June 3

“Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.” (Proverbs 3:9-10)

“Wealth is arguably the secular religion of the modern Western world. Although it was a good and noble idea to print “In God We Trust” on U.S dollars, the irony is that most Americans trust in their finances far more than in their Creator…the wealth attained through prizing and applying God’s wisdom is ultimately more satisfying than the wealth attained by prizing and applying our own wisdom. Both approaches can be profitable to a degree. Both can yield material returns. But to seek God’s wisdom is to attain wealth in a much more satisfying form.” (1)

God honors us with what earn or receive that is material, trusting us to be good stewards. Sometimes the Lord tests us and by so doing, gives us the opportunity to prove that, with his help, we can resist the temptation to worship God’s gifts instead of God himself. We, in turn, should honor the Lord by giving generously, not because God will give us even more but because he deserves our firstfruits. Proverbs 3:10 implies that if we give freely to the Lord, he will give freely to us. While this may sometimes happen, it is not always true. The health & wealth preachers would have us believe in the “’Law of Compensation.’ According to this law—purportedly based on Mark 10:30—Christians should give generously to others because when they do, God gives back more in return. This, in turn, leads to a cycle of ever-increasing prosperity.” (2)

Let’s seek to understand Proverbs 3:10 reasonably, rationally, and consistent with other teachings in Scripture. Perhaps the plenty referred to in barn is more than enough to help those who have little or nothing. Having more than we need for ourselves offers us the opportunity to give freely to the poor. A barn full of plenty also eliminates the need for any material worry on our part, that might distract us from serving God. “Do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:31-33).

How will you honor the Lord with your wealth today?

(1) Selvaggio, Anthony, “A Proverbs Driven Life,“ Kindle Locations 1052-1055). Shepherd Press. Kindle Edition, Shepherd Press, 2001, Location 1033-1046.

(2)    Jones, David W., “5 Errors of the Prosperity Gospel,” The Gospel Coalition, June 5, 2015, https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/5-errors-of-the-prosperity-gospel

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