Put God First

19 August 2012


1.   Introduction

·         Mt.6:24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other or else he will be loyal to one and despise the other”.

·         There is a battle for your heart over the issue of money – a daily on-going battle.

·         Mammon is a spirit that seeks to capture your heart, loyalty and love.

·         Mammon = Aramaic word = “riches”, wealth (assets, possessions, earnings).

·         Spirit of Mammon:

Speaks to you                           Overwhelms people with fear and anxiety

Promises you much                  Desires to take place of God in your life

Seeks to enslave you

·      Money has a spirit power operating behind it – Spirit Mammon – or Spirit of God.

·      Associated Spirits

Spirit of Pride – I worked hard to get all this, I am entitled to these things.

Spirit of Poverty – Not enough, why should you have those things and not me.

·      V26 - God is generous – He is a giver – it is His nature – He is extravagant.

·      V33 – “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you”.

Put God first in your heart and financial mattersfaith not fear (anxiety).


2.   The First Portion belongs to God

·          What should I do with money? – Give the first portion to God and steward the rest.


(a)  Ex.13:2 “Consecrate to me all the first born”

-       Every first born animal was either sacrificed or redeemed with a lamb

-       This was an act of faith – did not know whether animal would produce more

-       Didn’t want to give until had 10 lambs and give one – gave the first born in faith

-       The offering of the first born redeemed the rest – all others are now blessed.


(b)  Rom. 5:8,18 God demonstrates His own love towards us in that while we were still sinners – Christ died for us

-     Jesus was referred to by John the Baptist as the “Lamb of God”

-     No one took Jesus’ life He offered it up – He is the first born

-     God gave the first born so the rest could be blessed


(c)    Lev. 27:30 “All the tithe of the land is the Lord’s”

The first portion belongs to the Lord – it is the Lord’s

The first portion is devoted – set apart for the Lord


3.   The First Portion determines the nature of the rest


(a)  Rom. 11:16 “If the first fruit is holy, the lump also is holy; when we give the first to the Lord all the rest is blessed. When we withhold the first from the Lord the rest is cursed.

(b)  Josh 6:18-19 Jericho – all the silver and gold and vessels of bronze and iron are consecrated to the Lord – they shall come into the treasury of the Lord.


·         Jericho – was the first city. All its contents were first fruits to the Lord.

·         It took faith to give the silver and gold to God – what if they win no other battle?

·         They did not wait to conquer other cities and then give tithe to the Lord.

·         Achan took what was devoted to the Lord

Money: Devoted before he took it                   Choice 100% kept all cursed

             Cursed after he took it                        Choice 90% kept all blessed

Result was no spiritual power to prevail in warfare

V2 Key sin:       Covetous – greed and deception.


4. Giving the First Portion is an Issue of the Heart

·      Giving the tithe, the first portion to God is a heart issue.

·      Is God going to be first in my life, have my love and loyalty?

·      Key Heart Issues

(i)            Honour               - Will I honour God and place Him first? (Prov.3:19)

- What value do I place on God and my relationship?

(ii)           Faith                   - Will I trust God with who He is – a generous provider

- Will I trust God by giving my first 10th – tithe?

e.g.      Gen.22:1 Abraham gave his first born son

                        Gen 4:4 Abel gave his first born animal

(iii)          Gratitude            - Am I grateful to God for all that He has given to me?

e.g.      Gen.14:18 Abraham gave tithe out of gratitude to blessing

(iv)       Willing                - Will I give out of a willing heart or out of duty, fear

                                       e.g.      Ex. 35,5 Israel brought with a willing heart

                                                   1 Cor.8:12 First a willing mind

·      Without exception tithers say – I am blessed God has blessed me

·      Without exception non tithers say – I cannot afford to tithe

·      The first portion carries the blessing that redeems the rest

·      Mt.23:23 “These things (tithe) ought to have done and not neglected the weightier matters of the law justice, mercy, faith”

·      Mal.3:8-9 “Prove me in this – bring the whole tithe into the storehouse”