Tell me if you have heard this one, “Hey buddy. Have I got a deal for you! This is a zero risk high yield investment which will pay huge dividends. Guaranteed!” Sleazy and cheesy, huh? But don’t walk away just yet. There really IS such an investment …one that will pay dividends forever! In fact, forever is the key word. Once you start thinking in terms of eternity, you will be laying your money down. What am I talking about? An investment touted by no other than Jesus Christ: “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” Matthew 6:19-21
There you go. Our investments here on earth will always be at risk. The stock market can fail, banks can fail, the dollar can fail and nations can fail. We foolishly think these investments give us security, but the truth is this: even if all our investments last us our entire lifetime, they will still be worth zero to us when our lives come to an end. A wise financial planner will challenge us to get out eyes off of today and think thirty years into the future. Jesus tells us to get our eyes off of this world and think thirty thousand or thirty million years into the future. According to Jesus, only an eternal investment is absolutely guaranteed to last. Everything else is guaranteed to fail. Does it not make sense, therefore, that we should be taking advantage of Jesus’ offer?
You can’t take it with you.
You may have heard this one, but it bears repeating. John D Rockefeller was one of the richest men who ever lived. After he died, someone asked his accountant, “How much money did Mr. Rockefeller leave?” His classic reply? “All of it.”
The Psalmist agrees, “So don’t be dismayed when the wicked grow rich and their homes become ever more splendid. For when they die, they take nothing with them. Their wealth will not follow them into the grave.” Psalms 49: 16-17
The bottom line is the obvious: investments in this life are temporary; investments in Heaven are eternal. We would do well, therefore, to make eternal investments.
How do we take advantage of this guaranteed investment?
In many ways, heaven is the antithesis of earth. God’s reign is unhindered in heaven while Satan is considered the “god of this world” (2 Cor 4:4). This life is full of sorrow, but all of our tears will be wiped away in heaven. We struggle with sin as long as we live on earth, but we will not even be tempted to sin in heaven. Our investments likewise are turned upside down in heaven: we build our earthly nest eggs by squeezing our possessions tightly, but we can only store treasures in heaven by giving away what we have.
This doesn’t mean that we should give away every penny we ever touch. God expects us, for example, to use money to provide for the material needs of our families (1 Timothy 5:8). We should likewise be prudent in saving for emergencies and planning for our later years. But make no mistake: EVERYTHING we hang onto is fleeting. Eternal investments, on the other hand, can be made only by giving.
Think “delayed gratification”.
We live in a microwave society of instant gratification, but storing treasures in heaven is the ultimate form of delayed gratification. We are intentionally and deliberately giving away what we have here on earth, a tactic many would consider short sighted. However, think one moment of the ramifications of eternal investing. In his book “Managing God’s Money”, Randy Alcorn poses this scenario, “Suppose I offer you a choice of $1,000 today or $10 million dollars if you wait one year, then $10 million dollars more every year thereafter. Which would you choose?” Only a fool would accept the $1,000 today.
Yes, that year might seem like a long time, but the wait would be worth it. In the same way, heaven might seem like a long time off. But once you get there, won’t you be glad you were willing to forego the temporal treasures of earth in order to enjoy your heavenly investments forever?
Life here on earth is but a blink when compared to the eternity of heaven. The time to start your guaranteed investment is now.
Readers: Jump in here. Does this seem like “pie in the sky” or something to be seriously considering?