Proverbs 3:9-10 -
Honor the LORD with your possessions,
And with the firstfruits of all your increase;
So your barns will be filled with plenty,
And your vats will overflow with new wine. (NKJV)
This chapter of Proverbs was written by King Solomon. He shares wisdom with his son on how to be a wise, Godly, and gracious king. We can use this passage for our personal benefit and our application would simply be how to be a wise, Godly, and gracious ________. Whatever our status, whatever our occupation, we can all apply it to our lives.
Verse 9 has always stuck out in my mind. Most of the common translations read, "Honor the LORD with your wealth". (ESV, NIV, NASB) For a king, especially considering the unsurpassed wealth of King Solomon, this is very fitting. Personally, I find it easier to apply the word "possessions" to my own life. I may be far from having the wealth of a king, but I can most certainly honor the Lord with the possessions with which He has blessed me!
So what does it mean to honor the Lord with my possessions?
I do not claim to have the answer. In fact, I would love to hear input from my readers on this. I just think it is worthy of our meditation.
Everything we have is not our own. Americans tend to have a strong sense of ownership. Home ownership is a common goal for most married couples and families. We all want our little patch of sod to do with as we please. The reality is, that we do not own anything. In the political sense, though the land we live on may have been passed down from father to son for generations, we all still have to pay property taxes on any land we own. Many communities have stringent deed restrictions and zoning laws. State and Federal laws also restrict what we do with our property, and if it comes down to it, if the government decides that they want to claim our property, they can. It's called "eminent domain". So do we really own our land? Besides, Who created the land we are living on anyway? God did of course!
Everything we have is a gift from God. We do not own anything. We are just using God's blessings while we dwell upon this earth. My Dad always said that you never see a hearse with a U-Haul behind it. Besides, if our sights are on heavenly things, why would we want to take anything with us from this earthly shadow?
If everything we possess is from God, it should be natural for us to want to give Him "the first-fruits". We are not under the law to tithe as the children of Israel were, we give offerings of our own freewill, as we have been blessed, from the heart. (1 Corinthians 16:2) Our giving to the Lord is not limited to a cash donation we make every first day of the week. We ought to be freely giving as we see a need, especially to those of the "household of faith".
Galatians 6:9-10 - And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. (ESV)
We can donate time, food, transportation, Bibles, a place to stay, you name it. Did you know that you can buy paperback New Testaments for less than $1 each? Why not buy a dozen and hand them out? Recently, I've become more and more acquainted with the donation of mothers' milk. God gave me this "wealth" to nurse my baby, and there are those out there who are in need. Does this honor the Lord? Most definitely! When we live with the belief that all we have is a blessing from the Lord, it becomes natural to share our blessings rather than hoard them.
Preacher Man and I agreed long ago that when we saw a need, we wanted to be able to help. We live the way we do (frugally and trying to live debt free) so we can be wildly generous when we see a need. We have been blessed time and time again by others in ways that we can never repay. We have seen the following verse played out in our own lives so many times:
Luke 6:38 - Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you. (ESV)
We're just passing around God's blessings... or trying anyway!