By Christina Turner
This post is part of a Lenten Series. For other posts in the series, click on “Lent” in the list under “Find Posts About…” in the menu on the right.
Each year before the Lenten Season begins, many Christians around the world begin to ponder what they should “give up” for 40 days. I too began having the same thoughts and even discussed and shared ideas with my sister. Often many people of my generation are deciding which social media platform they can detox from for 40 days or which junk food can they give up for a couple weeks.
While these are all commendable and respectable options, why not dig deeper?
Deuteronomy 26:10 says, “And now I bring the firstfruits of the soil that you, Lord, have given me. Place the basket before the Lord your God and bow down before him,” (NIV).
This Scripture spoke to me on many levels. Many women, especially young adults, struggle with trying to be their best for God, church, work, family, home-life, and friends. I battle the time game daily and often at the end of day, I feel like I have failed one or more of these groups. The truth is we’re all human and ultimately we fail in even minor ways every day. But we can rebound!
What do you think of when you hear the word firstfruits? In biblical times the firstfruits were the first agricultural produce of harvest. Now I’m no farmer, but I believe we all can bring our firstfruits to God.
What’s stopping you from bringing your best to God? Too much on your plate? Not enough time spent in the word? Lost your zeal and desire for constant communication with God?
Toward the end 2015, I felt a calling from God to focus my energies and talents on kingdom-building. I moved back to my hometown area in May of 2015 and was so blessed and excited to be back at the church I grew up in. Since then I have joined our church leadership team and got right back to singing in one of our choirs and serving as a junior Deaconess. I also joined the national American Baptist Women’s Ministries YAWMAT (Young Adult Women’s Ministries Advisory Team). It has been so humbling to help serve in another way.
I say all this to point out that I realized God deserves more and deserves the best. God sent his only begotten son to die on the cross for us. Jesus sacrificed and endured more than we ever will come to understand, for us. What talents and service can you provide to God’s people? How can you grow God’s kingdom? Take time now to examine your life, cut extra time-wasters that pull you away from the Spirit, and bring your best and firstfruits for Christ.
For 2016 I’m challenging myself and you to bring and be our best, not only during the Lenten season but each day of this year and beyond for our Lord.
Christina Turner is the community development coordinator at Multicare Health System in Kent, Washington, and serves on the young adult women’s ministries advisory team (YAWMAT) of American Baptist Women’s Ministries.