Investing in Eternity
“Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38 (NIV)
Friend to Friend
Howard Hendricks, a great Bible teacher, was having dinner with his wife at the home of a very wealthy man. Their host was a man who came from a very prestigious family yet seemed surprisingly down to earth. As the Hendricks were leaving, Howard asked the man, “How did you grow up in such wealth and not be consumed by materialism?” The man’s reply was profound. “My parents taught us that every possession was either an idol or a tool.” What freedom that perspective offers. In fact, it sounds a whole lot like God’s viewpoint.
We live in a “stuff” driven world where it doesn’t matter what we possess; it is never enough! We are told that the more we have - the more successful we are! We frantically accumulate materialistic idols and false gods to which we sacrifice contentment and peace. Greed has become the driving force behind much of what we do in life and is an unrelenting enemy of contentment.
We must not only recognize money for what it is - a resource loaned to us by God - but we must also adhere to the absolute principle that when it comes to financial gain, our only responsibility is to manage and disperse that resource in Kingdom giving. The reality is that our Father wants us to have wealth. We just have to be careful not to settle for money!
Calvin Miller says, “The world is poor because her fortune is buried in the sky and all her treasure maps are of the earth.” The Apostle Paul warns, “Tell those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which will soon be gone. But their trust should be in the living God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment.” 1 Timothy 6:17 (NLT)
We all want to live a life of “enjoyment”. We want to make a difference. We want our lives to really count. In order to live a life that matters, a life of “enjoyment”, we must not only understand Kingdom giving, but Kingdom living as well. Everything we are or have belongs to Him and comes straight from His heart of perfect provision. It is His hand that opens the door of opportunity. It is His plan that orchestrates the minutes and circumstances of each day to accomplish His will in our surrendered lives. It is His perfect gift of Jesus Christ that made a way for unholy people to enjoy an intimate relationship with holy God.
The reality is that in every area of life – we simply cannot out-give God. When we devote time or talent to service, we soon discover that we are blessed more than we bless. As we surrender our heart to Him in obedience, He fills it with peace and purpose. When we give financially, He meets our every need. A generous and loving Father, God longs to pour out His vast and immeasurable blessings on those who are willing to invest in eternity. No – we cannot out-give God – but it sure is fun to try!
Father God, right now, I lay down everything I am – everything I have at your feet. I want my life to make a difference in eternity. But Lord, I am greedy. I cling to my possessions and stockpile life resources. Today, I choose to become a Kingdom giver! Help me to give with joy and invest in others what you have invested in me. I love you! In Jesus’ name. Amen!
Now it's Your Turn
- Understand that greed will destroy peace and contentment.
- Examine your life, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal every area of greed.
- Choose to confess my greed as sin and guard against it.
- Look for ways to practice “Kingdom” giving.
- What are the idols and false gods in your life?
- What does Luke 6:38 mean when it says that whatever you give will be given back to you?
- How can you become a disciplined giver?
For more on this topic, see Conquering Jealousy, a CD by Mary.
Girlfriends in God, Inc.
Originally published Wednesday, 01 November 2006.