Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops.
Leftovers. They are a wonderful timesaver in the kitchen and sometimes even seem to taste better than the original meal. But when we honor someone with a meal, we would never think of using leftovers.
The same is true when it comes to the way we worship and honor our King, the Lord Jesus Christ. If we truly want to honor Him, it will not be with our “leftovers.” Everything we have, everything we are, and everything we hope for are rooted in God’s creation of us and His graciousness toward us through Christ. Our time, money and abilities are actually His. We should not give Him our time, money or abilities “if there is some leftover.” We only honor God when we give to Him first, trusting that He will provide for the rest of our time, money and energy needs.
Proverbs 3:9 urges us to honor God by practicing first fruit giving with our money. We basically have five general alternatives when it comes to what we do with our income:
- the support of a chosen lifestyle;
- whatever is needed for the repayment of debt because of that lifestyle;
- the payment of taxes;
- what we save and invest for the future;
- what we give away.
What order of priority do these five alternatives take in your life? Does Proverbs 3:9 make a difference in helping you determine those priorities?
Used with permission from Sunshine Community Church, Grand Rapids, MI and The Barnabas Foundation.