Christians Under Construction is a series of devotions designed for family use each week focused on Christian stewardship. It was originally developed for a congregation stewardship series and intended as a weekly resource. I thought I’d republish here for those interested in using them. Here is week fifteen:
Proverbs 3:9-10 “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.”
Little Mary had just finished her very first piano recital piece. Mom and dad could tell she was very nervous. What she previously played without a flaw at home, now had a number of bobbles in it. Somehow she made it through. She kept her head up and plowed through the rest of the piece. As she walked back to her seat, some of the other more accomplished girls were snickering at her. Mary politely nodded to them and wished them good luck on their pieces.
Her parents couldn’t have been more proud. “Wonderful job Mary,” said her mother. “I’m so proud of you.” Dad chimed in as well, “Great composure sweetheart. I loved the way you handled yourself up there, and with those other girls. You did a very honorable thing.” “What do you mean honorable dad?” asked Mary. “Well, when you act honorably you do things that would make others proud. Tonight you made us proud. You showed those other girls how we taught you to act and treat people. You ‘honored’ us.”
In our Bible verse today, God asks us to “honor” him. God is worthy of our continual respect, recognition and honor. The way we do that is by doing things that make him proud of us. Here in Proverbs, he is specifically asking us to honor him with our wealth, by bring our firstfruits to him rather than the leftovers.
To act “honorably” in the eyes of God is not easy. Our sinful natures would prefer to do dishonorable things – things that wouldn’t make God proud. Adam and Eve dishonored God in the Garden of Eden, and every person born since then has dishonored God from birth. We are people, who by nature, would love to snarl at those who snicker at our bobbles. By nature we are even tempted to snarl at God! However, God has provided us with a Savior, who paid for our sins by dying on the cross.
Now as all those dishonorable things are washed away in the blood of Jesus, we are free to do things that honor God. We can spend our money wisely with a spirited-led heart that puts God in a position of honor – in first place. With Christ at the center of our lives we can display Christian composure, regardless of how the world treats us. With faith in our hearts, we can make our Father proud – we can honor him. We can honor him with our wealth, with our use of time, with the use of our talents. We can honor him with our very lives.
Discussion Questions: Our verse for today is in the midst of a couple of chapters in Proverbs dealing with wisdom. How does wisdom play a part in honoring God? Medals of honor were given to soldiers who did things that made their country proud. Have we done anything that would make God proud? Have we done anything that would merit the reward of eternal life? If not, who has? A Christian song of a number of years ago used the lyrics when singing of Jesus: “You are my hero, we are his medals.” In what way(s) could we be called Jesus’ medals?
(Note to parents: You may want to review the facts of the story to reinforce the lesson.)
Family Reading: Proverbs 3 & 4
Prayer: Lord, we want to praise and honor you in all things. Forgive us for all the dishonorable things we have done. Please lead us by your Holy Spirit to do things that make you proud. Amen.