Wisdom Fruit: A Journey in Proverbs 3 – Honor & Wealth

Proverbs 3:9-10

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce. Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine.” Prov. 3:9-10 NLT

Ever since Jesus told the rich young ruler to SELL everything and give it away, people’s first reaction to this verse is to clutch their wallets tighter. That instruction was just for the rich young ruler and God was identifying where his heart really was. Where your treasure is your heart is also, which tells us that how we behave around finances really shows us the state of our hearts. Ouch!

What does it mean to Honor the Lord with your wealth?

It first means realizing that God gave you the wealth in the first place. In fact, the Lord specifically tells us to remember that fact in Deuteronomy 8:18 “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth…” We thank God for His continuous provision in our lives and for empowering us to accumulate not only what we need but to help others.

Secondly, we honor God by seeking His guidance in how we should manage that wealth. The latter part of that verse is even more specific, that we should honor God not only with wealth but also with the BEST part of everything we produce. He is talking both accumulated wealth and the continuous income or increase that we receive. God modeled that for us in giving us the precious thing He had, His son Jesus.

When we do this we are showing God and reinforcing in our hearts that we trust Him as directed earlier in Prov. 3:5. God is the ultimate financial advisor. When we give Him the reigns of our wealth, He shows us where to give to have the highest impact. We are conduits of God’s Grace, resources, power and love to others.

THEN, watch this, God will fill our BARNS with grain and our VATS will overflow with good wine. We often see the verse or phrase, “Fill my CUP Lord” or in Psalms 23, “ my cup running over”, but as we honor God with our wealth and increase, this stewardship multiplies it in greater measure. That cup is transformed into very large containers He fills with grain with sustaining power for years and very large tanks overflowing of good quality, valuable wine. Good stewardship brings increase.

Wisdom Fruit: Journey in Proverbs 3: Healing & Strength

Proverbs 3:7-8

“Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.

Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones.” Proverbs 3:7-8

This made me chuckle a bit, because it seems to say, don’t get the Big Head, thinking you’re all that. We often hear “ Hype yourself!” But I think every now and then we get carried away. It’s okay to feel pride in accomplishment, but sometimes we believe that we did it on our own. We may fall into self-reliance or conceit, thinking we don’t need God. One commentary (Barnes) noted “The great hindrance to all true wisdom is the thought that we have already attained it.” Staying humble keeps us teachable .

I.N.S.T.E.A.D

We are to Fear the Lord, with reverent awe and obedience. When we turn and see God in His omnipotence and greatness, we can’t help but feel how small we are. We can then turn away( and stay away) from evil.

The benefits of this is Healing! Can you imagine that when we resist self reliance, fear and worship our awesome God, we will have physical healing for our bodies and strength! Our own reservoir of strength can get quickly depleted when we do things on our own or in our own strength. When I’m feeling tired and worn down, I always know that I have not giving something over to God or tried to fix something with my own intellect. But God wants us to turn to Him and his unlimited regenerative power and strength will sustain us.

What a great promise from God!

Wisdom Fruit: Journey in Proverbs 3- Trust & Direction

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” Prov 3:5-6 NLT

This scripture was my mother’s favorite verses and whenever I read it, I hear it in her voice and it centers me- a soothing balm to my soul.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Trust is built on interaction & relationship -It is not transactional. Spending time with God in prayer, reading / studying the Word, and fellowship all help us to know Him and built trust in Him. The amplified Bible says it this way, “Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord” He is Our Father!

But the verse continues with ALL your heart. That’s ALL, withholding nothing. God seems to know our tendency to be distracted or unfocused, to not commit fully. But He wants our full attention. David prayed in Ps 86:11 “Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.” Unite my heart, make it whole so that I can wholly honor Your name, I God.

Then it says, do not rely, depend, lean on or trust in your own insight or understanding. We must heartily resist that independent streak to do things in our own strength, or through our own filter or perspective. It’s one of those instructions that say “Do this AND STOP doing that.” God wants to liberate us from our limited understanding to focus on His limitless opportunities.

Seek His will in ALL you do – again that means everything- especially those things that you really don’t want input on. lol. And He WILL show the path to take. This is a promise from God! As we seek His wisdom in the affairs of life, He will show us what to do, and where to go. Isaiah 30:21 makes it more explicit “Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left.”

Help us, O Lord, to trust You with our full attention and heart and not trust in our limited understanding. Help us to seek us in everything we do, knowing that You will direct, lead, guide us and show us what to do.

Wisdom Fruit: Daily Journey in Proverbs 3: Keep it Close

Proverbs 3:3-4

Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:” Proverbs 3:3 KJV

God’s word is constantly reminding us to Remember! He knows our tendency to forget things quickly. Prov 3:3 tells us NEVER let loyalty (truth) and kindness ( mercy/faithfulness) leave you. These attributes are so important to God because they are integral parts of His character.

Truth/ Loyalty

There is no hypocrisy, deceit or falsehood in God, and we must earnestly cultivate loyalty, allegiance, truth, faithfulness in our lives. Truth is so fundamental- essential that Jesus proclaimed in John 14:6 ““I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life.” Another scripture says, it is impossible for God to lie. This steadfastness and strong ethical compass is what Soloman is exhorting in this passage, to “stay true” and remain faithful to God’s principles.

Mercy/ Kindness

God is a merciful and kind, and prioritizes those attributes in our lives. As my Pastor so frequently taught recently, when Moses asked God to show His glory, God said “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will show mercy on whom I will have mercy .”” Exodus 33:19 God’s mercy is His glory. As He is, so shall we be.

Solomon then exhorts to tie them ( truth/loyalty and kindness/mercy) around your neck” and write them deep in your heart as a reminder. This is not an alarm clock reminder, but kept in close proximity so that you never forget. It’s s hard to ignore something tied around your neck, or placed deep in your heart.

This exhortation to remember or “never forget“ by any means necessary echoes Moses’ exhortation to the people just after the 10 commandment were given to commit themselves to learning and obeying the commandments. He says in Deut. 6:6-7, commit them to your hearts, teach them to your children, talk about them at home and on the road, in the morning and bedtime. Tie them to your hands and put on your forehead as a reminder. This sounds extreme and it is!

These attributes of loyalty and kindness are the basis of strong relationships. We should earnestly pray to remember and practice these things that are so very close to the heart of God and His very nature: Prov 3:4 says THEN we will find favor with both God and people, and earn a good reputation. The benefit and fruit of favor and reputation are just the icing on the cake.

Dear Lord,

Help us to do whatever it takes to keep loyalty and kindness deep in our hearts and bind to our necks so that all that we do and say are guided by these divinely inspired characteristics. Have Your way in our lives, in Jesus name.

#wisdom #truth #loyalty #mercy #kindness

Wisdom Fruit: A Daily Journey in Proverbs 3- Never Forget

Proverbs 3:1-2

Good morning June!
Wisdom Fruit : Daily Journey in the rich verses of Proverbs 3

My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart. If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:1-2‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I have been studying Proverbs 3 for a few weeks now, and God led me to pray this chapter for the month of June. I felt led to share this journey with all of you with a daily exhortation from the chapter.

It’s Personal: The first verse in this chapter starts off with a personal salutation, “my son” or “my child” which means a close relationship from a father or beloved teacher. This is more of an exhortation and impartation… so lean in closer.

Never Forget my teachings,the things I have taught you. This is an urgent, deliberate, very important admonishment which commands our attention to go back and study the instructions he has given.

The verse instructs further- Keep ( store) them in your heart. Remember when we used to say we “know by heart” certain things like the pledge of allegiance, lyrics or other information we which we committed to memory. We rehearsed and repeated it over and over til we could recall it on demand without referring to the source document.

This is what Soloman is saying: Commit to my teachings on wisdom hidden in your hearts and you will enjoy the fruit of:
1- A long life: we will live many years
2- A satisfying and prosperous life

What is the benefit of a long life if it is not satisfying or fulfilling. God’s principles help us make wise decisions that help us enjoy and prolong our lives.

It’s also helps us resist sin as noted in Ps 119:11 Thy word have I hid in that I might not sin against thee.

Remember:
• It’s Personal
• Never Forget Gods principles
• Store in Your Heart
• Long and satisfying Life