Daily Proverbial, from James, 11 September 2013

He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.  James 1, verse 19.

Firstfruits:  have you ever considered that word before?  It’s a churchy word; duh:  we’re talking about Bible verses!  But, seriously, have you really ever noodled that word before? 

Think of harvesting fruit.  Big, juicy luscious strawberries fresh off the plant.   For the first one of the year, you want the most choice.   You’re the farmer, so you look through your fields and find the very best of your harvest.   Perhaps you’re having a dinner and you want your guests to have the best.   Or, perhaps you’ve worked all season and you’re anticipating how good it will be to finally get something from all your hard work.  

God wants your best.   God thinks you’re His best.

Think of first-born children.   In all societies, the first-born is a special child.   Monarchical societies bestow unique status on the first-born.  The first child in the family is the ground-breaker, the trendsetter, the one who gets all your undivided attention, and the one who sets the precedents for all the children to follow.   All kids are special, but there’s something undeniably unique and special about having your first-born.

God wants your special.   He sees you as special.

Think of first things first, a very Stephen Covey kind of idea.   Whether it’s your day, taking kids to school, building a moon rocket, or how to make the peace, you put first things first.   Principles matter.  What is most important is what becomes the primary focus.  Critical tasks are priority and are done first or receive attention due to them.  As you progress, you measure that progress against those first principles.   In this way, first principles become the standards to which we adhere and by which we measure.

God wants us to know that He considers each of us to be firstfruits.   He wants to be the firstfruits in our hearts, too.

James tells us that Jesus lived, died, and resurrected so that each of us might be considered bountiful, special, and a priority.  We would not be physically reborn to attain this special status in God’s eyes.   Instead, we would be reborn through the miracle of faith in He who died for us.   In humbly grasping that faith, we who are unworthy are made righteous by the only One who could do so.  He no longer looks on us as enemies, but instead as the best of His creation.   To Jesus, we are special and priority friends, followers, and siblings.   To Jesus, we are the best of the harvest.  To the God of all eternity, we are the firstfruits of His creation.  Let’s live like this today.

Giving Lord, I’m human; I’m not You.  Forgive me when I’ve not treated my faith in You as what is best in life.   Thank You for not treating me the way I’ve treated You.   Help me to change and do better.

 

What are the firstfruits of your life?

Who do you revere as special and a priority?

Have you thanked Jesus today for them?

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