Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce; ¹⁰then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. Proverbs 3:9-10
Money may not make the world go round, but how we use it shows what we believe does. Wealth has a unique way of ascribing worth and value to something. Think about the way we use our finances, and how that reveals much of what we hold in a place of honor in our lives. We save to get away on that needed vacation; we invest in our savings to ensure a comfortable retirement; we put money away for our children to give them a good start; we pay for that subscription to watch the NFL (or as someone from Northern Ireland, real football in the Premier League!).
Obviously, none of these things are necessarily wrong, in fact, some are wise and good. The question is, what holds the place of honor? What is first in our reckoning? What stands above the others, as the thing that we truly believe makes our world go round?
The reality is that we all honor something with our wealth. In our verse this week, the Sage instructs us to honor the Lord. He alone is the One who is worthy.
In Deuteronomy 26:1-11, we see Moses instructing the people that when they have entered the Promised Land, they are to bring their first fruits to the place where the Lord will make His name dwell. You can imagine how significant this was for the people. After toiling in the land, plowing, planting, waiting, and then harvesting, the first returns on all their hard work were to be presented to the Lord. As they present this offering to the Lord through His priest, the people are to recount their wanderings and God’s grace. They are then to acknowledge, “And he brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey."
Through this offering, the people honor above all other things, the Lord. They acknowledge that He is the giver of every good gift; He is the provider and sustainer of His people. For those of us who are in Christ, we have been brought into a place of blessing that exceeds anything that has come before! He has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3).
As we consider our own wealth, what does our best go toward honoring? What would our accountants testify as being of the greatest value to us? When we receive our paychecks, do we present a portion to the Lord before everything else and acknowledge that every cent is a gift from His loving hand?
Look at what the Sage tells us to expect when we use our wealth in this way: “then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.”
Here is financial advice that is worth placing all your hope in. When we use our wealth to make much of the Lord, He adds to it, that we may do so more and more! This is not a “get rich quick scheme”; rather, it is an example of Christ’s words in Matthew 25:21, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much.”
Who really makes your world go round?
What do your monthly finances reveal is your treasure? (Matthew 6:21)
Take time to consider the true riches you now have in Christ Jesus. (2 Corinthians 8:9)
What changes could you make, when you receive your income, to show that Christ is worthy above all and the One who gives you all things?
Simon Mawhinney is a native of Northern Ireland where he pastored for five years before moving his family to Louisville, KY, to study at Southern Seminary. He is married to Lynda and they have 6 kids. He hopes to return to pastoral ministry after his studies. Simon says Scripture memorization and meditation has been the greatest means of enjoying God’s presence in his life.