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The ancient Israelites were fortunate in that God had commanded them to have not one, but three harvest festivals a year. The first was right at the beginning of the grain harvest time, the second at the end of the grain harvest, when it was all in, and the third marked the grape harvest. Although they were all connected with the harvest in some way, they all had different emphases and reminded the people of different things.

The Feast of First fruits took place at the very beginning of the barley harvest. Barley was the first crop to become ripe and ready for harvest in the year, so the beginning of the barley harvest was the beginning of the whole harvest. Barley was a cereal crop. It was one of the two main grains grown by the Israelites (the other was wheat) and much of their bread and other food was made from it.

The very first sheath of barley to be harvested, instead of being used for food, was taken to the priest, who waved it in front of the veil that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place, symbolically offering it to God. This normally happened on the day after the Feast of the Passover.
They were to choose not only the first but the best of the first. They would then offer this to God as a sacrifice. A first fruit was anything that was produced for the purpose of living. It was crops or livestock, or fruit that was used for food. It was the thing that they live on and made a name by. God wanted their first priority. He not only wanted their first but the best of the first.

Our first-fruits are identified by our priorities.
F — We give our first fruit out of faithfulness. We are not guaranteed a second fruit.
R — It is Rooted in God's word. All of our hopes and promises are rooted in God's word.
U — Unblemished, God wants our first best. It doesn't matter if it is one of the first if it is
wormy. We wouldn't have kept it anyway.
I — Individual, it is given according to our individual ability. We must give according to
what we can give not based on what others do.
T — True, it must be given with sincerity. Not begrudgingly.

In conclusion, every good and perfect gift is from God. He wants us to be His gift to a dying world. We must give our gifts to be a gift. With Him, there is no shadow of turning and we, like Him, must remain faithful and true to our vows to give our first fruits to Him.

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Lavington United Church was founded in 1960 through a joint effort of the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK), Methodist Church of Kenya (MCK) and the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) as a community church to minister to the Lavington community. <<Read full History>>

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