Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | May 18, 2014

The First Fruits of the Spirit

Today’s devotion comes from Leviticus 23:9-25.  Here is a link to this Scripture – http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Leviticus+23&version=NASB

I quote the following two sections of this Scripture.

“Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you enter the land which I am going to give to you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring in the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest.  He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord for you to be accepted;  on the day after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.  Now on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb one year old without defect for a burnt offering to the Lord.  Its grain offering shall then be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering by fire to the Lord for a soothing aroma, with its drink offering, a fourth of a hin of wine.  Until this same day, until you have brought in the offering of your God, you shall eat neither bread nor roasted grain nor new growth.  It is to be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places.”  Leviticus 23:9-14.

“The priest shall then wave them with the bread of the first fruits for a wave offering with two lambs before the Lord;  they are to be holy to the Lord for the priest.  On this same day you shall make a proclamation as well;  you are to have a holy convocation.  You shall do no laborious work.  It is to be a perpetual statute in all your dwelling places throughout your generations.

‘When you reap the harvest of your land, moreover, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field nor gather the gleaning of your harvest;  you are to leave them for the needy and the alien.  I am the Lord your God.’”

Again the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month on the first of the month you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation.  You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord.’”  Leviticus 23:20-25.

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In a prior devotion, the theme was what we bring:  namely, our money offerings to church as first fruits.  In this devotion, the theme is what we receive, namely, the first fruits of the Spirit.

“For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.  And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.  For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope;  for who hopes for what he already sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.”  Romans 8:22-25.

“In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.”  Ephesians 1:13-14.

As rest was an important part of the holy convocation of bringing the first fruits, rest is an important part of how we act with the first fruits of the Spirit.  We trust God that He will perform the rest in two different senses.  First, God gives us the fruit of the Spirit that is peace (which causes us to rest).  Second, God performs the rest in the sense that God does everything else to bring to us our inheritance (adopting us as sons, clothing us with immortality, and bringing us to heaven to be with Him in all the joys of heaven etc.)

The first fruits of the Spirit is God’s pledge of our inheritance, and the first fruits of the Spirit is also God’s performance causing peace in our hearts so that “with perseverance we wait eagerly for it (the inheritance).”

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