We have unwittingly lost our lives, freedom, and futures in a bad trade. We thought they had been stolen, but we were wrong.
I believe the US Church (you and me – the Church) has largely traded away our freedom and our individual and collective futures. And we’ve literally given it all away for almost nothing. We’ve traded our financial freedom for trinkets, charms, novelties. Nothing. We’ve traded our spiritual freedom for emotional highs and sin. But that is not the worst of it.
It’s time to realize that in our collective pursuits – stuff, pride, and power – we have traded eternal reward. Now, before you get all theological on me, I’m not talking about our eternal security – we are, after all, truly saved by grace. But because we have misallocated our time, attention, passions, and resources, we have nothing left to invest in the eternal.
We have invested our lives in things that will undoubtedly break, fall apart, be stolen, or become passe. And when that happens, we will have nothing. Even if we have all of our stuff when we die, we will still take nothing to eternity. Because nothing lasts except what actually is eternal.
Unlike the stuff of this world, nothing of God passes away. Every day, God is at work on the earth and we have the opportunity to be part of his life on earth. We have the opportunity to invest ourselves in the life of God every day. Without fail. As surely as the sun rises and falls and the seasons change. Every single day.
But it gets better: Almighty God, the creator of all that is the universe, the author of time, our kinsman redeemer, actually wants us to be involved in his eternal life on earth. We, who are immortal living in mortal bodies, who live in the intersection of time and eternity, have the opportunity to be eternally invested in the Kingdom of God right now. What an opportunity!
Think about your life and your investments. Where is your treasure and your heart? Are you heavily invested in things that don’t last (I know I sometimes am)? Or are you truly invested in God?
OK…I’m a follower of Christ but how do I invest in eternity?
Actually, it’s simple. While there is no magic formula, I do believe that two basic principles apply.
- We have a strong connection to our investments
- We can only expect to receive benefits from where we have invested
Jesus tells us that a man’s heart will be wherever his treasure is. As an example, if we have invested in Apple, our only real concern with Microsoft is how it affects Apple. We would like nothing more than to know that Apple is consuming market share and that Microsoft continues to make bad decisions. Because we’ve invested in Apple, we are happy to see the company succeed, knowing that we have a reward.
Second, Jesus tells us that a man will harvest what he plants. Or in more modern terms, a man will receive dividends based on where he invests. After all, we wouldn’t expect to receive $1.78 per share from Apple’s first quarter earnings if we’ve invested in Microsoft. Using the same logic, how could we ever expect to receive love, joy, and peace in the Holy Spirit if we’ve never invested our lives and resources in God.
So, here is where I suggest that you invest your time, attention, and passion every day.
- The Bible – spend time in the Word to meet and learn about God
- Prayer & Worship – spend time with God, listen, adore
- Fellowship – spend time with God’s people
- Service & Sharing – show and tell what God has done in your life
So that there be no confusion, I must tell you that this list is only slightly adapted from what my sister-in-law, an Episcopal Priest, has been teaching for years. She refers to it as “The Four Spiritual Food Groups”.
Where have you invested your life? If you need to make a change, now is the time. There is no time to waste and everything to gain. Put your life in an investment that is guaranteed by God Most High and will never see recession or lose value. Never.