I have an IRA.
It was first suggested to me by a friend who is a financial guru (he writes financial articles for a living) and had given me stock investments as a birthday present in my early twenties. I barely think about my IRA except for times I add to it or when the economy tanks. I’m hoping the Lord returns before I ever need to use it. Yet, should He tarry, one day I should (hopefully) get to partake of that investment. Of course, it will only buy me temporary things and support me with extra income, but still, it is a helpful thing to have and should the economy not completely crash, an investment that will reap rewards.
Yet, there is a greater “stock” we can invest in that will reap eternal rewards but sadly some can invest very little into because they can’t see what will be the return on their investment like they can when they peek at the numbers in their physical IRA or savings account. Or we can think rewards aren’t important to us (though when we stand before the Lord to give account we are going to wish we had cared a little more).
However, I also believe we make “investing” such a difficult task or fail to realize how much Jesus will be looking to reward us for that we did not even think about. For instance:
- Have you ever prayed for your pastor or a missionary? You may not see how your prayers are answered, but I believe there will be rewards because of our sharing in the rewards of that pastor/missionary that we prayed for that kept going because of our prayers.
- Ever given to your church? There is an investment that will bring back a huge return in the next life! All those lives both here and abroad that were touched and changed because of the finances that made it possible to do ministry because of our giving to the local church.
- Do you teach your kids about the Lord? Ever stop to consider how they may go on to impact thousands or maybe even your kids will lead the next Billy Graham to Christ who will lead thousands to Christ? The ripple effect that we will see because we spent time investing into our kids in the things of the Lord.
- Ever shared the Gospel with someone but they didn’t make a response towards salvation? Don’t be discouraged – not only were you doing the will of God (preaching Christ) but who knows if that person doesn’t one day accept Jesus and go on to impact many others simply because you shared with them.
- Seeking to be more like Christ and continuing to be joyous under hard trials? People are watching you and your testimony can impact those watching.
So there are plenty of ways to make “investments” into the Kingdom that can produce a “return” in the life to come that are more than just financial investments. But if you do ever wonder why give to a local church or a missions organization, you are ultimately giving to the Lord and like a physical savings account, your money in the Kingdom of God can accrue “interest” in lives that are impacted because of your generous giving. So don’t think of it as a chore or something you HAVE to do (God doesn’t need your money), but something you GET to do as an act of worship and investment in His Kingdom!
We invest in temporary things all the time – the new iPhone, used car, house, retirement account, etc. – which aren’t bad to do so (unless you are living for those things), but they won’t last. Our return on those investments will only be limited to this life. But those things we invest in that have an eternal value, well, we will partake of those for eternity!
This blog post comes from the thoughts of the sermon on John 6:22-71 titled “The Bread of Life” which can be found by clicking here or simply visiting http://www.refugesanger.com/teachings