FIRST FRUIT OF YOUR TIME
“Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.” Pro. 3:9,10.
When I see the principle in the Bible that godly people bring their first fruits to God, I wonder if it doesn’t follow that God wants the first fruits of our time? Most understand they are to give of their wages to God as first fruits. But what about their time? Are the 168 hours given to us in a week only ours without any requirement that a few of those premium hours be given to God?
Now some might protest that there’s nothing here about bringing the first fruits of our time. Well if a man were to devote all of his time to himself, would he have time to worship God? If all of a man’s time were spent on sleep, work, and recreation, where would be the time for confessing Christ and for spreading the Gospel? Where would be the time for prayer and meditating on the Word of God? What hospitality would be demonstrated by Christians if some of their time isn’t laid aside to be given to God? Clearly there must be carved out of a man’s calendar the time for advancing the cause of Christ.
In the Old Testament God ordained for the people to have a day of rest. The Sabbath was a 1/7th of the week which was devoted to God to refrain from materialistic pursuits. Jeremiah said, “Thus says the LORD, “Take heed for yourselves, and do not carry any load on the sabbath day or bring anything in through the gates of Jerusalem.’” Jer. 17:21. And only in keeping this day holy did God promise to bless the people. God was always showing that blessings flow from to those who sacrifice their time and first fruits unto Him. It is spiritual.
I would not want to become legalistic about the accounting of time Christians spend in service to God, but I only wish to establish the principle that God should get some of our time. It is spiritual people who think first of God in their time. Spiritual people desire to take time out from the daily pursuits to give worship unto Him.
Now add to this principle that there is some time that is more valuable than other time. Some time in the day is conducive to prayer and to Bible study. And some time in the day and week is more favorable to the outreach to lost souls. Again consider the amount of time men devote to their own interests. After a man has worked to support his family and such responsibilities have been met, he is freer to choose how to spend the remaining hours of the day. Naturally and rightly he spends time with his family since the family should not be neglected. Now it would be right to say that all of this time spent in the day is honorable and pleasing to God, but it is also true that there is more work of Christ to be done beyond work and home. The Gospel must be go to world. It must go to our neighbor. We must therefore decide the best time to reach these souls. It is usually going to be some of the premium time of the day. The Gospel must go to the people we cross paths with at the gym and coffee shop. And as the Gospel goes to the lost world, it necessarily takes time from our calendar. This is God’s will that we give both quality and quantity time from our week to advance the cause of Christ to build the His Kingdom.
To the worship of God on the first day of the week, to the evenings when other men are distracted with hours of sitcoms and favorite television programs, and to the quiet early mornings and late evenings most conducive to communing with God, it is a spiritual truth that men should give some of their premium time to the cause of Almighty God and to His Son, Jesus Christ.
I offer this humbly, Dan Mayfield