As Christians we are not under the law, yet most believers love to give a first fruit i.e. something off the top of their income to the Lord as an expression of love and worship to him.
There is another principle found in scripture called the Gleanings which is not concerned with first of your income or produce but rather with what is left over the end.
Gleaning is the process of gathering grain or produce left or missed in the field by reapers on first pass. Gleanings can also be on a vine or on a tree and in this case refers to the fruit missed by the pickers. Mosaic Law requires leaving this portion so that the poor and aliens might have a means of earning a living.
Leviticus 19:9 And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field, neither shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest.
10 And you shall not glean your vineyard, neither shall you gather every grape of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the Lord your God.
Deuteronomy 24:19 When you cut down your harvest in your field, and has forgot a sheaf in the field, you shall not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow: that the Lord your God may bless thee in all the work of your hands.
20 When you beat your olive tree, you shall not go over the boughs again: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow.
21 When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not glean it afterward: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow.
The biblical example of Ruth gathering the gleanings is found in Ruth chapter 2.
So the idea behind the gleanings was to leave a little of the crop/harvest to provide for the poor which includes the widow, the orphan, and the foreigner. But since we are not farmers and do not have fields and crops, how might we apply this principle to ourselves.
Well in the same way as the farmer did not harvest his crop to exhaustion so might we not use our full income to exhaustion?
One family that I know of collects all their coppers and small denomination coins in a jar and at an appropriate time gives that money to the poor. A tin, a bag or a box works just as well!
And who are the poor?
Well there are two types of poor, the physically poor and the spiritually poor (usually they go together).
Think of the foreigners who are strangers in your land, and the homeless etc. Or what about the street children of Brazil and other countries where the poor need both physical and spiritual help? Anyway, if this is something you want to do, we can ask the Lord what to do with our gleanings.
Lord give us hearts that honour you with our first fruits
Lord give us hearts that leave a gleaning for the poor, the widow, the orphan, and the alien.
Lord we thank you that you have supplied us with all that we need.
Lord keep our hearts open to the prompting of the Holy Spirit
In Jesus Name we pray