(9) Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: (10) So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine. Pro 3:9-10
Solomon instructs his son on the wise way to manage his possessions. There are two terms that describe a wise stewardship in these two verses.
The first term is “substance”. This speaks of everything that we own. This word could also be translated “wealth”. We are not just responsible for stewarding what we give to the Lord. We are responsible for stewarding everything we have. A right stewardship of everything I own is to use what I own in a way that honors the Lord.
The second term is “increase”. “Increase” speaks to income. In regards to our increase, Solomon says that we honor God with the “firstfruits”. This idea of “firstfruits” is that they would give God a percentage, a proportion, of what came in. They were to give it first, before they gave anything else. They were also to give their best. We do not give the leftovers to God. We give him the best.
In verse 10 we see the results. It may seem counterintuitive to think that having a lifestyle of giving away a percentage of the best of what you have to the Lord bringing prosperity. Generosity, proper stewardship, and honoring the Lord with our wealth and income invite the blessing of God in our lives. We must be careful and thoughtful about verses in Proverbs like verse 10. Verses like this is more probability than promise. God is a debtor to no man!
We ought to give to God proportionally. The biblical practice of tithing is a great place to start when it comes to giving. The right place to give is to our local church. Jesus Christ loved and gave himself for the church. It is the local church that has been stewarded with making disciples. We give to the Lord through our local church.
We ought to give to God honorably. This means we give him our best and we give to him first. We’re not looking at how little we can give, and how little we can trust God. We give a portion because we want to honor Him with all of it. It is all His and He allows us to use it.
We ought to give to God expectantly. We ought not give so that we can get. We ought to give, demonstrating faith in God, expecting that He will take care of us as He has promised. Jesus said it this way in Luke 12 when He said:
“And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. (23) The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. (24) Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? (25) And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? (26) If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? (27) Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (28) If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? (29) And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. (30) For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. (31) But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.”Luke 12:22-31
- Are you honoring God with your what you have?
- Are you honoring God with your income?
- Do you faithfully give to your local church?
- Are you giving worshipfully or out of duty?