Honor the Lord with Your Wealth

Honor the Lord with Your Wealth

I.  Introduction

Let’s recall some fundamental premises:

Prov. 1:7  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Prov. 2:4-5  if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, 5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.

Prov. 3:5-8  Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. 7 Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. 8 It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.

Do we believe that?

If we do, then we’re ready for the next verse:

Prov. 3:9-10  Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; 10 then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.

Are we still open to the Lord’s wisdom when it hits our wallet?

Today, I’d like us to think through how we can honor the Lord with our wealth.

II.  Honoring God

How do we honor God in general?

A.  Seek to please him in everything

Rom. 14:6  The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God.

When we do what we do with God in mind, in an effort to please him, we honor him.

B.  Give thanks

Following Jesus’ example:

John 6:11  Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted.

When we are thankful, we are remembering where our blessings, our lunch for example, comes from.

C.  Obey

John 15:8-10  By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love.

When we act with the Lord in mind, with thankfulness, and in accordance with his will, then we honor God.

III.  Honor God with Money

So let’s consider some ways that we do this with our money.

A.  Give him the firstfruits

Prov. 3:9  Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce

From the beginning, God has been honored by firstfruits.

Gen. 4:3-4  In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, 4 and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering

Firstfruits means we consider God first.

Matt. 6:31-33  Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

But how do we offer something to God? Where do we mail the check?

B.  Support your family

1 Tim. 5:3-4  Honor widows who are truly widows. 4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God.

C.  Help those in need

Acts 10:1-4  At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort, 2 a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God. 3 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God come in and say to him, “Cornelius.” 4 And he stared at him in terror and said, “What is it, Lord?” And he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God.

Matt. 25:37-40  Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

D.  Support those who teach

Gal. 6:6  Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches.

These are some ways that we can honor God with our wealth and firstfruits.

IV.  You will be blessed

Did you notice the blessing that was promised?

Prov. 3:9-10  Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; 10 then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.

How does that work? I’m not sure. It’s on God’s end. There’s a similar statement in Malachi. In his day, the people had not been honoring God with their wealth:

Mal. 1:6  “A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? …

One of the ways they failed to honor him was in their tithes:

Mal. 3:8-9  Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. 9 You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you.

Now notice the challenge God gives them:

Mal. 3:10  Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.

If you will put God first, he will take care of you. Just like Jesus said. But it takes faith to do that.

Some have pitched this as a way to get wealthy. But surely we are not to follow God out of greed for earthly things. Instead, I think the point is, when you stop trying to hoard and accumulate things for yourself, but rather start honoring God, you will be blessed.

Notice how this works:

2 Cor. 9:6-11  The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 9 As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” 10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.

V.  Conclusion

Ultimately, we trust that if we honor God with our wealth now, we are laying up treasures in heaven, where we will be blessed beyond belief.

1 Tim. 6:17-19  As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.



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