In His Presence: Matthew 22:37
The Bible calls the priorities of stewardship our "firstfruits." In the agricultural environment of the biblical times, people lived on the food they grew. Giving God their firstfruits would mean giving Him the best and the first of what they had to give.
Giving your firstfruits is a tangible, visible way of telling God that He is first in your life. God has always demanded that He be first because He is God. In Revelation 2:4, Jesus told the church: "You have left your first love." Jesus had slipped into second or third place. When God stops being first, we have a problem.
Colossians 1:18 tells us we should live in such a way "that [Jesus] Himself might come to have first place in everything." Jesus wants to be the focus of every aspect of your life all the time, without exception. Why? Because everything we have and ever will have is rooted in God. He deserves to be the focus because He is the Creator, Sustainer, Source, Savior, and King.
A passage from Haggai demonstrates where our priority as stewards should be: "You have sown much, but harvest little; you eat, but there is not enough to be satisfied; … he who earns, earns wages to put into a purse with holes" (Haggai 1:6). When God is not first, we can't possibly enjoy the stuff of life. Whenever the provisions of God become your god, you have replaced the true God with your own god.
One Minute Please
How dare we live for everything else and forget the Source.