How Lasting Are Your Investments?

 

I normally try to be original, to write my own blog, but honestly, I am so touched by the writing of John G Butler that it seems a good idea to let you benefit as well. Money is always a sensitive topic, we think we always need a bit more in case of bad days. And there is wisdom in that way of thinking; yet, we also have to look at life with an eternal view. Here is what Butler have to say about investment.

As an old man, Solomon agonized over the futility of his investments:

When I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sunSo I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to meA chasing after the wind… ” (Ecclesiastes 2:11, 17)

Do your investments parallel Solomon’s? Or are you making the kind of investments that will outlive you, lasting for eternity? If you want:

A one year return on your investment, plant grain.

A ten year return on your investment, plant a tree.

An eternal return on your investment, plant people.

It is God’s intention to destroy everything physical, including your earthly investments:

The day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass awayand the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.” (2 Peter 3:10)

Can we, therefore, grasp the fact that only God, His Word, and people are eternal?

God: “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” (2 Peter 3:8) (See Psalm 102:12; Ephesians 3:21)

His Word: “Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.” (Psalm 119:89) (See Psalm 119:152, 160; Matthew 5:18; 24:34; 1 Peter 1:25)

People: “Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.” (Daniel 12:2) (See Matthew 25:46; Romans 2:7, 8; 2 Thessalonians 1:5-9)

Consequently, the only investments that will withstand the coming holocaust will be those made in the lives of people. Thus, God regularly places individuals in our path with whom He desires our investment: The person at the club. That neighbor across the street. A business associate. A relative. Someone in distress.

QUESTIONS: As you encounter these people, are you blithely brushing past them to fulfill your agenda? Or are you viewing each one as a divine appointment? Are you responding to the prompting of the Spirit by graciously and determinedly investing in their lives for the purpose of bringing Christ to them? Or building Christ in them? Even when it means altering your predetermined schedule?

I suppose the answers to these questions are determined by whether we are living for the temporal, or investing in the eternal.

Bravery and sacrifice

A friend of mine who witness the events that took place in Niamey on January 17, 2015 wrote, “Today was a day of bravery and sacrifice in the name of free speech. The bravery was in France, the sacrifice was in Niger.”

Another missionary living in Niamey wrote, “It’s easier to count the churches that were NOT attacked rather than those that were. But adding to our sadness is the large number of Christian schools that were burned. Schools where we were holding our trainings this month and last month—all gone, completely burnt. We are in shock.”

A third missionary penned, “It is quiet in town, but not in the heart of the people. My housekeeper is extremely sad today. I have no word to comfort her. It is a very difficult situation to live.”

What should we think of all that destruction?

Niger being such a poor country, those churches buildings represents years of saving and hard work; and in only 24 hours it’s all gone. Tragedy and pain can come our way at any time. A similar story took place over 3000 years ago to the nation of Israel living an exodus in Egypt. A new political leadership took control of the office; overnight Israel went from freedom to slavery. Their futures look hopeless! Perhaps some start thinking “Does God Care?” Many Jews during the holocaust began to doubt that God cared about them. Typically we do not consider pain as a gift. But a tooth ache can be a gift telling you it’s time to pay a visit to the dentist before it is too late. The thing we most despise can in fact be our best friend. But behind the sad news concerning the hardship Israel was experiencing under that new king, there was good news. God care for them, we read “But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew” (Ex. 1:12). Does God care about the misfortune of these Christians living in Niamey? You better be sure that He does. Does God care when adversities come your way? Yes of course! Jesus said, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).

niamey