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Written by A Chinese Church Leader
Can Christians gain high returns from our investments? Some Christians think, “Investment is something rich people care about and has nothing to do with me.” If you think this way, you may have made the concept of investment too narrow. It is a fact that as long as you are alive you are making investments, whether consciously or unconsciously. Everyone is an investor! As you go about your normal routine every day you are making investments.
The most obvious investments we make in life are with time and money – we invest our time every day and we make investments when we spend money we have earned. The condition of your life depends on how you spend your time and money. If your only purpose is to earn money when you work, then you are spending your time on the wealth of this world. If your only purpose is to take good care of your children or grandchildren when you are looking after them, then you are investing your time in your family. If you devote your attention to games or soap operas or social media after you get off work, you are investing your time in recreation and entertainment. If you spend your time going shopping or worrying about your physical beauty, then you are investing your time and money on beauty and clothing. If you are angry or do nothing all day long, then you are just wasting your time.
You may be thinking, “Isn’t this the kind of life a normal person lives?” Yes, you are right. But aren’t we, as Christians, a group of people to whom God is especially gracious? Hasn’t He shown us great mysteries about investment that a lot of unbelievers don’t know? In light of this divine wisdom He has given us, shouldn’t our investments of time and money look different from the rest of the world?
Let’s look at the investment of money as an example. Assume that you have ten thousand yuan and want to invest it in the stock market. However, it turns out that you know a reliable person in the company who tells you that if you make this investment, you are sure to lose your money. Will you still invest your money in the company? Surely not! In real life, though, we don’t usually have that friend in the company who can warn us about the investment. And if those around us who don’t have inside knowledge about the company think the investment is sound, we would believe them and invest our money. We don’t want to just wait until the money is devalued; we want to invest our money somewhere. Even though we don’t know for sure if the investment is wise, we will listen to those around us who are also investing their money there.
Let me give you another example. Assume that you have a close friend who is the top leader of a company and tells you that if you make an investment in his company you will not only protect your money but also gain a return of 1,000 times. Would you make that investment? Of course! In the first illustration, even though we may be making a bad investment, we follow the rest of the world and do it anyway. In the same way, we listen when unbelievers tell us to invest our time and money in the pleasures of this world. In the second illustration, our inside information comes from the Lord, who urges us to invest where there will be high gains.
So it is with life. Our whole life is an investment. Say it again: Our whole life is an investment! Every day and in each stage of your life, you are investing your time and money in something, whether consciously or unconsciously. Unbelievers around us may be kind and competent but they are not God’s chosen people or friends and don’t understand the mysteries of life. They don’t have that friend in the company telling them where and where not to invest their “money.” They don’t understand that the end of our physical body is not the end of our soul; instead it is just the beginning. They may know that though they devote their whole life to pursuing earthly goals and invest their time and money in recreation, beauty, social status, more money, health, pleasure, comforts, and children, they won’t be able to take any of that with them when they die. However, because they are not friends of God, they don’t have the inside information that we have. They don’t know that there are investment projects that will allow them to not only protect their money but also gain high returns. They have no better options for investing their time and money so they squander them on the pleasures and worries of this world. They don’t know that Heaven exists. Even more, they don’t know that there will be a bank in Heaven where our Father will not only protect our investment but promises us a return of over 1,000 times.
We are a group of people who have received mercy from God and have been chosen by God. We already know this great mystery of how to invest our lives. Why do we still act like those who don’t have the inside information and continue to float down the stream of life and make investments in this world that are not profitable in eternity? Are we going to invest in the projects of the Bank of Heaven that will not only protect our money, but also guarantee us high returns? Let’s invest in the Bank of Heaven! Oh, God! Please lead us and help us make investments in the projects of the Bank of Heaven every day throughout our lives.
We, as Christians, have more opportunities for eternal investments than the world does. We can make investments in the Bank of Heaven every day. We are God’s children and are so blessed. We have been given so many good opportunities. The whole Bible can be considered as a guideline for investment in the Bank of Heaven. For each word spoken by God, He will remember and reward us when we obey it – this is investment from a heavenly perspective. Below I have made a summary of the kinds of goals that have eternal value, based on Scripture. When you die, you will be able to take investments like these with you into Heaven. When you make these investments, you will certainly gain high returns:
- Knowing God. When we spend time pursuing God and experiencing Him, He will remember that investment. God has already said He will reward those who seek Him earnestly. When we sacrifice some of our business and work opportunities to meet with the Body of Christ on Sundays, we invest in eternity. Knowing God means spending time praying to Him and seeking Him on a daily basis. The best investment you can make in this temporary life is by spending time building an intimate relationship with God.
- Pursuing personal, spiritual growth. We should read God’s Word every day to nurture our spiritual life. No matter when we read the Bible – in the morning or during our lunch break, or simply listening to sermons on our way to work – we are spending time in His Word. When we face problems or challenges, we can deal with them according to what the Bible says, instead of according to our own advice or emotions. We will walk as Jesus did.
- Serving God. No matter what we do, we no longer do it for ourselves or for the purpose of making money. Instead, we do it for the sake of love for Jesus. When we take care of our children or grandchildren, we do it for Jesus. When we cook, we do it for Jesus. When we help our brothers and sisters, we do it for Jesus. When we go to work every day, we do it for Jesus. When we do these things, we are serving God and when we serve God, He will reward us in eternity.
If what you spend your time and money doing every day has nothing to do with this list, then you can be quite sure that you are investing your time and money in earthly things, which will not make you profitable in Heaven after you die. The more projects on this list that you spend your time and money on, the higher returns you will gain in the Bank of Heaven – that is a promise.