Genesis 4:4 (NLT), Numbers 15:18-19 (NLT)
How do we rightly view the 1st fruits of our labor? As an entrepreneur I am particularly drawn to discover this. We easily relate money to this. It’s our common practice to, and rightly so. But I also think of the first of first fruits. With Cain and Able, a meat sacrifice was required. Granted I do not imagine they sold and bartered and gave from their earnings, but I feel it is an important thing to look at giving from what is produced with our own hands.
Cain gave of SOME of his crop and Able gave of the BEST of his flock. Some would argue the Lord rejected Cains offering because the Lord required a blood sacrifice, and rightly so. But as we look at the words chosen, I believe we will see more that is to be uncovered.
Strategically the words have been written. Cain gave SOME. Able gave from the BEST. Again looking at these words we see to give of their first fruits was a literal action, not financial. As we have been specifically gifted for the life we have been born to live, there must be a recognition of what OUR first fruits are.
For a mechanic, it is rebuilding a broken down car. For a writer, it is an elegant novel. For an accountant, it is an understanding of math and finances, and so forth. For me as a graphic designer and entrepreneur, it is the ability to create something out of seemingly nothing. From visuals, to business structure.
Having already established the tithe being 10% of earnings, I feel it would be foolishness not to ask ourselves how we can offer our first fruits produced by our own hands. How are we giving?
For a knowledge of something to be given from the Lord, I believe those giftings must be viewed as the fruits. That we must give freely of those gifts for the building of the kingdom and for the glory of God. Again for me with graphic design, I am asking, who am I to give my time to? How am I to serve others? Sometimes it is in the literal giving of art pieces created, other times it is in the giving of a substantial discount to ministries and other Kingdom building businesses, and other times it is giving of labor, or ‘knowledge’ to others freely.
I believe there is a direct calling on each of us to give freely of what has been given to us, and in particular when it comes to the creatives. Whether that is designing a logo for a new forming ministry, or looking at a broken car and knowing how to fix it.
Going deeper: If indeed we are giving of our talents and knowledge base already, we must ask, are we giving SOME or are we giving from the BEST? Do we throw a solution at someone, or do we give to them as we would a “major” client? I believe in the answer to the above question we can clearly see if we are giving Some or of the Best.
Take a look at this for yourself, share what you see and any other references that speak to this.