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Put God First

Well this is the way, I just give Him a portion of what I have, and we have done that
faithfully since we first heard about this.
Notice that the first portion determines the rest. Have a look at this in Romans 11:16 -
the first, the nature of the first portion, determines the rest. “If the first is holy, then the
lump is holy. If the root is holy, so are all the branches”.
Notice what its saying: “If the first fruit is holy, then the root is holy”, or the rest of it is
holy. Now we just saw that God has spoken to His people. He said: “Out of all the tithe,
of all the trees (agricultural land)...”
He said of the tithe: the tithe belongs to the Lord, and it's holy. I'm going to show you
something. Your money can be holy or cursed; and it all depends on the place you give
God in your money - simple.
Notice He said: the tithe is „holy to the Lord’. In other words, it is sanctified. We were
singing that this morning, holy to the Lord. So the tithe is holy to the Lord; and the Bible
says: if the first fruit is holy, all the rest is holy, all the rest is blessed. So the principle is
always the same. When you give your firs t to the Lord, the rest is always blessed. The
blessing of God comes upon it, so let's have a look at a couple of things related to it.
So the first portion determines the nature of the rest. In Joshua 6, they went in to take
the Promised Land; and we, as believers, would think of the Promised Land as being:
the promises of God, the blessings of God.
The Promised Land was a land of promise. It was a land that came by promise, not by
working hard, but they had their part in it. Notice what God says, when they go in there,
and the first city they come to is Jericho.
When they come to Jericho, God said an interesting thing about Jericho. Joshua 6:18 –
“By all means abstain from the accursed things, lest you become accursed when you
take of the accursed things, and make the camp of Israel a curse and trouble it. All the
silver, gold and bronze, vessels of bronze and iron are consecrated to the Lord, or
devoted to the Lord. They will come into the treasury of the Lord.”
Now notice you see two words there: „devoted to God’; and „cursed.’ You can't have
them both - its one or the other. He's saying: this city Jericho - I want you to touch none
of it.
He said: I want you to conquer the city, and when you've conquered the city, whatever
wealth you find there, it comes into the house of the Lord. It is the Lord's - it is the first
fruit, the first portion.
Now you can understand, it's the same deal with the sheep. I've got all these battles, I'm
going to have to fight to conquer all these cities; and here's the first city, and now I start
to see gold and silver.
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