Humans have pretty terrible memories. Some of us are better than others, but as a whole we forget lots of stuff. For example, I strain to remember what I had for dinner last night. It’s also not uncommon for me to forget where I left my keys. These are small examples that we all share, but I want to get you thinking bigger than dinner or keys. I want you to think about how easy it is for you to hear something really important and forget to live it out. Taking a principle, like something from the Bible, and committing it to action is a very difficult task.
God knew humans would struggle with remembering things, so when He called Israel to be His people He gave them laws to follow. The laws were designed to remind them that they were special, set apart. They did things like celebrate Passover each year to remind everyone that God is faithful. They rested one day each week to remind themselves that God created everything we see, and if He rested they should too. The Hebrew people even used their crops to remind themselves to hope in God; remind themselves that God is always faithful. This was called “firstfruits” and it was all about giving God the first and best from the harvest to remind yourself that God will bring more. If God brought the firstfruits He would bring the rest too. When a Hebrew looked at the first crops of the year it was a reminder that more was coming. It gave him boldness to give the first away to God because God would always provide more.
God is always faithful.
We’ve talked the last few weeks about how this principle is carried into the New Testament. Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians that Jesus was the firstfruits of our resurrection. We can rejoice in eternal life because Jesus beat death and we will too. It’s exciting to serve a king that can’t be killed. That’s the side you want to be on when it’s time to go to war.
We can rejoice in eternal life because Jesus beat death and we will too.
As we continue our study of firstfruits we will be studying James 1:18-27 on Sunday, but to prepare your heart check out verse 18.
Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. - James 1:18
James reminds us that Christians are “a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.” This means we are called to be perfect examples of God’s handiwork by the way we live. We reflect the glory of Jesus and testify what eternity will be like by the way we live. James uses the rest of chapter one to call attention to how we are supposed to live, but I would like to use verse 18 as a way to remind ourselves of what we often forget. We are the image bearers of God. How we live says a lot about who He is.
We reflect the glory of Jesus and testify what eternity will be like by the way we live.
The firstfruits of His creation should be pointing the entire world to the hope promised in eternity. Our lives should be overflowing with hope. The nonbeliever should have no trouble contextualizing our King by examining our life. We should be an accurate representation of what eternity will be like. If your life doesn’t look like this, repent. Repent for being self-centered and turn to the brokeness of the cross. Remind yourself that you are an ambassador of another kingdom and you have a duty to represent your king well.
- Marshall Ochs
A few things to pray for
As you spend time in prayer this week, join with us by praying for these things:
- Pray that nonbelievers will examine your life, and Jesus will be glorified.
- Pray for the Holy Spirit to highlight areas in your life that are out of step with the gospel.
- Pray that Jesus will use your life to point others to the hope of eternal life.