Where does God want us to invest our resources? Let us first consider who owns all these things we so often think of as our own. This is the biggest perspective changer for me. When I quit thinking of everything as ‘mine’ and cease trying to get all that I can for myself, it changes my motives as well. When each penny is not really mine, but is something God is just entrusting me to use for a limited amount of time, I become someone God is trusting with his investment. My talents, knowledge, abilities, influence, etc. all become things God can use to further his kingdom in the few short years I may have here. Just like in the parable of the talents, God prefers to invest in that which will produce the greatest returns. How is that return going with us?
The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. Psalm 24:1
Each Spring, we see hope all around us when the farmers and gardeners sow seeds in hopes of good growth and a harvest in the fall. Every year I waste food that could come from my garden. Either from plants that do not come to maturity, because I do not plant them well, nurture them, or when fruit is produced, I do not harvest it, consume it, or distribute it to others in time before it rots. This is sad, as much time, work and effort went into getting the crop to begin, grow and produce, but in the end it is wasted. Much the same can be said of our lives. We can have all the world has to offer in a way of riches, influence, and opportunity, but if it was just to benefit us and our already inflated ego, in the end it was all wasted. When we use all that we have been given to lead others to the knowledge of Christ, and to further his kingdom, it is for fruit that will last. Just like in the parable of the sower, all our efforts do not always determine whether the fruit will last or not, only do the work God has called us to do and he will do the rest.
What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ. Philippians 3:8
In my experience, some of the best investments you can make into someone’s life is to check in periodically with them over a long period of time…decades even. Take opportunities to share your faith and live out what it means to follow God to unbelieving friends and people you have regular contact with. Share and encourage fellow believers in their walks as well, as there is always something to help us grow as we share how God is working in our lives. If you have any contact with a younger person, take opportunities to speak the truth found in the gospel into their lives, share with them what you have learned and what knowing Christ means to you. As they grow into adulthood, they will remember even small things you may have done or said to encourage them in their faith. There is no act of service or kindness that God cannot use in some way.
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Matthew 13:44
Brothers, let us see the value in see the value of investing our time, talents, and resources into kingdom work. May you have the discernment to know where and when to plant, and which endeavors will produce the most fruit. May you have the patience and perseverance to trust Him with all that we have been given. Lord, may your kingdom come, and further expand in my life and in the lives of those around me as we seek to sow seeds that will last beyond this lifetime. May the fruit of our labors bring glory to your name, now and always!
In His Name,