The first fruit of faith: A Thanksgiving Message

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“[Abraham] who against hope believed in hope.” –Romans 4:18a

Abraham was called by God as the Father of many nations, and the father of faith (Genesis 15:5, Romans 4:16). The name “Abraham,” in the Hebrew is Abraham (pr. Ab-raw-hawm), meaning “father of a multitude;” and this is the same Abraham whose name in the Greek , Abraam (pr. Ab-rah-am), means “Patriarch” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance). Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines a “patriarch” as “one of the scripture founders of the human race, a man who is father or founder, the oldest member or representative of a group.”

What the Lord gave to me concerning Abraham is that he was a first fruit offering of faith to us by God. Faith paved the way to the greater gift, the greatest First Fruit offering of Salvation, Jesus Christ. In Old Testament times, people gave the first of what they grew or raised (crops and livestock) as a burnt offering to God, because the first was often the best, and it was guaranteed income. Giving away these first fruits demonstrated a reverence that God deserves our best fruit of our labor because He gives us His best; and our Father has earned our trust, as He is proven faithful to supply all of our need; thus the term “first fruits.” This still holds true today: we should give God the first hour of our day, the first day of our week, and return to Him the first tenth of our income.

God gave to us the first fruit of faith, which then would prepare the way and usher in the Savior of the world. 2 Timothy 3:15 hails that we are made “wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” We must have faith to accept the Savior. This same faith was required in order for Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, to be able to say to the angel of the Lord “let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). It was Mary’s faith, the faith planted by Abraham, that opened her womb and allowed God’s Holy Spirit to impregnate her with Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the Son of man.

It was God’s faith in Mary which sent an angel to her, garnering her consent to carry the Savior of the World. Faith was required to create the space and usher in the incarnation of God, as the Savior of all humanity. This couldn’t be just any kind of faith, my brother. This wasn’t your run-of-the-mill, off the shelf, everyday faith, my sister. This was a very special and very rare concentrated and pure type of faith. This was the only brand of faith that could call forth the Savior. This was the first fruit faith, which was established approximately 2,000 years earlier through our father of faith, Abraham.

This is the kind of faith that Abraham had: the ‘hope against hope’ kind of faith. The Greek word for “against” as used in this verse is para (pr. par-ah), which means “more than, past.” God had woven “more than” faith into Abraham’s spiritual DNA, the kind of faith that comes from the Ancient of Days, the original potent stuff from the past, from before time began. The original faith that, when God spoke, the world was created and everything in it. We serve a “more than enough” God; a God who is the Ancient of Days, and is the same God yesterday, today, and forever. We are made in the Image of a God who is faithful, a Father full of faith (John 6:1-13, Daniel 7:22, Hebrews 13:8).

This “hope,” the elpis (pr. el-pece), is “to anticipate with pleasure, expectation, confidence, faith.” Abraham “believed” (pisteuo, pr. pist-yoo-o), meaning to “entrust one’s spiritual well-being to Christ.” The Savior wouldn’t arrive to earth for almost 2,000 years; but Abraham knew the Son of God was on His way, and that he needed to prepare and roll out the red carpet, woven with the fabric of first fruit faith! Nothing less would do or could do!

We, as sons and daughters of the Most High God, are the seed of Abraham; and therefore entitled to the blessing of Abraham, as contained in the Abrahamic covenant that God established with him and through him to all believers. God carves out this covenant in Genesis 12:1-3, and consecrates it in Genesis 22:16-18, where He declares “and [God] said: ‘By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son—  blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.’”

The Hebrew word for “blessed” as God decreed upon every descent of Abraham is barak (pr. baw-rak), meaning “to bless God as an act of adoration; and visa-verse, God blesses man as a benefit.” We have much to be Thankful for today. We serve a God, who loves us so much, that He gave us one man to sacrifice his only beloved son in his heart, so that He could then painfully sacrifice His only begotten Son on a cross; so we could not only be saved and reconciled back to a heart-broken Father, but so that we also could be blessed abundantly through the gift of the first fruit of faith.

Give thanks to the Father of all fathers, by offering your first fruit of faith back to Him, because God offered us His very best—His first fruit of faith, which ushered in His First Fruit of Salvation.

Happy Thanksgiving, family. I wish you a safe, happy, healthy, and abundantly blessed Thanksgiving filled to overflowing with God’s best. Let the love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, and kindness of the Father of all fathers fill you and your loved ones to overflowing.

Father, Happy Thanksgiving. We love You so very much. And we thank You for giving us Your very best. Help us to give You back our very best all the time, because You are certainly worth it. We celebrate You, Father God, our Big Brother and Savior Jesus, and Uncle Holy Spirit, with praise and thanksgiving. In Jesus Name, we thank You that we are thankful this day and every day. Amen and Amen.

With warmest regards,
And in service of the Most High King,

Matthew

(c) 2016.

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