Lately we've been seriously thinking about putting our house in Virginia on the market. As you all know the real estate market right now stinks so it's a bad time to sell. All this has me thinking about investing. Our house has been an investment. One that hopefully will make money. We invested an amount of money a few years back with hopes of a future payoff. That money will be our retirement (although Joe says our children are our retirement policy) since as a full time minister Joe opted out of Social Security a few years back so we won't receive any benefits even if it is still around by then.
The simple mathematical facts are that for a big return you need either a long amount of time or a high interest rate. (I=R x T....interest=rate x time). Thinking on this makes me realize that the best investments we've ever made are the ones that were invested for eternity....now that's a long period of time. Think about that. The money that we've invested in the Kingdom of God will continue to grow and reap rewards long after we've passed from this life. And on top of that think of the rate that God says that He gives. In Matthew 19:29 Jesus says "And everyone who has forsaken (left/given up/sacrificed) houses, or brothers, or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands for My name's sake shall receive 100 times as much, and shall inherit eternal life." God gives a great interest rate (100 times is 10,000 percent interest) compounded over the longest period of time (eternity). You just can't beat that! In Malachi God tells us to test Him and see that He will open the windows of heaven and pour out more blessings than we can hold. In Luke we are told that when we give God it will be given back to us....but more....good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over. But, it's a limited time offer. We can only invest while we live here on earth. That's all we're promised. Once we die our opportunity to invest in the Kingdom of God is over. John Wesley said "I judge all things only by the price they shall gain in eternity."
Let me tell you a quick story that not too many people know (until now). A few years back we felt led by God to invest a large sum of money in the kingdom of God through work of a missionary in Africa. God provided the money through the sale of our house in Colorado (we had moved to Virginia only a few weeks before). We sat our kiddos down and told them that we were going to use the money we made on the sale of our house to put down on another house (in Virginia) and to buy a new desperately needed van. However, God had laid it on our hearts to invest the money a different way...in something that would pay bigger dividends. So, what that meant to them was that we wouldn't get a house right then (instead, we lived in a townhouse with 7 kids sharing one bedroom) and that they would have to go on sharing seatbelts in our old van. Our sweet little 9 year old at the time Jake said something I'll never forget. He said "So what? We have to share a room or keep our old van, but hundreds of Muslims will have a chance to hear about how much God loves them and they can become Christians and live in heaven forever!" Now that's perspective. I'm teary eyed just remembering it.
I love the verse in 2 Corinthians 9 that when speaking about our investments in God's kingdom says "God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance" but the best part is the ending....the reason He gives us an abundance...."for every good deed". He gives us more so that we can invest more.
God has been good to us and blessed so many of our earthly investments. But I can tell you that the investments that are our best ones are the ones that we've made in the kingdom of God. Those are the ones I think on with the most fondness. Those are the ones I'm the most proud of. Those are the ones I want my children to mimic. Those are the only investments I've ever made that have absolutely no risk. I hope to spend the rest of the time I have left investing in the Kingdom of God.