Daily Devotion

November 29: The Profit of Wisdom

Proverbs 3:9-10  Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

God has blessed us with the gift of eternal life and we must use that life to exalt Him, glorify Him, which is to bring great joy and pleasure to Him. The word “substance” means “wealth or riches.” What He is telling us here is to honor the LORD with the wealth wherewith He has blessed us. In other words, we are to honor the LORD with our finances.

The firstfruits of our increase are the first percentage of our wealth. The first percentage of our wealth is the tithe according to Scripture. God gives you 100% and then commands you to give Him back 10% out of a heart of love and loyalty to Him. That means that if you are tithing the way the Lord commands, you are to give 10% of your gross earnings before Uncle Sam takes out his share for taxes. That is the firstfruits. Tithing on your net income is not honoring the LORD.

When you do tithe, do so without regret and never try to control what God does with what is given to Him. When you are obedient to the Lord, and you love Him as you should, you willingly give the tithe with joy in your heart. The Lord loves the cheerful giver.

It has been said that this is an Old Testament principle. But Christ criticized the Scribes and the Pharisees for being hypocrites. They paid tithe of spices they took from their gardens. But they left off good judgment, mercy, and faith. They were willing to do the external but left off the greater spiritual virtues of godliness, that were of greater importance.  He told them that they should practice godliness and to NOT leave out paying the tithe. The tithe was important, but they should also have good judgment, mercy, and faith (Mat 23:23).

When we honor the Lord with the firstfruits of all our increase we can expect to be blessed. He gives us the analogy of a farmer: our barns will be filled with plenty, nothing lacking, and our presses shall overflow with new wine. Be sure that we cannot out give the Lord our God. All that you have comes from Him. He gives 100% and requires 10% to be given back as a show of appreciation. When we do it with the right motive we will be blessed; it is a promise. (By the way, the word translated as “new wine” simply means “the first squeezing of the grapes,” what we call “grape Juice.”)

A person who cannot give their finances to the Lord cannot honor the Lord with their life. If God gave you all that you have then it is only right that you give Him His due. Is He not worthy of all that you can give Him and more? Too many today claim to love the Lord with all their heart and will not let go of their finances to the Lord. The tighter you hold on to your finances the less God can bless them. He said that those who sow sparingly will also reap sparingly. That means that the less you are willing to give up TO the Lord the less He can bless you.Those who give up their finances to the Lord may not be rich by the world’s standards, but never do without.

The second mile Christian goes above and beyond to give to the Lord. They pay tithes, but are also quick to give to special offerings, such as building, Jubilee, bus ministry, youth ministry, etc. They will also be avid supporters of Faith Promise Missions. They truly honor the Lord with their finances. Our Father said, “Them that honor me will I honor,” (1 Sam 2:30). Love Him, go the second mile, and give to honor Him. –Preacher

November 28: The Practicality of Wisdom Pt 2

Proverbs 3:7-8  Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.  It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

The third command, “depart from evil”, is the principle of separation from the world which stands opposed to God and godliness. You cannot hook up with anything of the world; it may look attractive, and there can be pleasure, but it comes at great cost to you. You cannot hug a camp fire and not get burned!

There is always a consequence to doing that which is against God. You can drink alcohol and have a very short lived pleasure. But the detriments of consumption far outweigh the pleasure. You will do things against your nature, foolish things, and you will reap the repercussions of those things. You will be tempted to do immoral things, things that you may find fun or exciting at the time, but will deeply regret after the fact.

You will find that alcohol is not a friend to your body and you will suffer the unhealthy affects from consuming it. There is the hangover from a dehydration of the brain; destroying brain cells that cannot be replaced. There is also liver damage that can occur. When a person says they can control their drinking they have entered into that self-reliant pride that does not have a respect and trust of the LORD. They do not control that which controls them!

There are many disadvantages to living in or even dabbling with sin. Many young ladies have found themselves with child by giving control of their faculties to alcohol for a night of “fun and pleasure.” Many men and women have found themselves starting a family prematurely and experiencing great hardship, while others contract some sort of STD because they gave their bodies over to the lust of the flesh. Sin is pleasurable for a season, but it is a short-lived season. You cannot hug a camp fire and not get burned!

You are to depart from all that is evil and from the very appearance of evil. If it appears evil you are to run away from it. Whatever the temptation may be we are commanded to “flee” which means literally “to run from it.” We are commanded to flee fornication which is sexual promiscuity, adultery, and incest. We are commanded to flee idolatry which is the practice of giving worship to anything other than God. We are to flee from greediness, the love of money, and youthful lusts.

You must determine in your heart to be humble, trusting God and His ways, giving Him due reverence, departing from evil, and even the appearance of evil. With this three-fold commandment God gives us a promise. He said that if we do these things that they would be health to your naval and marrow to your bones. That means that you shall have good health in the innermost parts of the body.

If sickness or disease takes over your body you can still have your innermost health because you are saved and sealed for eternity. At death the body goes to the grave and you go to be with the Lord. You have the gift of eternal life. It is a present possession; you do not have to wait until you leave this world to know. There are not a set of scales to weigh out your good and bad. Your good is the righteousness of Christ which is more than enough to get you through this life and into Heaven.

Live the life of obedience and you will reap the benefits of quality of life and quantity of life. Obey His commands and experience all of God’s desires for you. -Preacher