You might have a little difficulty making sense out of this blog post unless you also listen to the rest of the story. The rest of the story is told on Sunday morning, November 23. If you miss it in person it will be available on our website, relaxedchurch.com under online messages, “Enabling the Vision.” Here is a link to the site but the message won’t be up until after the 23rd.
In the message I address investments that carry with them eternal value. The Bible says you can invest for eternity by using your money for God’s purposes for your life. The investment is proven. It’s secure. It’s risk free. Its guaranteed interest. It yields dividends forever. In times of economic insecurity it is the best investment you can make, hands down. Nothing else compares.
So in addition to the three investments discussed in the message here is a fourth one that is wise to make. Invest in God’s Growth Fund.
God wants us to grow up spiritually. So He wants you to take some of your money and invest it in yourself. He wants you to invest it in personal improvement, in personal growth. The Bible says in 2 Peter 3:18 “Grow in spiritual strength and become better acquainted with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
How do I do that? How do I invest in the Growth Fund? By using some of my money to enhance my character. The Bible says this, “The earnings of the godly enhance their lives. But evil people squander their money on sin.”
There’s a gazillion ways to waste your money instead of using it to grow. But God says I want you to use some of your money to grow spiritually. Use some of your money to develop skills. Use some of your money to educate yourself. Use some of your money to become a better person, to improve yourself, in every area of your life. You become a better Christ follower, a better leader, a better speaker, a better prayer, a better person.
Why? Because that’s what’s going to last. I hate to tell you this but you’re not taking your car to heaven with you nor house or your couch or your clothes. But you are going to take your character. What you are. So God says, use some of your money to invest in something that’s going to heaven. To do so is to store up treasure in heaven. None of those other things are going.
What we like to do is use our money to invest in comfort. But God says, “No”, invest in character, because character is what you’re going to have the rest of eternity. The Bible says in Proverbs 23 “Buy truth and don’t sell it for love or money. Buy wisdom, buy education, buy insight.”
What does that mean? It means anytime you use your money to buy a Bible or spiritual book that helps you grow you’ve invested in the Growth Fund. Anytime you use your money to buy CDs or tapes or something that helps you grow spiritually, you’ve invested in the Growth Fund. Any time you use some of your money to pay for a seminar or a retreat or a conference that helps you improve your life, any area of your life, you’ve invested in the Growth Fund. Anytime you use your money to take a class or get an education or anything that makes you more of what God wanted you to be and you develop what God has given you, God says that’s a good use of your money. You are investing in your Growth Fund. As I said, we like to invest in comfort but God says, “no”, invest in your character.
Isaiah 55:2 says, “Why spend your money on food that doesn’t give you strength and does you no good. Listen! I’ll tell you where to get food that’s good for the soul.” You can spend your money on junk food or soul food. The Bible and character development are soul food. They’re going to produce personal growth.
The Bible also says, “It is better, much better, to have wisdom and knowledge than gold or silver.” Don’t pile up all your wealth just to pile it all up. Use it. And one of the ways you can use it is to get wisdom and knowledge, not silver and gold. Money is a lot like fertilizer. If you pile it all up it just starts stinking. But if you spread it around it makes things grow.
God says, use your money for a purpose. I want you to grow. Invest some of your money to make yourself better, smarter, wiser and a more devoted and skilled person. When you do that you can make yourself an offering to God. You can not only give an offering. The Bible says you can be an offering. “Take your everyday ordinary life, your sleeping, eating, going to work, walking around life and place it before God as an offering [you become an offering] Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him.” He’s saying you don’t just give an offering. You make yourself an offering by making yourself a better person. By investing in the Growth Fund so that God can use you, you become an offering.