Proverbs 3:9-10 (ESV)
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth
and with the first-fruits of all your produce;
10 then your barns will be filled with plenty,
and your vats will be bursting with wine.
Today, when we read these 2 simple verses we have a tendency to translate “wealth” to the “giving of money.” While giving of the physical treasure of money is important to the Lord, we cannot ignore the fullness required of biblical (Godly) stewardship. To do so completely misses the richness of not only these couple verses (and many others like them), but the richness of Gods love, provision, and bounty for our lives.
Preceding this passage, in verse 6, we are told “In all your ways, acknowledge Him.” “In all your ways” lets us know that that we are talking about much more than money in verses 9 & 10. This passage is talking about ALL the elements, time, talent, and treasure, for which we are called to righteously steward. We are to not only to be giving the first-fruits of our production (for most of us that means money) but we are to be giving the Lord daily the first-fruits of our time and the first-fruits of our talent.
In addition, the implication of “acknowledgement,” “honor,” and “first-fruits,” is that the whole belongs to God; IT ALL BELONGS TO HIM – your time, your talent, your treasure, all borrowed. Allowing (giving of) the first-fruits to remain with the true provider allows the remaining bounty to be poured out to us – AS BORROWERS. More importantly, the “whole belongs to God” really refers to us, the worshipers, the sons and daughters of the King – WE, along with our time, talent and, treasure belong in total to God.
Ready for the cool part? Recognizing the totality of the biblical stewardship being addressed in verse 9 sets us up for the awesome realization in verse 10 that the “barns filled with plenty” and “vats bursting with wine” are not just “barns” and “vats” – WE are the “barns” and “vats” (see Deut 28:8). Giving of those first-fruits, in all elements, time, talent, and treasure, allows us to be filled to the plenty with God; leaving us bursting with the Spirit.
Folks, we live in the age of the New Testament church under Grace; Works are not required to be in Christ or to experience the fullness of God. It is FROM the fullness of God that we can give of these first-fruits. I mention this so that we do not forget to marry these Old Testament truths to our New Testament Grace. In this case, take a peek at 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 and remember to be a “cheerful giver” of your time, talent and treasure.
Not sure where to begin? I suggest that you start with the time component and spend a few minutes sowing into Gods Word and a few additional minutes fellow-shipping with the Lord in prayer. Ask Him to search your heart, to reveal your talent, and uncover wealth yet unknown. Seek for what breaks His heart and put your talent and treasure there. Ask Him for direction and He will set you on “the good path.”