John MacArthur on Proverbs (Part 8) “Manage your money”

Over and over in Proverbs you hear the words “fear the Lord.” In fact, some of he references are Proverbs 1:7, 29; 2:5; 8:13; 9:10;14:26,27; 15:16 and many more. Below is a sermon by John MacArthur from the Book of Luke on 3 reasons we should fear the Lord. (I have posted John MacArthur’s amazing sermon on the fulfillment of Old Testament scripture before on my blog.)

PART 8

Proverbs 3:9 says, “Honor the Lord from your wealth and from the first of all your produce so your barns will be filled with plenty…” This principle can be found throughout the Bible. We have to give to the Lord first and then take care of our needs second. Live by this principle and you will be blessed.

I remember when my father spoke at a worship service at Bellevue Baptist back in 1979 and he gave a testimony about his belief that we should tithe to the church. This belief he said was taught to him by his mother when he was a small child at Highland Heights Church back in the 1940’s. The Lord has blessed him through the years and he has brought his check to the church the first week of the month when he got paid.

John MacArthur

I remember hearing Dr. Adrian Rogers say that if he had to do it over again he would read from Proverbs every day to his kids. They turned out to be great kids and they were raised right. Nevertheless, if he had to do it over again he thought a more emphasis on Proverbs is the way to go. That is why I am spending so much time in Proverbs with my kids today.

John MacArthur does a great job on Proverbs and here is a portion of his sermon on Proverbs.

Now, now that he’s working there’s a ninth lesson he needs to learn. Here’s another one…Son, manage your money…manage your money. Go back to chapter 3 for a moment and among these repeated lessons is this one…and there are some basic principles that I would draw to your attention. Verse 9, here’s principle number one with money. “Honor the Lord from your wealth and from the first of all your produce so your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine.” In other words, if you are generous with God, He will be generous with you. So honor the Lord with your money. Teach him how to manage his money. Lesson number one is to give from the top from the firstfruits to the Lord, all of the money is to honor the Lord, he’s to use all his money to honor the Lord…all of it. Teach him how to give. If you’re a mediocre giver, if you’re a come see, come saw part‑time giver, that’s what he’ll be. And as you have forfeited the promised blessing of God, so will he and so you sentence your son to a life time of the kind of thing that you’ve hand. If you want your son to know the fullness of the blessing of God, and all of it poured out on him, then teach your son how to give God generously.

You see, what we do as fathers is simply produce the next generation. And it either moves up or it moves down. The positive thing…teach him to honor the Lord with all his money, that whatever he does with it it is to honor the Lord. Now let me flip that over, there’s a negative thing, too, chapter 6 verse 1, and this is a very good lesson and there’s much more here than initially meets the eye. Verse 1 says of chapter 6, “If you have become surety for your neighbor, have given a pledge for a stranger.” Now listen, if you’ve co‑signed…now the Bible says you should never do that for a stranger. Don’t co‑sign for a stranger. You say…why would anybody in their right mind co‑ sign with a stranger? I’ll tell you, you know what it means? It means that some stranger came along and told you if you gave him this money or if you signed on for this debt, in the end you would become…what?…rich. That’s the whole bottom line. In other words, if you’ll just put your resources behind my project, in the end you’re going to get rich. I mean, how many times have you heard that story? And how much money have you lost believing it? When a stranger comes and says…you know, just put your money behind this…what you have done now is you have yielded up the stewardship of your own money to a person for whom you cannot be accountable. So you have literally released your God‑given stewardship. Teach your son not to do that. Teach your son that God has given him his resources for him to use wisely as a steward of God, not to become liable for another person whose behavior he cannot control. In other words, make very wise investments and make sure you control. Don’t co‑sign for a stranger so that on his default you become liable. That’s the point. Why? Because you are given money as a steward of God and you must use it at your discretion as the Lord leads, not have it snatched out of your hand by the discretion of someone else. Do you understand? Control your money to honor the Lord and don’t get involved in get‑rich‑quick schemes that are going to put you in a position of liability.

And if you get caught…look how he says to deal with it, verse 2…if you’ve been trapped because you made some promise with your mouth, then do this, my son, deliver yourself, get out of it. Don’t let it linger, you get out of it. Since you’ve come in to the hand of your neighbor, go humble yourself and importune your neighbor. You know what you do? You get down on your face and your knees, you humble yourself and you beg and you negotiate a settlement. You do it immediately, you get that thing off your back so that it doesn’t go on and on and on. Settle it, get it done with, humble yourself, don’t even give sleep to your eyes, don’t give slumber to your eyelids until you get yourself out until like a gazelle from a hunter’s hand, or a bird from the hand of a fowl, or get out of that mess, get it settled, humble yourself, plead for mercy and do whatever you can to get out of it so you are not continually under the bondage of being liable for someone else’s conduct. Teach your sons that.

_________________

ONE FINAL QUESTION: WHAT DOES PROVERBS 3:9 MEAN?

Honor God with everything you own;
give him the first and the best.
Your barns will burst, (in other words you will be blessed with lots of food)

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