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Understanding the Origin and Value of First Fruits

First Fruits offerings originated in the biblical times when people lived in an agrarian society. These appear in both the Old and New Testaments and are discussed in relation to both spiritual and tangible offerings. Looking back, ancient Israelites had to place bundles of grain on the altar. This was their way of expressing their gratitude to God for His goodness and provision.

Through the decades, the concept of First Fruits has continually evolved and encouraged more church members and attendees to bestow an offering above and beyond tithing.

First Fruits can be in the forms of:

  • First salary from a new job or the first paycheck of the year

  • A portion earned from any profits or sales

  • Annual salary bonus

For people in the business sector, it can be the best profit they made during the initial months of their earnings.

Although the doctrine of First Fruit is nearly as old as the Bible itself, there are still some questions you might have asked as you journey in your Christian faith. Thus, in case you’re one of those who are wondering about the importance of First Fruits giving, read further:

1. To express gratitude

Along with tithes, First Fruit is also a key spiritual instrument that church members use to give back to God. The attribution of these tithes and First Fruit has stressed the importance of understanding the origin of religious giving. First Fruit is indeed a symbolism of thankful hearts and hopeful minds for financial growth and overflowing blessings. 

As Proverbs 3:9-10 professes – “Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the First Fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” This conveys that having a positive perspective, such as being grateful, makes the difference despite our individual struggles. And as we work hard for our financial goals, once we give God our first fruit, we will afford our desires and welcome more bountiful blessings. 

2. To declare sacrificial faith 

It is with giving that’s not “mandatory” by the church that we declare to the Lord that our devotion is unconditional and our faith is without any agenda. First Fruits giving is truly a genuine demonstration of our appreciation of God’s faithfulness in our lives.  

Going back to the biblical times, the Israelites’ First Fruit symbolizes how God acknowledges His people’s intentions. It is an offering to God from a heart of sacrifice and gratitude, and it sets the merit of giving back to Him the best of what He has provided them during those times. In fact, the First Fruit provision was given in commemoration of Israel’s stay in Egypt, their freedom from slavery, and how they took hold of the Promised Land. 

3. To dedicate our entire being

The Old Testament and New Testament both testify through their teachings that to give First Fruits unconditionally is to sow a seed of faith and dedicate our whole self. The immense act of giving was made true through biblical enlightenments such as the woman with only 2 coins but still, she gave everything - Luke 12:41-44. 

However, First Fruits giving does not only mean a simple provision of gifts, but also a truthful dedication of our being as followers of Christ. Christians of the New Testament believe that everything we own, including our monetary possessions, is His. Matthew 25:14-30 also imparts that we should be mindful and responsible for His blessings. This entails giving for a selfless purpose and sharing First Fruits without a doubt.

4. To profess the message — God is FIRST

But since we’re not actually harvesting crops, fruits can be a first paycheck of the year or a portion of your annual bonus at work. These are all products of hard work that allow you to share the message — God is first above all. 

First Fruits giving enables you to turn back to God with a thankful heart for all His blessings. We don’t offer our First Fruits to prove anything, but we give our First Fruits because we are already blessed and because He comes first. We give unconditionally as we are blessed to give more.

By giving First Fruits to God through the church, church members recognize that all good things originate from God and that everything belongs to Him. Giving the First Fruits is also a way of showing trust in God’s provision, just as He gave His people the First Fruits for us to thrive on earth. Remember that the Feast of First Fruits was established when the nation of Israel was still wandering, without any produce or land. It was observed in faith that He would direct and secure His people to the promised land.

5. To widen our capacity to help others through the church

Church members who take the extra mile to offer their first fruits enable church organizations to expand the ministry and share the gospel with more people. These offerings can be very helpful to extend help to the needy as well as meet the needs of communities from a faith-based perspective. Indeed, even the littlest forms of First Fruits can go a long way towards broadening ministry services and mission efforts across the globe.

As we traverse through our Christian faith, the most pressing question to ask is this — “Will my First Fruit offering express to the Lord what I want to communicate about my deep faith and gratitude for all He has done?”  Let this be a guide as you seek the Lord in giving.

Giving First Fruits Wholeheartedly

Handing over your First Fruit offering isn’t paying off the entire harvest or income, but it's giving a part of it. While it was greatly practiced and commanded of the Israelites, God showed us in His gospel that this isn’t required. You can, however, on your own free will give a portion or all of your earnings as an emblem of your gratitude and trust in Him and His church. But whenever opting to give your First Fruit offering, keep in mind to do it wholeheartedly, with no hesitation or guilt. This is supposed to be a manifestation of your gratitude for all God has done for you. 

First Fruit offerings will be put at the service of the church, for example for the support of missionaries, community initiatives, and discipleship. By voluntarily sharing our First Fruits, we are able to gain a deeper understanding and approach to Biblical principles, and improve our Christian faith.


Albritton, Travis (2023), "5 Reasons Why Christians Should Still Practice First Fruits Giving"

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