Daily Devotionals for January 19
Proverbs: God's Wisdom for Daily Living
9 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:
10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.
Proverbs 3:9-10 (AMP):
9 Honor the Lord with your capital and sufficiency (from righteous labors), and with the first fruits of all your income;
10 So shall your storage places be filled with plenty, and your vats be overflowing with new wine.
Thought for the Day
Verse 9 - The Bible was originally written to peoples of the ancient world, particularly the Israelites. Since most Israelites were farmers or herdsmen, many Bible parables are expressed in agricultural terms. Firstfruits meant the first fruit to ripen in the garden, the first grain to ripen of the crops, or the first lambs born of the herds. Many had grape orchards, and since they did not have refrigeration, it did not take long for the juice to become wine. When the Israelites brought their firstfruits to offer to the Lord, He received those offerings as acts of faith and obedience. They represented the substance of their labor. Today, labor is usually rewarded through monetary payment. Offering firstfruits is taking money out of our paychecks for tithes and offerings, then using the rest to meet our needs. When we give to God, we honor Him as Lord over our money.
Farmers kept grain to grind into flour as well as seed to plant the next crop. God expects us to keep some of our "seed" for bread, as well as some for sowing. Those who impulsively give it all away and then expect God to take care of them are violating this principle. Some people give away all their seed and have nothing to eat, while others eat all their seed and have nothing to plant or invest. We should have seed for both purposes.
In addition to our tithes or firstfruits for the Lord's work, we should also give to help others whenever the Lord directs. We must learn to give by the Spirit's direction, not allowing mere emotions or sympathies to direct us. Until these areas are renewed in us, Satan can still influence us through them. God is not always sympathetic with seemingly good causes. We should also not give mechanically, just because we have always given to a certain cause, but remain open to God's direction in our giving. Sometimes He may speak that we are not to give to a certain ministry we are used to supporting. He may desire us to give elsewhere. We need to be just as sensitive to God's "restraining voice" as to His "prompting" voice. However, we must remain compassionate in our giving. When we see those around us in obvious need we should not turn our backs on them, since we are called to be good Samaritans (Luke 10:30-37, 1 John 3:17).
Verse 10 - After we plant, we expect a harvest. In the same way, we can expect God to meet our financial needs when we have been obedient to give Him our tithes and offerings. "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again" (Luke 6:38). It is God's nature to give. Greed and stinginess are of Satan. If we are truly committed to God and walking in the Spirit, we will always desire to give. It will not be a burden, but a joy. If we are faithful in giving, we shall never lack anything that we really need; our "barns" will be filled with plenty. That is God's promise.
Prayer Devotional for the Day
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