Ever hear of a “Ponzi scheme?” Wikipedia defines it as “a fraudulent investment operation where the individual or organization pays returns to its investors from new capital paid by new investors rather than from profits earned.” Bernie Madoff put together a swindle that stole an estimated $18 billion from investors over a long time. His scheme finally collapsed in 2008 and since then his dishonesty has brought him a 150 year prison sentence, caused one of his sons to commit suicide, and destroyed his family. Thousands of individuals and organizations were financially ruined by Madoff’s fraud. What attracts most people into a Ponzi scheme? Usually it is a friend’s recommendation of a ‘fund’ that pays higher returns than average. Often it is just an additional 2 or 3 percent higher promised return on their money, and for that, they risk it all!
The investor’s ‘rule of 72’ is fascinating. Want to know how long it will take to double your investment, if you allow the interest to compound? Just take the interest rate and divide 72 by that number. For example, if you invest at 6%, it will take about 12 years to double your original investment. God does so much better than that! If you invest in His plan, you will never regret it. It will take sacrifice, will cost you everything, but the return is beyond amazing! The returns are not merely doubling. They are a hundred fold. That’s right, 100x! God’s never a debtor and what we invest in Him will find an amazing, rich reward. Here’s the prospectus: “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?” Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.” (Matthew 19:26-30, NIV)
Many people never realize a return on investment because they cannot ‘see’ that far into the future. Even though I lived on a small salary while raising a family each month I took a small sum and placed it in an account where I ‘forgot’ about it. Some of those dollars have been there for 30 years! When I look at the balance sheet from time to time, I am fascinated by the growth of the fund. I am a conservative investor so I have never enjoyed the large rates of return that some see, but I have not lost great sums either. God willing, those savings will help to support me in the years when I am no longer working.
Some Christians cannot ‘see’ the value of investing in eternity. They love Jesus, but mostly for what they can enjoy in Him today. They do not tithe, serve, or consistently give themselves in worship preferring to spend their resources for temporary things. He counsels a longer view. “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where they can be eaten by moths and get rusty, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where they will never become moth-eaten or rusty and where they will be safe from thieves. Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be.” (Matthew 6:19-21, NLT)
Are you investing in eternity? Are you anticipating a rich reward? God is never a debtor! What we put in His care is never lost and will find a hundred fold return on investment!
Here is the word from the Word – “ Jesus said to the disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross, and follow me. If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life. And how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul in the process? Is anything worth more than your soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26, NLT)
AIN’T THAT GOOD NEWS?
I ‘ve a crown in the Kingdom!
Ain’t that good news?
I’ve a crown up in the Kingdom!
Ain’t that good news?
I’m going to lay down this world,
Going to shoulder up my cross,
Goin’ to take it home to Jesus.
Ain’t that good news?
W. Work, 1940