Monday, May 15, 2006

Giving and Receiving Glory

Honor the LORD with your possessions,
And with the firstfruits of all your increase;
So your barns will be filled with plenty,
And you vats will overflow with new wine.
(Proverbs 3:9-10)

For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
The LORD will give grace and glory
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.
(Psalm 84:11)
The Hebrew word for “honor” in Proverbs 3 and for “glory” in Psalm 84 is the same. It is the word kabad, which literally means “heavy.” It was used to refer to the weight of wealth, but came to be used also for the value of every good thing within a person.

When Proverbs tells us to honor the Lord with our possessions, it is not speaking of intangibles. It is a call to give substance or weight to honor by giving to God out of our possessions. This literally gives glory to God. Proverbs further explains this as the firstfruits of all our increase. We honor God by giving Him, not the last and the least, but the first and the best.

As we give tangibly to the Lord, we will receive tangible results: “So your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats overflow with new wine.” This is abundance from God. As we give the first and the best to Him, He multiplies if back to us in practical ways.

We find this also in the New Testament. Paul said, “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (2 Corinthians 9:6). Jesus said, “Give and it shall be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:38).

When we are in right relationship with God, He gives us grace and glory. The NIV says, “favor and honor.” God’s grace is God’s favor. Understand that we are not made right with God by what we give, but by the righteousness (or rightness) we receive from the Lord Jesus Christ. For God made Him to be sin for us, that we might be made the rightness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). But within that right relationship with God, when we honor Him and give Him the glory of our substance, we are drawing on His favor. When we honor Him, He honors us; when we give glory to Him, He gives glory to us. As the glory we give to God is substantive, so is the glory that God multiplies back to us.

Give God glory by the substance of your possession, the first and the best of all your increase. It will release the glory of God in our life in ways you never thought possible.