"Honor the Lord from your wealth and from the first of your produce." Proverbs 3:9
Jesus lives to give. His life and death exhibit the character of God on the issue of giving. Paul reminded the Church at Ephesus of the last words Jesus spoke on the subject, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." Acts 20:35
The glorification of the consumer culture often misses the point God has in mind when He blesses His children with more than they need to survive. He intends for His children to pour out on others in the same way He has poured out on them. It honors Him to see His children exhibit the character of Christ when He places in their hands the means to be a blessing to others.
God is not honored by His children hoarding what He has given them. He intends for His children to be known as generous, and life-giving relief to those who are passing through difficulty. Honoring the Lord with "your" wealth is a far cry from the demands of selfish people who expect to meet the needs of people they don't know with resources taken from someone else.
The tragedy of compassion in America began when the church of Jesus Christ abdicated to the government their God-given responsibility to care fo the needs of people. Tax exempt status for churches was established on the principle that the family of God was critical to providing the care and compassion needed by the less fortunate.
When churches of the Son of God become self-absorbed country clubs that ignore the cry of the less fortunate, it brings dishonor to the Father, and shame to the family name. For churches to mobilze marches and verbalize support for their pro-life position and yet have no passsion for funding adoption services or formula for single mother's is an appalling expression of hypocrisy.
God calls on His children to honor Him with their own wealth. This means giving from what they have in their hands, not what they hope to take from someone else. This also means includes setting a priority on giving to God first, and not leaving His Church the leftovers.
Honoring the Lord with your wealth takes place respect for Him is shown when dispensing discretionary income. We honor the Lord with our wealth when we ask for His wise counsel before we buy something stupid. Q: Is there any connection between consumer debt and being to proud to pray and ask for His advice before a purchase is made? A: HMMMMMMMMM! Can I get a big O yeah?!
A child enters into the world looking out for number one. A hungry child is only interested in having their own needs met. When they have fouled themselves, they scream for their own relief. The have no concern for the comfort of others. When faced with a competitor for a toy, they instinctively pull, pout and proclaim, "S'mine!"
The difference between a newborn child and a reborn child of God is the mature desire to bridge the gap between, "Mine!" and "Thine!" When seeking to honor the Lord with your wealth, prayer turns "Mine" into "Thine" every time. TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!