January 2018

Feasts and Festivals  

“I hate, I despise your feast days,
And I do not savor your sacred assemblies…
But let justice run down like water,
And righteousness like a mighty stream.”

[Amos 5:21 & 24]

Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Tabernacles, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s. The Fall and Winter feasts and festivals are drawing to a close. Worry not; there’s always another one coming ‘round the corner. MLK Jr. Day, then Valentine’s Day... 

What concerns me is the loss of significance of our sacrifices for freedom. Our society loves the trappings of our triumphs, yet knows desperately little of the lives lost to purchase our liberty. This is not just America’s problem; it’s a kingdom issue.

The roots of unrecognized appreciation run deep. Rah! Rah! behavior creates a temporary feeding frenzy in which holidays are consumed, but seldom savored. 

Vacations are identified by three-day weekends. It matters not what we celebrate. History becomes our vehicle, our excuse for excess. God is looking for righteousness. Right living. Right thinking. Right concerns. These attributes are filled with the fruit of sanctified, God-focused, living. We cannot conjure up virtuosity. 

Righteousness is a gift. Webster’s defines it as, “acting with accord to divine or moral law: free from guilt or sin.” This is not possible without God. Freedom requires divine validation. And God doesn’t endorse behavior that diminishes His Name, His Purpose, His Attributes, or His Love.

Pondering the price of freedom is a daily endeavor that finds its peaks during the feasts, and it’s valleys in selfish indifference. The sacrifice of Firstfruits directs us to hold fast to the Source of our blessings. Keeping Him first yields the fruit of successful, satisfied living. 

Is God’s righteousness a mighty river running through your life? Let’s remember to reset our compasses daily with devotion. Allow Him to lead you in paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake. These festivities remind us of the steadfast love of God. His mercies are new every morning of the coming new year.

First Fruits First

First Fruits First is a monthly devotional newsletter intended to encourage the believer. The principle of First Fruits traces back to the Hebrew Scriptures where the people of God offered back to Him the first portion of what was earned, received or produced in grateful acknowledgement of His provision.

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