Hey families! Here is a devotional you can use with your kids to talk about being a cheerful giver. Throughout the text, you’ll see bolded questions, pause at these questions and allow for discussion among your family.
How would you describe an orange? It’s round, it’s sweet, it’s orange, it has a tough peel, it’s juicy inside. Now, imagine you were at an orange grove. If you were to pick any orange out of all the oranges, what would you want it to look like? You would probably want it to be big, shiny, and bright! You wouldn’t pick an orange that had been laying on the ground for a few days, half eaten by bugs. No one would want that sad orange!
Today, we’re going to talk about “firstfruits.” When you hear that word, what do you think it means? We don’t use that word very often now, but it means exactly what it sounds like! Firstfruits are the first part of the harvest, the very best of what the grove has to offer. It’s that big, shiny, bright orange that’s still on the tree. Firstfruits are what we want to offer God. You might be thinking: “wait, why does God want fruit?” Way long ago, this was an actual description of what people would give God. Firstfruits was a Jewish feast that was celebrated at the beginning of the grain harvest. Farmers would bring a sheaf of grain to the priest as an offering before the Lord—this offering was made before any of the other grain was harvested. It was the very first thing they did! It was a way of showing thankfulness for God’s provision and also a way of trusting that God would continue to provide.
Proverbs 3:9-10 says “Honor the Lord with your possessions and with the first produce of your entire harvest; then your barns will be completely filled and your vats overflow with new wine.”
Before Jesus came to earth, giving the best part of the harvest was a required sacrifice. But now, it is a way for us to honor God, just like Proverbs 3 says. It is a way for us to show that we trust God and we want to give Him our very best.
At this point, you’re probably wondering: “well, I’m not a farmer, so what do I give?” Great question! Now that most of us don’t grow our own food to sell, we give out of what’s been given to us. For most of us, that means money. For adults, that means giving part of their salary, for kids that might mean giving part of your allowance or the money you get for doing chores or little jobs around the neighborhood.
Here’s the thing, God isn’t so much concerned about how much we give, as much as He’s concerned about how we give. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 says “The point is this: The person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously. Each person should do as he has decided in his heart—not reluctantly or out of compulsion, since God loves a cheerful giver.”
Think of everything God has given you, we should see it as a joy to be able to give back just a piece of what He has given us! Let’s go back to that orange grove we started in. Let’s say you’re wandering among the orange trees and come across the farmer. He says, “You can choose any orange you want, it’s yours!” You look around and pick the most delicious-looking orange off the tree. You start to unpeel it, and the farmer says “Wow, that orange looks great, I’ve been out working in the grove all day long and I’m hungry! Would you mind giving me a piece of that orange?” You have three choices: you can say “No way! This is my orange!” You can roll your eyes, give a loud sigh and say “I guess so…” Or, you can say “Absolutely! You gave me this orange in the first place, I would love to share it with you!” Which do you think would bless the farmer the most?
It’s the same way with God. He doesn’t just want to us to begrudgingly throw whatever change we have in our pockets into the offering plate. He wants us see that He has given us everything we have and to give joyfully out of what He has provided. We cheerfully give out of what has been given to us.
- Is it easy or difficult for you to give joyfully? Why?
- What is something that God has given to you that you can give back to Him?
- Why is it important that we give firstfruits, instead of whatever we have left over at the end of the day?
Finish by thanking God for everything He has given your family and ask Him to help you give faithfully and joyfully.