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Who Gets First Dibs?

Honor the Lord from your wealth
And from the first of all your produce;
So your barns will be filled with plenty
And your vats will overflow with new wine. —Proverbs 3:9-10

Do you remember when we were kids and we worked on the “dibs” system? You may have called it something else, but the principle is the same. If you called first dibs, you got first choice of ice cream bar or first try on the new four-wheeler or whatever else.

Many people don’t recognize the hand of God and blessing upon their lives. They have an opportunity to honor God and give Him the first fruits, but instead they jealously guard what they have as their own possession, gained by their own merit. I know because I’ve done it.

Greed is one of the many things in this life that attempts to steer us. We like to think we’re in control, but the more we resist the rightful honoring of God, the more our wealth possesses us.

The temptation is to consume upon yourself, grow complacent to the needs of others, and do anything to keep what you have while trying to gain more.

This doesn’t only pertain to our money, of course. Are we giving God the first of our talents? Our gifts? Our abilities? Our family? Our relationships?

How do you know if you’re giving the first and best of what you have?

Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; —1 John 3:21

We may have to deal with issues of entitlement or greed. On the other hand, we may have to deal with those feelings of condemnation or rejection. Either way, we can ask God to show us where we have dishonored Him and choose a different path by His grace.

It’s important for every believer. When you give what’s left over (if there is any left over), you show yourself untrustworthy for greater blessings. He doesn’t just want you to have something in your barn. He wants it filled with plenty so that you can show His compassion to a greater measure. He doesn’t just want your vats to have a little new wine. He wants them overflowing because He delights in you and wants you to have the greater influence that comes with His abundance.

Have you given God first dibs—the best and first fruits? How do you do that in the various areas of your life?


Another in a series of monthly posts where I go through Proverbs a verse or two at a time and share the whispers of the Holy Spirit to my heart (click here for more verse by verse posts).

12 Comments

  1. I’m not really sure when or why I started this practice Jason. When I was single & living at college and without income, I committed to a Faith Promise to benefit missions. I sacrificed sometimes to keep my commitment but it laid a good foundation for me. We have been married over 39 years and we began by at least tithing and God has blessed us so that we have never missed. We have always kept that commitment, even when it hurt. If it was only about money I would pass the test. However…
    bill (cycleguy) recently posted..GlorifyMy Profile

    • Ha! I hear you, Bill. My wife and I also got a revelation of tithing while we were newly married, still in college, and barely staying afloat. It was hard at times, but we noticed a difference between the months we would give first and pay bills second rather than vice versa. Since that point, we haven’t looked back and we’ve been incredibly blessed. Thanks for sharing, sir.

  2. I was blessed to have parents that lived the practice of tithing and gifting since before I can remember. While they never gave to get, one of my mom’s favorite sayings is, “You can’t out give God.” I’ve tried to live that my entire life, sometimes even when I wasn’t living the life I knew I should, I always knew that everything is His and it’s an honor to be faithful with what He provides.

    My time and ambitions, well, they were another matter…

    • That seems to be a common theme, Floyd! The good news is that God can give us greater transformation if we yield in the little things like money. Some people never even get there or think it’s so big, but those are the lesser things, the worldly things that we can’t have our hearts fixated on. We’re all in that process of change! Thanks so much.

  3. If it all belongs to Him…why do we try to hold on to so much? It’s a question that seems to always come back to my mind. I try to have an open hand policy…open to give….open to recieve. That way I don’t have to think so much! Thanks Jason!
    Jay Cookingham recently posted..Bad Sheep -- Going BattyMy Profile

    • That’s a big one too! Open to receive… Many will give until it hurts but will refuse to have their own needs met. It’s definitely a humbling position, but God puts us in a family for just that reason! Thanks Jay.

  4. I have done it both ways… keeping the best for myself and giving my best for/to Him. I am amazed at how far what is left goes after I give Him my best. On the flip side, it seemed as if after I took the best, there was none left for Him.
    Dusty Rayburn recently posted..An Apple Tree Among the ForestMy Profile

    • My best will never measure up to God’s best. We hold onto our best in fear that what He has will not be worth it, but if we really stopped and thought about it, we would see how ridiculous that is! Thanks Dusty.

  5. Im a firm believer that when I give the first fruits to God, he will bless me and take care of me. Even when I didn’t have money from my job to pay my bills, I still gave -- and God always took care of me. I went through three years of being at least $600 short of paying my bills each month with only $1800 in debt -- and that was only because I had some car and plumbing issues that hit all at once. He does provide been when he math doesn’t work.
    Jason Vana recently posted..Love in Lonely PlacesMy Profile

    • I am totally with you, man. It shouldn’t work out, but it always done. He does miracles every single day! Thanks Jason.

  6. I’m going to be honest and say no I left God out of my finances for years. Because I really never knew that God cared about that part, but Thank God for Brother Sam teaching me about this powerful concept, I’ve made a fresh commitment With God saying every financial reward I get the first 20% will be Given to Him. 10% tithe and the other for sowing. I always saw my parents tithing and all that but that’s them and there faith now its my time to start
    andrew singh recently posted..Christmas-Winterland Photo ExtravaganzaMy Profile

    • It’s huge to put our faith out there like that. He will greatly bless it when we obey! Thanks for sharing, Andrew.