When I opened an account, the financial company asked me – “What is your risk tolerance?” Risk is part of having money in any investment. The economy changes, markets move up and down. Risk can be managed, however, by the choice of investment. Some funds promise higher returns generally accompanied by a higher risk of value fluctuations and loss. Others are more ‘balanced.’ They produce lower returns but generally their value is much more stable over time.
My ‘risk tolerance’ is low given my age and limited resources! However, my real treasure is invested in a way that knows no loss, that is completely secure, beyond the reach of pandemic, war, or political chaos. Read on!
Jesus taught us that not all wealth is worldly, not every treasure a thing of earthly value. Counseling us about what is of true worth, He says –“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21, NIV)
Lots of pastors like to use that passage to encourage giving in church offerings! It is true that we can invest in God’s work when we support our local church’s efforts to make disciples and care for people in need. BUT, those words are about the whole of our lives, the focus of our day to day efforts. Are we serving God, investing in people, or serving ourselves, focused on our own ‘kingdom?’
Creating ‘treasure in heaven,’ giving of time and resources in Christ-honoring ways, is a long-term strategy, involving a willingness to trust Him for returns that are not visible in a day or a week. His rewards are sure, our lives secured by His promise. Jesus points out that “everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” (Matthew 7:23-25, NIV)
Christian, do you remember that you are investing each day? How we live using the gifts and opportunities God gives will produce a return or a loss. Paul encourages us to remember eternity, our appointment with the Lord, where in His gaze it will be found if we built on the foundation of Christ’s Gospel “using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.” (1 Corinthians 3:12-13, NIV) Yes, today’s actions have eternal significance.
Disciple, love Jesus! Invest yourself in Him. Don’t respond with fear or panic to the temporary up’s and down’s of life. Only God knows why the trials and joys of each day are allowed to come our way. Invest in Him for the long-term.
Here’s a word from the Word. It shifts the investment theme a bit, turning our thoughts to the harvest that will come. May it be both a caution and encouragement for you today.
“Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God.
What a person plants, he will harvest.
The person who plants selfishness,
ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—
harvests a crop of weeds.
All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds!
But the one who plants in response to God,
letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him,
harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.
So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good.
At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit.
Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance,
let us work for the benefit of all,
starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.”
(Galatians 6:7-10, The Message)
Where and in whom are you investing your life?
Today is a good day to open that Heavenly account, by faith in Christ!
Take My Life
(a prayer for this day)
Take my life and let it be consecrated
Lord to Thee
Take my moments and my days
Let them flow in ceaseless praise
Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee
Take my voice and let me sing
Always only for my King
Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee
Take my silver and my gold
Not a mite would I withhold
Take my intellect and use
Ev’ry power as You choose
Take my will and make it Thine
It shall be no longer mine
Take my heart it is Thine own
It shall be Thy royal throne
Take my love my Lord I pour
At Your feet its treasure store
Take myself and I will be
Ever only all for Thee
Frances Ridley Havergal