FIRST THINGS FIRST
“The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits” II Tim. 2:6. The apostle Paul is instructing true followers how to be good soldiers, triumphant competitors, successful farmers, II Tim. 2:1-6. Our heavenly Father is the original Husbandman – John 15:1. He placed Adam and Eve in His first garden, and gave Adam a most delightful occupation. God had the right to expect fruit for His enjoyment. But since the fall of man, He has waited with long-suffering for full enjoyment.
“Be patient therefore, brethren unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient, establish your hearts for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh” James 5:7-8. We are able to understand that our Father’s plan wasn’t thwarted by the fall of the first Adam in the garden, but looked forward to fruit from a new creation.
We read in Genesis one, “And the evening and the morning were the first day.” Glory to God, He could look forward to another first day. When Jesus arose, the tomb was found empty on the first day of the week. A new day had wonderfully begun, a new creation from the tomb had victoriously sprung, with Jesus as the everlasting Head. Soon every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He alone is number One.
He has promised “Behold I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I Am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last” - Rev. 22:12-13.
When we think of our Father as the heavenly Husbandman, we rejoice to see Jesus Christ as the first fruit of a holy new creation. He arose from the dead in His order, and than afterward they that are His at His coming in their order. We just can’t help but rejoice that many like sons are being brought unto glory – I Cor. 15:20-23. We also are not amazed that Jesus told Mary, as recorded in John 20:17, “Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father.” His Father (and now our’s) was to have the first enjoyment of the first fruit of resurrection. Amen, SO BE IT.
Now, our heavenly Husbandman can work to make us good and patient husbandmen, bearing and sowing precious seed – I Cor. 3:5-9. He in this sense is indeed first partaker of the fruit of redemption. We then have the place and privilege of being labourers together with God, expecting Him to give the increase. Thus we are called to and urged on in spiritual priorities, since we are risen with Christ. We are challenged to exercise our pursuits in focus with the heavenly and spiritual, and eternal – Col. 3:1-4.
We realize that there are more and more intrusions, and interruptions that are intended for influence to trivial pursuits, as we near the end of this age. We as husbandmen here need to know the value, favor, long range benefits of what we share. Let us prove in practice and experience all that we claim is of chief importance. Taste and tell it like it is.
In quality control, the inspector can attest to the durability, and dependability of the goods offered. The virtuous woman of Proverbs 31: that excels them all, not only brings her food from afar, but also perceiveth that her merchandise is good.
We read of those in Ephesus being corrected for leaving their first (preeminent) love - Rev. 2:4. It is very important that we remember that we are only able to love Him because He first loved us, and it is our glorious privilege to return His own to Him of any thing we have. What do we have that we didn’t receive? “Who hath first given unto him?” – Rom. 11:35. He giveth and giveth and giveth again.
“This they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and to us by the will of God” – II Cor. 8:5. There is a great deal missing in any giving, wherein we don’t first give ourselves, especially to the will of God.