Tournament."
For us to live BLESSED we must understand this principle that God Must Be FIRST!
If you want to be a champion for God the key is making sure that HE is FIRST PLACE IN YOUR LIFE
We see the principle of First-Fruits and Giving throughout scripture. It’s one of the first principles we need to understand after conversion.
The word "faith" or its variations is used 246 times in the Bible. “Without faith it’s impossible to please God”
The word "love" is used 733 times. “Faith, hope and love, The greatest of these is love”
The word "give" or "giving" is used 2,285 times in the Bible.
Let’s take a journey through God’s Word.
The Key to Living Life Blessed is:
PUTTING GOD FIRST PLACE IN YOUR LIFE!
God IS worthy to be FIRST. He’s the One who gave you LIFE. He’s the One who came to Give us ETERNAL LIFE. He holds the world together. Everything we ARE and Everything we HAVE comes from Him.
Deuteronomy 6:4-7, “Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. 5 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. 6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.”(NLT)
Jesus was asked what’s the Greatest Commandment…
Mark 12:29-30, “Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. 30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’(NLT)
Who and what do you love more than anything else?
10 COMMANDMENTS… what is the FIRST commandment?… thou shalt have no other God before me.
Exodus 20:2-3, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. “You shall have no other gods before Me.
You might think yea but that’s the Old Testament and we aren’t under law any more. True. We aren’t under the law but grace. And GRACE always does more than the law…. Not less!
Law says, "Thou Shalt Not Murder."
Grace says, "Love Your Enemies."
Law says, "Don’t Commit Adultery."
Grace says, "Don’t Even Look at a Woman With Lust."
Grace always goes above and beyond.
God had delivered the Israelites from Pharaoh and Egypt, Crossed the Red Sea and God’s provisions for them for 40 years.
When they entered the Promised Land the first city they came to was Jericho. It was the most fortified city in the world. There was no chance a bunch of ex-slaves were going to take it over. But the people of God marched around the city for seven days. The whole time they were thanking God in advance that God had already delivered the city in to their hands. On the seventh day the walls came tumbling down.
God told the Israelites to not take any of the silver or gold from Jericho and it belonged to God.
Joshua 6:18-19, “Do not take any of the things set apart for destruction, or you yourselves will be completely destroyed, and you will bring trouble on the camp of Israel. 19 Everything made from silver, gold, bronze, or iron is sacred to the Lord and must be brought into his treasury.”
Why did God say that? Because it was the FIRST city. God wants us to give Him first-fruits.
One guy disobeyed. His name was Achan. The Bible says Achan took some of the “devoted” gold and silver and hid it under his tent. After that Israel went to take over Ai. A small town of about 12,000 people. They only sent 3,000 men and were defeated.
Why? Because God wants to be FIRST and Jericho was the FIRST city they came to.
PROVERBS – book of wisdom
Proverbs 3:9-10, “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first-fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.”
WE BRING THE TITHE TO GOD’S HOUSE
The Bible never uses the word give when God tells us to tithe, only Bring.
2 Chronicles 31:5, “When the people of Israel heard these requirements, they responded generously by bringing the first share of their grain, new wine, olive oil, honey, and all the produce of their fields. They brought a large quantity—a tithe of all they produced.”(NLT)
Malachi 3:10, “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!”(NLT)
We talked about this yesterday at C3 that a key to living blessed is to BRING the tithe. The reason why it says BRING and not give is because you can’t give what’s not yours.
A tithe is not an offering. A tithe is the first 10%. An offering is above and beyond.
For example when we give an offering toward a missionary or we give an offering to the vision of the church expand like our Impact vision. That’s above and beyond.
Whatever you put FIRST in your life is what you are relying on to be your provider. That’s why your tithe should be FIRST.
Why? Because the Auto company can’t bless your finances, the electric company can’t bless your family, the mortgage lender can’t bless your life; but God has the power to bless your finances!
1 John 4:19, “We love each other because he loved us first.” (NLT)