Something Beautiful: Lessons From A Barn
Today, I want to present this picture as I join Renee in her weekly meme, Something Beautiful...
Of course, as with all my pictures and posts, there is a lesson to be learned from this barn...
Proverbs 3:7-10 "Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones.Honor the LORD with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase; So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine."
I am currently listening to the song "Amazing Love," the song popularized by the Newsboys. The line that struck me as I'm writing is this: "In all I do, I honor you." This passage in Proverbs tells us to honor the Lord; do we REALLY honor Him?
How do we honor the Lord? By fearing Him. And how do we fear Him? We DEPART FROM EVIL. Obey the Lord, not your own feelings and desires; if you go your own way, you are being wise in your own eyes. To fear the Lord is to depart from evil; that means that you love the Lord so much that you are afraid of sinning against Him. Every move you make, every word you speak has to be in accordance with His Word and what He would have you do. That is how you honor the Lord. Honor is simply saying, "Okay, God, you want me to do this, I'll do it, even though I don't feel like doing it," or "You don't want me to do that? Okay. I know it's hard for me, but I'm not going to do it; I want to be pleasing to You." It is an act of humility; that's why the Bible also says, "Before honor is humility." In fact, the full verse states, "The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom, And before honor is humility." (Proverbs 15:33) Living this way sounds like the perfect life, right? If only we could just live perfectly before God and get past our flesh! The good news is that it is possible to walk perfectly before the Lord; this is why Jesus said, "Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect" -- because He knew it IS possible! The more we read God's Word, the more we gain insight into what it mean to fear the Lord, what it means to walk perfectly before Him; His Word is life -- that is why it says that fearing the Lord will be "health to your flesh, and strength to your bones." This is a reward to those who fear Him!
This passage also states that to honor the Lord is to bring Him the first fruits of your increase. This is the principle of giving and receiving. If we fully belong to Christ, then our possessions are His, as well. What you give to the Lord, you will receive back 100 fold! If God tells you to give of your time at the church or to give money to support a ministry or even to give a listening ear, He will repay you for the work that you do. As I said in a previous post, God tells us that our labor is not in vain in the Lord. God will never tell you to do something and then leave you in a rut with no way of escape; He doesn't say, "Give this," and then leave you without provision. He is faithful to reward you: "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." (Luke 6:38 ) The Bible even says that there is no lack to those who fear Him! (Psalm 34:9)
When we fear the Lord and honor Him, we can expect a reward: "So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine." We should be very careful what we put into our barns. When we fear the Lord, we are putting in life and everything good that God has for us. However, Jesus gave us an example of someone who did not do things the right way: "And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." (Luke 12:16-21) This man could have given some of his possession and time to God (called a tithe), but he was living for himself; as a result, he lost His soul. This is why Jesus said, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Matthew 6:19-21) If we store up honor for and fear of God in our barns, we have a treasure in the heavens! Now THAT is something beautiful!