KINGDOM STEWARDSHIP PART 3: PUTTING GOD FIRST
Matthew 6:21,24,33 KJV
 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.  No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Deuteronomy 8:2-3 KJV
 And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.
 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.
— 3 Things HIs Word will do:
1. humble thee, 2) prove thee, 3) to know what was in their heart
(See Matthew 4:4)
THE SPIRITUAL LAW OF “FIRSTS”
Genesis 4:2-3 KJV
 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.  And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.
— Cain gave “in the process of time”
— Abel gave “firstlings” to the Lord
— “First” mentioned and/or commanded 24 times specifically in the Old Testament.
— “First born” mentioned 16 times
— “First born” had to offered or redeemed (clean or unclean)
Exodus 13:12-13 KJV
 That thou shalt set apart unto the Lord all that openeth the matrix, and every firstling that cometh of a beast which thou hast; the males shall be the Lord’s .  And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem.
— Example: Abraham, Isaac – Genesis 22
— Isaac was redeemed by the lamb that God provided (a picture of Jesus).
Exodus 12:12-13 KJV
 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord .
 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are : and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you , when I smite the land of Egypt.
— The Israelites were saved from death by the blood of the Passover Lamb (a picture of Jesus) and their first born were redeemed.
Exodus 23:19 KJV
 The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the Lord thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk. [baby goat ritual, poured out on the fields]
Joshua 6:18-19 KJV
 And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it.  But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the Lord : they shall come into the treasury of the Lord .
— Jericho was the first city in promised land. Because it was the first city taken, it was consecrated unto the Lord.
— Note: Rahab was “redeemed” by faith (the red scarlet was a token of covenant).
2 Chronicles 31:5 KJV
 And as soon as the commandment came abroad, the children of Israel brought in abundance the firstfruits of corn, wine, and oil, and honey, and of all the increase of the field; and the tithe of all things brought they in abundantly.
[v.6 they brought the tithe]
Jeremiah 2:3 KJV
 Israel was holiness unto the Lord, and the firstfruits of his increase: all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, saith the Lord .
JESUS TAUGHT THE CONTRAST BETWEEN FIRST & LAST
See Matthew 6:19-33.
— The answer to the concerns of life (v. 19-32) are found in putting God first. It is then that “all these things shall be added unto you” (v.33).
Matthew 16:25 KJV
 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
— The person who puts themselves first in life, loses in life. The person who surrenders first place to God, finds life.
Matthew 19:29-30 KJV
 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.
— Verse 30 is in relation to verse 29.
Luke 9:59,61 KJV
 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.
— these men wouldn’t put Jesus “first.”
1 Corinthians 16:1-2 KJV
 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.  Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
— Our giving should be based on “as God hath prospered” and it should be “first” [before anyone or anything else].
— Recall Genesis 4:3-4, Cain gave in the “process of time”, not first.
Genesis 4:3-4 KJV
 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord .  And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
Romans 11:16 KJV
 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy : and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
— Whatever is “first” controls the rest. This is the law of firsts.
— The law (principle) of “firsts” existed before during and after the Law.
Proverbs 3:9-10 KJV
 Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:  So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.
— If something was right under the Old Testamant/Law, does that make it wrong in the New/Grace?
— If something was wrong under the Old Testament/Law, does that make it right in the New/Grace?
2 Corinthians 8:5,8 KJV
 And this they did , not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.  I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.
— This chapter deals with giving. These believers were “first gave their own selves to the Lord.”
LAW VS. GRACE:
Matthew 5:19 KJV
 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them , the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
— Doing and teaching the least of God’s commandments is to be the great in the Kingdom.
— Breaking the least of the commandments and teaching others to do so is to be the least in the Kingdom.
Matthew 5:21-22,27-28 KJV
 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:  But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.  Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:  But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
— We are saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8-9). This does not mean that we have no respect to God’s commandments or laws. Jesus taught that are hearts should amplify in sensitivity to His word under grace.
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?