Today's verses continue the theme of honoring God. Yesterday we focused on trusting in God rather than in our own knowledge and desires. Placing our trust in God is a little different than giving honor to God. How do we honor God (other than with our words)? Our verses for today provide some insight:
Honor the Lord with your substance and with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. My child, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves the one he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights. (Prov. 3:9-12)
What does it mean to honor God with your substance? I suppose it could include stewardship: giving to the church, the poor, and other worthy causes. But I think it's more than that. It includes honoring God by recognizing that everything we have is a gift from God - our lives, our time, our talents, the world around us, and our money and possessions. When we realize this, we understand that we have an obligation to give back to God before we keep for ourselves. But these verses tell us more than we have an obligation; they give us a promise. As we give, we will receive - not just as much as we have given, but more. Have you experienced that in your life?
Next we are told that when God disciplines us, God does so out of love. Kind of like the parent who makes sure their child knows not to touch the stove or run out into the street. What does God's discipline look like? Sometimes it is not giving us what we want. Sometimes it speaks to us through our conscience. Have you ever recognized God's discipline in your life? What is an appropriate response to discipline? Hint: we can throw a fit like a two-year old (I have done that!) or we can seek to understand why it is happening (following the recommendations in Proverbs 3).
Prayer suggestion: pray today that God show you ways to honor Him - through your life, through your giving, through your relationships with others. And that if you are not living according to God's will, you be shown the path He would have you take.