Be not afraid when a man becomes rich, when the glory of his house increases. For when he dies he will carry nothing away; his glory will not go down after him.
Psalm 49:16-17 ESV
I’ve been alive for almost six decades and I still struggle with the “wealth” thing. The psalmist had the right perspective . . . “They carry nothing away“.
If we “make it” and can’t take it with us, then we must “manage it”. After all, it’s not ours, it’s His. God entrusts His resources . . . personal and organizational to our care. Paul reminds the faith-walking in Corinth, “Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful.” (1 Cor 4:2 NLT)
The writer of Hebrews tells us, “Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, ‘I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.’ So we can say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?’” (Heb 13:5-6 NLT)
The question can then be asked, “When God blesses us, what should we do?” Do we consume it on pleasures, position and possessions? Or, do we commit it His purposes? Here are some thoughts.
Invest Eternally. A friend of mine said, “I try to live my life in such a way that every day I try to accomplish at least one thing that will outlive me and last for eternity.” John reminds us of what will last forever, “Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.” (1 John 2:15-17 NLT). Investing in the financial market is good . . . investing in the forever market is better.
Invest Expectantly. When we invest in God’s Kingdom, the return is not only powerful, it is promised. Moses encouraged a young nation of Israelites, “You shall give to Him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to Him, because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake.” (Deut 15:10 NLT) Giving to God, to His purposes and to His plan will always produce a profit. Solomon imparts a wise instruction, “There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, and there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want. The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered.” (Prov 11:24 NLT). Take the grace, monetary or miraculous, that God has given and be generous.
Invest Empathetically. I was taught a lesson of the “open hand” several years ago . . . when God places something in your hand, leave it open . . . our tendency is usually to “tighten our grip”. He can remove and replace what’s in our hands, only if they remain open. An open hand is motivated by an open heart. John writes, “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” (1 John 3:17 ESV)
Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
We can’t take possessions, a position or pleasures with us . . . but, we can take people, His praise and promises. Let your giving define you more than your gain.
Invest well and share the wealth.