FIRST FRUITS

November 24, 2021


Dear PCF Family,

 

Among that for which I am thankful, you are in the forefront of my heart. You are rare treasures. I thank God for every one of you. May each of you have a blessed Thanksgiving and may His Kingdom be present and in operation as you seek to remain in His will.

 

I just recently became aware that there is an ongoing historical debate as to the first Thanksgiving in this land we now call America. Two years prior to the pilgrims holding a feast to give thanks for their first harvest in the new world, there was a group of about thirty-five men who had sailed from England. They arrived in Virginia and sailed into what is now the James River. It was a rough crossing on a ship that was only 35 feet in length. They were welcomed to the coast by a massive storm. When they finally rowed ashore, they bowed and prayed, giving thanks for God’s mercy, protection, and provision. I don’t know which constitutes the first Thanksgiving, but I do know that there is much for which we must give thanks at this time.

 

The Lord’s faithfulness has been clear among us in recent weeks. He is helping hearts that are hungry and in pursuit of His Kingdom. The tests and trials of life are real but His presence is a greater reality. King David captured this spiritual tension and expressed it in a psalm.

 

O GOD, You are my God, earnestly will I seek You; my inner self thirsts for You, my flesh longs and is faint for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

So, I have looked upon You in the sanctuary to see Your power and Your glory. Because Your loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You.

So will I bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.  Psalm 63:1

 

Life is unpredictable. It can be harsh and seemingly unfair. Regardless of whether it is unkind or “the good life”, His loving-kindness is better. That’s why we praise Him. That’s why our hands are lifted heavenward in spontaneous response in a moment of Kingdom awareness. Things may seem bad, and they often are, but God is always good to us. His loving-kindness is better than the best and worst of life.

 

First Fruits Offering

 

I believe the Lord is inviting us to follow Him in a special way. As I contemplated calling for a Christmas offering this year, I continued to get checked in my spirit. In recent days, I believe He is saying that we are to give a first fruits offering at the beginning of the new year. We can begin 2022 by sowing into the Kingdom! It will be a first fruits offering by honoring God for all He has done and believing for all He desires to do.

 

We have heard recently, how the Lord is blessing many in the congregation with unexpected gain, promotions, increases, and financial favor. This is an opportunity to recognize His goodness and to respond with a “thank offering”. This is spiritual seed that we can sow which will reap further harvest and blessing in the coming year and beyond.

 

The offering will be received Sunday, January 2 in our first gathering of the year. We will also have an extended time of praise and worship that Sunday to celebrate the goodness of God as He leads us forward into new territory. We will be able to give praise and give our offering as we do so together. Begin praying and anticipating the faith gift He wants you to sow.

 

The First Fruit Offering will be distributed in three ways.

 

>     Filling the Storehouse as directed through Malachi

Part of the offering will be set aside so that we can proceed over and above normal operating expenses. We need to be ready to obey the Lord this year. We do not know how He will lead as He does a “new thing” among and through us. Having the storehouse filled is part of being prepared. 

 

>     Possessing the Land He has promised this flock

We will sow part of the first fruits offering into Project Forward. This will help us move as the way is made to do so. Giving will be an act of faith in moving forward with the development of our fellowship's home.

 

>     Blessing His faithful servants in the field of souls

We have an ongoing fund from which we bless ministries as the Lord leads. We want to continue doing this but in more significant ways. For instance, an anointed Messianic Jewish ministry based out of Israel is helping Ethiopian Jews have bomb shelters because they reside in reach of Hamas missile attacks. They are currently planning a shelter in the area of Ashkelon, which is one of the areas most targeted by Hamas. I believe the Lord desires us give to help them this year. There will be other new opportunities as well.

 

The goal for this offering is $20,000. The Lord can do it through us. It will require faith and obedience.

 

Here we go!

 

Pastor Jerry