In his book, Forward, David Jeremiah, tells the story of See’s Candies, began by a Canadian couple, Charles and Florence See.
Charles’ mother, Mary, moved with them and brought her treasured recipes for candies. In November of 1921, they opened their first candy store in Los Angeles. In 1972 the See family sold their thriving business for $25 million to Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate.
Buffet called it “the prototype of a dream business” and said that it was one of the top investments he ever made.
In our capitalistic economy, we all understand the importance of return on investment (ROI), the power of compounding interest, and the value of fiscal responsibility in managing our monetary assets.
But what about spiritual deposits? Eternal assets? And heavenly treasures? Do we value those kinds of equities? Or do we even think about our religious responsibilities and spiritual activities as being an investment?
David Jeremiah correctly writes, “No matter how well you invest on earth, if you aren’t involved in the long-term investments of eternity, you’re pouring all your resources into short-term ventures.”
Jesus reminds us of the fleeting, finite, temporal nature of earthly and material treasures and admonished “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matt. 6:19-21).
Here are two ways we can invest in heavenly treasures that will return the greatest, longest, and most important ROI.
Invest in God’s Word
We are frequently told the importance of getting a good education. One writer quipped, “If you think education is expensive, just try ignorance.” Statistically, those who receive a college degree will earn more money in their lifetime, enjoy a better quality of life, and secure financial security for their retirement.
Yet, the most important education you can get in your life is practically free. It’s “Bible University.” For the price of a Bible and maybe some reference books or a good computer program, you can have access to Divine knowledge and wisdom.
The Bible answers the most important questions of life. It provides insight into your origin. Your purpose in life. And your ultimate destiny. The Bible gives direction. Instills faith. Offers hope. And provides peace.
The Bible offers a value system that is unequaled by any philosophy. The concept of the Golden Rule (Matt. 7:12) and the principle underlying The Second Great Commandment (Matt. 22: 39) are even applauded and applied by non-Christians.
The apostle Paul affirmed that by reading the Bible we gain insight and understanding into the mind of God through the person of Jesus Christ (Eph. 3:3-5). No wonder he exhorted that we “give diligence” to accurately handle it as the Word of Truth (2 Tim. 2:15).
Invest your time, effort, and energy in reading, meditating and studying the Bible. Build your life around its principles. Make it the foundation of your family life. Share it with others. It’s an investment that returns an amazing reward. Both in time and in eternity.
Teddy Roosevelt was right, “A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.”
Invest in God’s Work
God’s work is eternal. Its dividends are unparalleled. It promises returns beyond this life. David Jeremiah put it this way, “His enterprise will never go bankrupt, and His servants will never be laid off.”
God’s work is a personal commitment in our lives. We all have various talents, abilities, and skills given by God’s grace and to be used for God’s glory (Rom. 12:6; 1 Pet. 4:11). Through these we can serve one another (Gal.5:13), engage in good works within the sphere of our opportunities (Gal. 6:10), and become “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world” (Matt. 5:13-16).
Furthermore, when we invest our lives in His work with fellow believers in His church, it will provide a synergistic effect. Together we can do more. Be more. And receive a greater return for our collective efforts. The many “one another” commands indicate God’s work is not intended to be done in isolation, but through mutual involvement as we ‘stimulate one another to love and good works” (Heb. 10:24-25).
We’re promised that our labor is not in vain in the Lord (1 Cor. 15:58). It’s an investment whose rewards will live beyond the grave.
To paraphrase William James, “The greatest use of your life is to invest it in something that will outlive and outlast it.”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman