October 30 | Deuteronomy 26:1-15
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by Mary Alice McGinnis
Picture yourself as a 6-year-old. Your loving Dad announces he is going to take you to the movies to see the latest Disney film. As you walk in, Dad pays for the tickets. You are super excited you can hardly wait!! You want to run to find your seat.
But Dad says, “Wait, let’s get some popcorn first!”
Your little 6-year-old heart says, “YUM!!!” So, you take Daddy’s hand and skip over to the concession area. Dad buys one JUMBO bucket of popcorn. Your eyes light up with delight. Now you take Dad’s hand again and he leads to the theater where the movie will be starting soon. Once you both settle into a seat, he hands you the bucket of popcorn. It smells so delicious, and you take a few bites. When the movie begins, Dad leans over to you and says, “Hey, can I have some popcorn too please?”
Your smile turns to a frown, and you scold him, “NO, it’s mine!!” How absurd that must sound to Dad!! He has just paid for everything. He could have gotten his own popcorn, but he gave you a JUMBO size so you could share it. Not to mention the fact that he has provided for your home, the clothing you are wearing, all the food you eat daily. He is even making sacrifices so he can save up to send you to college one day. He has abundantly given you all of this out of his goodness. This was the lesson God wanted the Israelites to learn as He was leading them into the promised land. Yes, they had been slaves in Egypt for 400 years, yet God still had a plan.
Yes, they had wandered around in the wilderness for 40 years, yet He still provided all they needed. He daily supplied food to eat, water to drink, and their clothing never wore out.
They had learned to rely upon Him. Now that they were entering the Promised land, He did not want them to forget! He told them to speak these words:
“God brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey; and now I bring the firstfruits of the soil that You, Lord, have given me.” Deuteronomy 26:9-10a God asked them to give their firstfruits back to Him. That meant, before they had a chance to taste any of it, they were to take the first pickings to Him. Not because He needed it. After all, the land, the sun, the rain, even their being there, was all provided by Him anyway. Before they took a bite of any of the produce from their newly acquired promised land, they were to gratefully give back to Him a portion of what He had already given them. God wanted them to freely share their blessings (given from His hand) with those around them too. Not begrudgingly, but out of gratitude for all the ways they had seen Him provide for them every step of the way. Where is God calling you to gratefully offer some “firstfruit” of what He has blessed you with?
Father God, Daddy, You have given me so much! You have brought me through seasons of bondage, of trails, of wanderings. Each step of the way, You have been there supplying everything I need. Help me freely give back to You in a way that honors You with my grateful heart.
Breath Prayer – Take 2-3 minutes today to pray a simple breath prayer. Get somewhere quiet and relaxing. Breathe in deeply, and then breathe out fully. As you breathe in, ask God to fill you with His presence, grace, love, peace. Consider all the blessings He has provided for