Lenten Reader | Day 5

Rejoice in Good Things

When you have entered the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance and have taken possession of it and settled in it, take some of the firstfruits of all that you produce from the soil of the land the Lord your God is giving you and put them in a basket…Then go to the place the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for his Name. Place the basket before the Lord your God and bow down before him. Then you and the Levites and the foreigners residing among you shall rejoice in all the good things the Lord your God has given to you and your household.

- Deuteronomy 26:1-2,10b-11
Let me start out with a confession: oftentimes, I “get behind” on tithing and then I have to “catch up.” I always give what I originally intended to when I received the “fruits of my labor,” though a few (or many) paychecks later. Why? Probably because it is out of sight and out of mind in our electronic world. But deep under that superficial answer is that maybe I forget because I have lost sight of the mindful joy, gratitude, and purpose of giving God my firstfruits.

Instead of joy, playing catch up feels more like settling a debt I have with God. Instead of gratitude, it feels more like fulfilling an obligation. My purpose may seem good, as I give out of obedience, though delayed obedience. However, I miss out on the faith that giving our firstfruits requires; to not give out of my excess, but to give with faith that there is more to come – that God will meet all my needs and that all my fruits truly belong to Him.

The Scriptures say our response when giving out firstfruits is to bow down and then rejoice in all good things God has given us and our households. This is an act of worship. I am committing to making this response more rhythmic in my life. I have set an alarm to remind myself of payday so that I may eagerly give in reverence, rejoice, and spend time in prayer dedicated to thanksgiving. If this is or has been something lying on your heart as well, I encourage you to join me in dedicating an intentional moment to give to God, bow down, and rejoice in all the good things God has done.

- Olivia White
Father, I confess that sometimes I don’t give joyfully but out of a sense of debt or obligation. Help me to be consistent in giving of my firstfruits with joy as an act of worship. Help me to rejoice in the good things that you have given me and my household.