The book of Proverbs is not so much about right and wrong as it is about wisdom and foolishness. As one reads through the book, one will see the benefits of wisdom and the pitfalls of foolishness.
Read Proverbs 3:1–10. What wonderful promises are given here? Also, what does “firstfruits of all your increase” mean?
God asks us to put Him first in the management of our possessions as an acknowledgment of His ownership of all things and as a demonstration of our faith in Him to provide for us. But even more than this, He says that if we will put Him first, then He will bless what’s left. For us to do this—that is, to put Him first—is an act of faith, an act of trust, a manifestation of trusting in the Lord with all your heart and, indeed, not leaning on your own understanding (which is especially important, because so often things happen that we cannot understand and cannot make sense of).
Nothing, though, should spur us on more in trusting God and His love than does the Cross. When you realize what each one of us has been given in Jesus, not just as our Creator (John 1:1–4) and our Sustainer (Heb. 1:3), but also as our Redeemer (Rev. 5:9), returning to God the firstfruits of whatever we have is, indeed, the least we could do.
“Not only does the Lord claim the tithe as His own, but He tells us how it should be reserved for Him. He says, ‘Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase.’ This does not teach that we are to spend our means on ourselves, and bring to the Lord the remnant, even though it should be otherwise an honest tithe. Let God’s portion be first set apart.”—Ellen G. White, Counsels on Stewardship, p. 81.
God says that if we put Him first, our “barns will be filled with plenty” (Prov. 3:10, NKJV). Yet, this is not going to happen by miracle; that is, you are not going to wake up one day and find your barns and vats suddenly full.
Instead, the Bible is filled with principles about good stewardship, careful planning, and financial responsibility, of which faithfulness to what God calls us to do is our first and foremost responsibility.
How, though, do we learn to trust God and in His promises during hard financial times when, even while we are seeking to be faithful, the barns and vats are not full?
Saturday, January 07
Sunday, January 08
Monday, January 09
Tuesday, January 10
Honor the Lord
Wednesday, January 11
Thursday, January 12
Friday, January 13