In the past few programs, we’ve been emphasizing that God isn’t against investments; he’s against BAD investments!
Over my years as a pastor, I’ve taught using something that I call “The Best Investment House”. You can go to investment houses that will advise you about and help you purchase things like stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. There’s nothing wrong with these. They can be of help as you think of the material aspects of your life.
But these aren’t the best investment house.
In your investment house, you need to remember that God is better than gold! Jesus Christ and His Kingdom are worth far more than material things that will one day be destroyed. In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus tells us that the Kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. The best investment is to sell all that you have and buy that field! Now the Kingdom of Heaven – which basically means the Kingdom that consists of an eternity with God – that Kingdom can’t be purchased with money. You gain it by committing yourself to the King of the Kingdom, Jesus Christ, and by faithfully following him as your Lord and as your Savior.
But what an investment that is! With – if I may put it this way – the investment of your faith in Jesus Christ – you have God, you have an eternity with God, and you have all the things that will make up a New Heavens and a New Earth. They’re all yours in Jesus Christ. What better investment is there than that?
God really is better than gold!
And, yes, there are earthly benefits that come from that investment of your faith in God through Jesus Christ, the God-man.
In Jesus Christ you have God as your Father. He’s your real employer. He’s not a slave master. And, as the Gospel writers Matthew and Luke tell us: He knows your needs. Seek His Kingdom first (that is, put King Jesus first in everything you believe and do in life), and everything that you really need will be added unto you. He’s preparing an eternal Kingdom for those who faithfully follow Jesus as their Great Husband. Using the word dowry in its older sense, that very real Kingdom with very real possessions is the gift the Father (and the Son) are preparing for Jesus’ bride – the Church!
Are God, His Kingdom, and the King – Jesus Christ – your greatest investments in life? If not, your investment priorities are wrong. You’re investing only for this life, missing the fact that there’s a life to come. Invest in that now, or you’ll lose – big time!
Of course, God gives us treasures in this life (things like money), and – as part of seeking His Kingdom and His righteousness (that is, doing the right things according to the Word of God) – we are to use those treasures wisely:
- We begin with a tithe (10% of our gross income). That should go to your local church. (And remember, it’s crucial that you be part of a local church that is faithful to the Bible as the Word of God.). The tithe is taught in various ways in the Old Testament, and, in Matthew chapter 23 and the 23d verse, Jesus affirmed the principle of the tithe. The religious leaders of his day were careful to tithe mint, dill, and cumin – herbs that were given to them as payment for services – but they neglected what Jesus called the weightier matters of the law – justice, mercy, and faithfulness. These things, Jesus said, you ought to have done – and not left the other undone. That is, keep being scrupulous about your tithing, but don’t miss the more important elements of true godliness. Your faithful tithing each week demonstrates that God has first claim on your finances. It’s also an exercise of faith. You’re trusting the Lord to provide all of your needs.
- Then we provide for our personal and family needs. The apostle Paul says that if a person doesn’t provide for his own – his immediate family including, when necessary, his parents – he has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel. Piety begins with God, but it’s just a short way to the next stop: The home!
- And, we all have other necessary expenses. In Romans chapter 13 and verse 7, the apostle Paul tell us that we are to pay to all what is owed to them. (You may not like it, but he begins by telling us that we must pay our taxes!). You need to pay the water company, the electric company, the phone company, and any place from which you get your goods or services.
- And, last but not least, there’s giving for Kingdom investments (giving that’s often sacrificial giving – you give up something so that you can give to something else). You can read about that in the book of II Corinthians, chapters 8 and 9. Christian believers then, and in all ages of the Christian church, have given according to their means and beyond their means to help others. And they were blessed as a result.
These things of a biblical “investment house”, I call “Dollars and Sense” – not C-E-N-T-S but S-E-N-S-E. -how to use your money wisely to the glory of God and for your good as well as for the good of others. Today’s Visit to the Pastor’s Study is about just that, Dollars and Sense!
I’ve found that our Dutch brothers and sisters are especially gifted in dealing with Dollars and Sense things, so, for this program, I’ve got a Dutch pastor with me to help us look at money matters from the perspective of the Word of God. Pastor Meint Ploegman is pastor of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Bohemia, Long Island, New York – and, when it comes to money matters, his “godly horse sense” is second to none. You’ll get some of that Dollars and Sense from him in a moment.
Here’s a link to the full program:
Yours in the Lord our greatest Treasure,