In Proverbs 3:9-10 we find this command: “Honor the Lord from your wealth and from the first of all your produce; so your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine.”
We are to honor the Lord with all that we have. How we behave with our finances does a lot to reveal our heart toward God. Jesus said, “…for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”. ~ Matthew 6:21
How do we accomplish this? We are instructed in verse 5 to “trust in the Lord with all [our] heart and do not lean on [our] own understanding”. Trusting God is the first step in honoring Him – this is true in salvation, finances and all other affairs of life. According to Romans 4:3 (quoting Genesis 15:6), this is what pleased God about Abraham.
In our finances, we are expected to give our BEST and FIRST to God! God commanded the nation of Israel saying, “You shall bring the choice first fruits of your soil into the house of the Lord your God” (Exodus 23:19a) and when detailing the offerings that went toward supporting the priests He says, “You shall give him the first fruits of your grain, your new wine, and your oil, and the first shearing of your sheep” (Deuteronomy 18:4).
We are also expected to be generous and ready to share. Proverbs 11:24-29 tells us:
“There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, and there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want. The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered. He who withholds grain, the people will curse him, but blessing will be on the head of him who sells it. He who diligently seeks good seeks favor, but he who seek evil, evil will come to him. He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like the green leaf. He who troubles his own house will inherit wind, and the foolish will be servant to the wise-hearted.”
Also in 1 Timothy 6:17-19, we find this instruction:
Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.
It is amazing to see this principle played out over and over again in our lives. If you are generous even when you have little, God seems to bless your finances to be able to do more than most who have more money than you. We constantly hear and read about people who recovered from massive amounts of debt while staying faithful (and in many cases increasing) to giving. In fact, most respected financial advisers (many of whom do not believe God’s word) will tell their clients that giving has to be an integral part of their lives in order to be successful financially.
We are also expected to be fair in our dealings with others. In verses Proverbs 3:27-28 we find the following instruction, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Go, and come back, and tomorrow I will give it,’ when you have it with you.”
So in doing all of these things we will begin to “honor the Lord with our wealth”; which, according to verse 10, will lead to God sustaining us, causing us to be prosperous (cf Luke 6:38, Matthew 6:33) and satisfied (Philippians 4:11-13)!
For more on developing a biblical view of wealth, see our previous article here: http://knsfinancial.com/2010/01/10/wealth-from-the-bible/
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