“Great riches are in the house of those who are right with God.” Proverbs 15:6
Lord, am I right with you? Close? Near enough right to receive your riches?
If not, show me where your Holy Spirit needs to work in my life, where I need to be changed and made holy. Examine me as severely as necessary that I may confess, repent and be changed, but do so with as much mercy as possible.
With the Holy Spirit they spoke the word of God boldly. – Act 4:31
Do we speak God’s word with boldness or do we avoid speaking the Truth of God for fear we might offend, wound, or become tagged as someone who spouts “hate speech?” Paul calls us to speak truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). Speak in love; speak his Truth. When we do we “grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”
Bold are those filled with his Holy Spirit of Truth.
“If your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.” – Jesus (Matthew 5:30)
Our need to prove that we are right is almost always a sign that the spirit of our flesh is trying to assert its rights. From our Father’s perspective, we surrendered all our rights when we died to ourself, which is what the act of water baptism symbolizes, and rose with Christ. It matters not if we are slandered, maligned, cheated, persecuted, unjustly convicted. What matters is that we do not lie, cheat, slander, falsely accuse or malign others.
If your right hand causes you to stumble—or your right to yourself causes you to stumble—cut it off. Cut it out.
The Prosperity Gospel & Prosperity Theology from God's Perspective -Proverbs 3:9-10
Honor the Lord with your wealth. Honor the Lord with the first fruits of all your crops. Do this and your barns will be filled to overflowing. Your vats will brim over with new wine. Proverbs 3:9-10
Seems simple enough: Invest a tithe (10%) of the first income / produce you receive and you’ll never go hungry or run out of wine. Who wouldn’t jump on a plan that guaranteed such a blessed harvest?
Only my reading of the life and words of Jesus, plus my own experience, leads me to wonder if this verse, so often sited by prosperity preachers, has a deeper, more spiritual meaning. To give away 10% of your wealth may not seem like much, but in 2017, eight years after the Great Recession ended, 49 percent of all Americans still lived paycheck-to-paycheck. To give to God 10% before buying groceries or paying bills might seem like scooping buckets of water onto a sinking boat.
But could it not be that the principle of giving the “first fruits of all your crops” is key to walking with our Father.
“Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering.” – Genesis 4:4
If you are Abel, give first, give large, give your best.
Give God your very life and trust that he will know best how to fill vats and barns. Remember: filled barns and vats suggests that someone must work hard to care and sort the produce. What might seem like a blessing for some is a burden for others.
We may never know how many times God directed disaster away from hour home, spared us from sickness, kept us from making a bad purchase, or turning towards a catastrophic career move. On the other side of the grave we may see how his hand guided us, but on this side, we must simply trust and obey.
Lord, I do not ask for riches. I only ask that you richly bless me with your presence, your protection, your provision, your hope, your joy, your love, your arms wrapped around me tight, pulling me close. It is enough that you keep me in your lap and close to your heart. Enough and more than I deserve. Thanks and THANKS!