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05/06/2023 - 06/06/2023 All day

“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” (Proverbs 3:9-10)

In most of the old African household there was a tradition where once the day’s dish was uncovered the best portion of food was first passed on to the head of the house, before the rest dug in. For a father this was recognition of his leadership and pleasing to him. Though one may express concern about children coming last, this tradition in a way made them realize life has a pecking order.

Creaming off the first and best portion to a leader was not just limited to African households but also features a lot in the way God deals with man. The Lord assigned his people to take care of the priests first before anything.  “You are to give them the first fruits of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the first wool from the shearing of your sheep, for the Lord your God has chosen them and their descendants out of all your tribes to stand and minister in the Lord’s name always” (Deuteronomy 18:4-5). This tradition followed up to Nehemiah’s time. “We also assume responsibility for bringing to the house of the Lord each year the firstfruits of our crops and of every fruit tree. As it is also written in the Law, we will bring the firstborn of our sons and of our cattle, of our herds and of our flocks to the house of our God, to the priests ministering there” (Nehemiah 10:35-36).

In the kingdom of God, there is a pecking order, quite obvious, “But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ” (1 Cor 15:23). The Apostle James encouraged believers, “Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures (James 1:18).

One writer put it, “the first fruits offering opens things up to work in our favor on the income side of the equation. Our barns are filled so there will be provision there when we need it. And our vats are overflowing as more and more income comes our way over time!’ How about taking up God on that!

Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, I thank you for all the blessings in my life, and help me honor you with the first fruit, to receive your protection and be blessed even more, this I pray in Jesus’s name.

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  • 24/05/2024 - 25/05/2024 All day

    “Vindicate me, my God, and plead my cause against an unfaithful nation. Rescue me from those who are deceitful and wicked” (Psalm 43:1)

    To be vindicated is to be cleared of blame or suspicion. Someone is vindicated when he is eventually proved right or justified. In his reign as King of Israel, David was not short of enemies. One was his very son Absalom who divided his people and mounted a coup that threw him off the throne. After Absalom had raised enough support, “a messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom.” So David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Arise, and let us flee, or we shall not escape from Absalom..” (1 Samuel 15:13-14).

    Pushed out of power, David longed to be vindicated. His situation is no different from any person who has been mistreated, done poorly and cast out of a position for apparently no fault of his. So often one comes across innocent public servants who have been put on katebe, the local speak for being made redundant. Intrigues being part of life there is never a day that passes without someone somewhere conspiring and scheming against a blameless person. False rumors are spread and before long one is forced out of his job.

    Where do you turn when your enemies are having you for a field day? Quite obvious there are those who give in to bitterness and use the evil ways their enemies exceled in to launch a counter attack. If their enemies bribed their way to power, so they do. If they spread malice, so they embrace. If they sought out occult powers, they arm themselves with these.

    Pushed out of power, David, rather sought the Almighty God. He went “to the top of the mountain, where he worshiped God” ( 2 Samuel 15:32). He prayed that his enemy Absalom would fall pray to his evil devices through foolish counsel, causing him confusion. The Lord answered David’s prayer and his army went to battle with Absalom and defeated him, leading to his death at the hand of David’s General Joab (2 Samuel 18).

    Today, should you be grappling with a situation where you feel done wrong, do not let your enemies have the better part of you, but turn to God, who will vindicate you. “For the LORD will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants” (Psalm 135:14).

    Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I pray for you to vindicate me in all my affairs, where I have been falsely accused, done poorly, and that glory may go to you, this I pray in Jesus’ name!

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