Proverbs 3, Part Two

-Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the

Have you ever known someone who seemed above-and-beyond generous? It can be surprising to encounter someone who gives with joy. Those whom they give to are blessed, and so is the giver. Proverbs 3 shows us how God blesses us when we give to Him.

“Honor the Lord with your wealth,
with the firstfruits of all your crops;
 then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
and your vats will brim over with new wine.” Proverbs 3:9-10

Don’t be stingy when it comes to giving to God. In comparison to what He has given to us, we should be eager to give back to Him. He doesn’t need our gifts; the point is to have a humble heart-posture that is glad to do His will. He blesses us when we give to Him, so there is no reason to hold back. We won’t run out of what we need. Matthew 6:25 and 33 says,

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?…But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

  • Do you ever have a difficult time giving to God or others? What holds you back from giving with joy?

The Reformation Study Bible says that giving to God recognizes His sovereignty and shows our gratitude. Leviticus 27:30 reminds us that our tithes belong to God:

“A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord.”

  • How does giving to God acknowledge His sovereignty?

Our blessings are not ours to begin with. They come as gifts from God, and we should show our thankfulness by giving back to Him. God’s tremendous grace is shown to us when He blesses us again for giving Him our firstfruits. How amazing it is that God continues to bless us, even for things that we should be doing anyway.

God’s grace is also seen in the next verses:
“My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline,
and do not resent his rebuke,
 because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
as a father the son he delights in.” Proverbs 3:11-12
These verses are reminding us again to love wisdom. Just like Proverbs 1:7, which tells us that fools hate instruction, verse 11 argues that we should not resist God’s guidance. The Reformation Study Bible notes that this reminder is given so that believers won’t resist discipline since it can be difficult to go through. Hebrews 12:7-11 illustrates how God’s discipline shows us that we are His children. It says,
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live!  They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
God disciplines us to help us become more like Him. He loves us, so He helps us to learn what we need to know in order to grow. Though it is hard to go through this process, we will be blessed by it later.
  • Can you think of a specific time that God disciplined you and you were blessed for it? Is there anyone in you know who may be going through a similar time in their life and who you can encourage with your experience?

There seems to be a pattern here. We trust God (by giving to Him, applying His Word, asking for His Will) and then we are blessed. Praise Him!

We’ll continue on Proverbs 3 next time. Blessings,
Olivia
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