Online Worship for Trinity Three, Sunday June 28, 2020
Sermon for Trinity Three – 10,1,00 -- Proverbs 3:9-10
Calvary/Marquette ● Soli Deo Gloria
Grace and peace to you from the One True God, who has made Himself known to us in His Word as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Honor the LORD with your possessions, and with the first fruits of all your increase; So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.
In the Name of Jesus,
Who bids us love because we have been loved,
Dear Fellow Redeemed by His Precious Blood,
We all learned in grade school that 2 + 2 = 4. We also learned that if you have 10 apples and give away 8 of them you must have fewer apples, 2 to be exact.
So, is it possible to give something away and not have less, but more? Well, logic and mathematics do tell us that when you give something away you must of necessity have less.
However, our Heavenly Father tells us that if we honor him with our possessions, time and talents, we will have more, not less. For you see, the more we use these things in the service of the LORD, the more we will be blessed, spiritually and eternally.
By the grace of God, you have received the gift of faith, and trust and rely on Jesus Christ. We look forward to the day when we will be separated from sin and death forever, and given everlasting life. When that day comes, we will all fall to our knees and give thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ. In the meantime, we are to be living with eternity on our minds.
This morning our loving father, who sent His Son Jesus to save us reminds us to live as good stewards. A steward is a person who takes care of someone else’s possessions. We are stewards, because all that we possess truly belongs to the LORD. All that we have has been given into our care to be used for His glory. For it is written (Psalm 24:1):
“The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein.”
When I was a very little boy, my parents wanted me to learn about my Savior Jesus. Since my reading skills were still in the formative stage, they went out and bought me a bunch of these Little Arch Books, printed by Concordia Publishing House. My children have many of the same books today, and even now when I see the pictures, I am whisked back to the days of my childhood.
When I read these words, I couldn’t help but picture one of those little books in my mind’s eye. I remember reading the story of the master who gave three of his servants each a bag of his money, and told them, “Use my money until I come back.”
The first servant went out and used the money given him to earn another bag of money for his master.
The second servant used the money given him to earn a half a bag of money for his master.
The third servant took the bag given him and hid it deep in a hole.
When the master returned, he was very happy with the first two servants, and said to each of them, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Now, because you have been faithful with this little thing, I will give you much more.”
The master had a different message for the third servant, the one who did not use his master’s money properly, “You wicked servant, what little you have will be taken from you.”
Now, I remember the story mostly because of the pictures.
The story itself, however, still teaches an important lesson, and it’s this: Everything that we have or ever will have truly belongs to the LORD. While the LORD is away preparing a place for us in Heaven, He wants us to use the gifts that He has given each of us out of His storehouse to glorify Him. The Word of the LORD from Proverbs this morning is the same.
For the LORD speaks to us all, when He says through Solomon:
Honor the LORD with your possessions …
Truly, the LORD has given each one of us numerous gifts. Think about it for a minute.
Every day the LORD provides us with the health and strength to rise from our beds and use our bodies and minds to accomplish different tasks.
Every day the LORD holds the universe together and directs our steps.
The LORD has given each of us different gifts. I can barely add and subtract, but some of you have been blessed with the ability to spend the day calculating and keeping track of numbers. I use my hands to turn pages in books and to write and tap the keyboard of my computer, but some of you use your hands to feed cattle and to work the land. There are some of you who are given the ability to teach, while others hold positions of authority.
Through these gifts we each make a living and are paid for using the gifts that God has given to us.
What’s truly sad is that we often take these blessings for granted and think of them as our right. Worst of all, we take for granted the greatest gift of all. God sent His Only Son to this earth to suffer and die for us that through Him we might have everlasting life! He has given us His Word, which is able to make us wise for Salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
Still, we begin each day with hardly a word of thanks. We are surrounded by blessings, but we seem to forget that ‘the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.’
So how can we even begin to show our thanks to GOD for these things? When we use all of our possessions, all of our gifts, physical, mental, financial and spiritual to honor Him. Simply put, we honor the LORD when we use the things that He gives us to accomplish those things that please Him.
We honor the LORD with our possessions when we use them and our time and talents to support His Kingdom’s Work. We honor the LORD when we support and encourage those sent to serve us with the Word of God. We support our ministry with the gifts that God gives us because we have been given this responsibility. We don’t ask the general public and the unbelieving world to support our ministry. If we refuse to use the gifts He gives to support His Work, then we dishonor the LORD.
We honor the LORD with our possessions when we use them to provide for ourselves and for our families. This is one of the reasons that the LORD gives us health and the ability to work, so that we may provide for our own. In fact, the Lord says that (1 Timothy 5:8):
“But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
We honor the LORD when we pay our taxes. For it is the LORD who says to us (Romans 13:7):
“Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.”
Finally, we honor the LORD with our possessions when we use them to provide for those in need, for those who cannot work. When we serve others out of love for our Savior, Jesus tells us that we are serving Him and giving back to Him.
The Bible tells us that we use our possessions properly in these four areas. But if we waste those gifts, if we gamble them away, we do not honor the LORD, but dishonor. If we consider the gift more important than the giver, if we consider our possessions more important than Christ and His Word, then in the end everything will be taken from us. If we keep our priorities straight and seek to honor the LORD with our possessions then we will be blessed with great abundance. For Jesus has promised us (Matthew 6:33):
“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
Now in the Old Testament, GOD commanded His people to give a tithe, 10% of their possessions to Him. He also commanded that when they began the harvest, that the first ripe grains and fruits be brought to Him in the Temple.
This was done not because the LORD needed these gifts, but so that the people would remember that their food came from Him. In a sense the first fruits were a down payment, a reminder that there was much more to come from the LORD.
The LORD no longer asks us to tithe, to give 10% of our goods or our time. He merely asks that we give back to Him out of love for what He has done for us. This does not mean that we should give to the LORD from what we have left over after we have paid all our bills and had all the fun we can afford.
No, the Apostle Paul encourages us and lays down the guidelines for our giving in his second letter to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 9:6-7):
“But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.”
We should give, because of the tremendous gifts we have been given. We should honor the LORD because He has so honored us that we should by faith be called the children of God. But even more, He has promised us that if we honor him with our possessions, if we use them to His Glory, then we will not lack, but our storehouses will be full, bursting from the seams.
As the Proverb says:
…so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.
As some of you know, I make wine and beer as a hobby. When you make wine, you want to make sure that you don’t bottle your wine before the fermentation process is complete, because the corks may shoot out or the bottles burst. The gas increases until the wine bursts out and overflows.
Our gracious God doesn’t merely promise that we’ll get by with just enough. He promises that we will be blessed abundantly. Haven’t we been blessed beyond our wildest dreams. Oh, it’s true that we don’t have every material blessing possible, we aren’t all Millionaires, but we surely don’t lack. We have food, shelter, clothing and much more.
This proverb isn’t merely speaking of material blessings – because those count for nothing. We can’t pay for salvation with our goods, we can’t take them with us. But in Christ Jesus we lack no spiritual blessing. All our sins are forgiven. We have been promised eternal life by the one who keeps all His Promises. We know that at the Judgment we will be set free from sin and death forever and in bodies glorified we will praise the LORD forever and ever. Truly our barns are filled with plenty and our blessings burst out of them.
May Jesus help us to be good stewards of the gifts He gives to us.
May we serve Him with all our being and all our substance, because He gave everything for us.
Then perhaps we will one day hear Him say: “Well done, good and faithful servant. Come enjoy the inheritance kept for you from the foundation of the world.”
Lord, make us good stewards of your riches.