As real estate values ride the roller coaster of an unsettled market and stocks, bonds and financial investments sway with every innuendo posted on twitter, it begs these questions: Where’s the best return on my investment? Where can my money be put to good use? Where is there a guaranteed return I can count on like grandma’s pasta sauce? Winner every time.
The short answer: God, other people and yourself. This is serious business, by the way. If you are struggling with money, or even if you’re not, the following information has the power to change everything for a man seeking to know, serve and love God.
The first and best investment is in God’s work. God calls it a “tithe” that you give back to God (a tenth of what you receive) and God promises -- catch that? He promises -- to reward you for your faith. God even boldly suggests “Test me in this...” in Malachi 3:10.
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse (the church), that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”
Interesting note, that if you don’t tithe, God says that you are “robbing” Him in verses 8-9 of Malachi 3, and you are under a curse. Bottom line, tithing is an investment backed by a promised return of abundant blessing. But if you don’t tithe, your financial world will be troubled.
The big idea here is that God doesn’t need your money but you need to give a portion of it to insulate your spirit from making money your god. The other point to ponder and apply is that we can never “out-give” God. He is just wondering if you will take him up on this and test He’s true to his Word.
The next best investment you can make is in other people. Jesus said the most important commandment is to love God and love others. Why is this such a good investment? Because the returns are multiplied with every person you touch with a loving word, serving act, gracious interaction or prayer.
Imagine the impact God’s man can have on one person, then that person shares what God did and the ripple effect of God’s love is spread among people like a wave on the ocean. They end up knowing a loving God, a future in heaven, and hope for living in this world.
Think of the example in John 15 when Jesus compares himself to a vine. Notice, the goal is to produce good fruit, which is God’s work -- sending more people to heaven. This must be the ultimate investment. Read John 15:1-17... The bottom line here is wrapped in verse 16, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit -- fruit that will last -- and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.”
That’s a good investment if we take advantage of the opportunities God presents us to invest in others in the big, but mostly small, spaces of our lives. Be on the look out for these amazing investment opportunities and risk investing yourself.
So often, God’s man gets caught storing up for himself on the outside, instead of storing up on the inside. Your spiritual health is the best investment you can make. You are your own best investment. Think of yourself as a prize, worth the price.
Investing in your spiritual health sows seeds that reap a harvest for God and your own livelihood. Pastor Rick Warren often says, “Invest where you want to be blessed.” Want to be blessed? Want God to touch your life in a new way? Invest in your spiritual health and growth daily.
I think Matthew 6:19-21 explains the rewards we can expect in heaven if we invest in our spiritual health. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven...For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Struggling with your finances? Invest in God’s work, other people and yourself. Your bank account on earth and in heaven will be blessed.
In case you missed them:
Kenny Luck, founder and president of Every Man Ministries, is the men’s pastor at Saddleback Church, and has a great deal of experience in leading men through their walk with God. His program Sleeping Giant empowers men to take the experience of a men’s ministry and bring it to their own communities. Watch Kenny’s teachings at EveryManMinistries.com.