It was on this day 11 years ago that Steve Jobs stood before the Macworld convention in San Francisco dressed in his customary jeans and black mock turtleneck and introduced the iPhone.
Jobs said the iPhone was “revolutionary” and a “magical product” that was “literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone.” The iPhone and Steve Jobs’ visionary leadership turned Apple into one of the most valuable corporations in the world.
In Apple’s early days Jobs made a pitch to Pepsi President John Scully to leave his life’s work and join him in marketing this young, innovative company. When Scully resisted Jobs made his final pitch and said, “Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?”
Indeed Jobs, Scully and Apple have changed the world with their technology. In fact, if you had invested $1000 in Apple in 1980 your world would be changed. That investment alone would be worth over $270,000 today.
We marvel at the innovation and vision of entrepreneurs like Jobs, as well as the business acumen of investors who make millions in the stock market. Yet, there is an investment that will pay far greater rewards if we have the vision to persist.
The apostle Paul spoke of a spiritual vision when he prayed for the Ephesian brethren.
“May (God) give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints…” (Eph 1:17-18).
People who possess spiritual vision have insight into the eternal purpose of God through Jesus Christ. They see beyond this life. As Paul put it in 2 Corinthians 4: 18 they “do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
According to Fortune magazine, Apple is worth over $900 billion. You know what’s worth more?
Your soul is more value than Apple. And more valuable than the net worth of every company and investor in the world. Jesus said so when he rhetorically asked, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”
It’s a probing and penetrating question. What’s worth losing your soul for? Wealth? A relationship? Popularity? Power? Position? Prestige?
An individual with spiritual insight realizes none of these things or even all combined do not equal the value of one soul. Would you sacrifice your honor for profit? Or exchange principle for pleasure? Or trade your eternal heavenly mansion or a temporary $1million dollar home?
So, what are you investing in? Where are your treasures? What do you really value?
Jesus admonished, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt 6:19-21).
As Gordon MacDonald asked, “How does (your) life’s balance sheet look in the sight of God?” In the end God is the final Auditor to whom we must give account.
Steve Jobs and those around him changed the world with technology. But you can impact your eternal destiny and those in your world through your spiritual investments.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman