How the wisdom of God applies to our giving.
Proverbs 3:9-10 - Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce; 10 then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.
Well, I was really excited about this verse until I realized I don’t own a barn and have no clue what a vat is or where to get one. #tongueincheek
One of the things you’ll notice as you read through the book of Proverbs is that it’s wisdom literature and you won’t get very far if you try to read it in a literal sense. For example, verse 3 of this same chapter says, “Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.” Who’s ready to make necklaces and have open-heart surgery?
Proverbs is filled with principles for life which is the wisdom of God. And what the book as a whole teaches us in general is that the reward you get for living according to the wisdom and righteousness of God is the blessing of a long and successful life.
So, to paraphrase, verse 9 and 10 are saying that if you make it a priority to honor the Lord with your money, then you’ll be blessed with an abundance of resources in your life.
Why? Because God is a vending machine? Drop some coin in the offering box and our bank accounts are magically filled? Not in my experience.
It’s because the person who honors the Lord with their money understands that all of it belongs to God and is given to us to be stewarded for his glory (1 Chronicles 29:11-12, 1 Corinthians 10:31). This person also understands that if they’re going to make it a priority to consistently give a portion of their money to the work of the ministry, they need to actually plan for that by living on a budget which ensures that they’ll have plenty to cover the rest of their needs (Proverbs 27:23-27).
And finally, the person that honors the Lord with their money might also be living according to...
Proverbs 12:11 - Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.
Proverbs 13:11 - Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.
Proverbs 11:28 - Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.
Proverbs 11:24-25 - One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. 25 Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.
This is only a small sampling from the book of Proverbs and I dare anyone to begin living according to the wisdom of God that’s found in these verses and see what happens. See if God doesn’t open up the floodgates of heaven and poor out blessing in your life.
I’ll close with a promise: Every bit of money that’s given to us as a church will be faithfully stewarded to carry out the mission and vision of our church and see the gospel advanced in our city and beyond. We want as many people as possible to receive the same blessing that so many of us have received from the ministry of Heart of the City. To God be the glory. Amen.