I spoke last week about our family and not having a lot, yet we had so much. We had family that cared for each other. When someone was in need, the family would help. My dad worked very hard to make ends meet. He worked well past his retirement age to continue to help my mom live a comfortable life. They moved to Florida to retire only a few months after dad retired. But it wasn’t very long that dad went back to work. Partly because he was bored, but mostly so that they could have some money tucked away in case of an emergency. They lived on a tight budget. When dad passed away, the money that they had saved after retirement was more than enough to take care of mom. There was no worry. Dad taught me very early as a young man on my own, to always look ahead and tuck a little of my salary into accounts that could earn me a retirement income.
Jesus taught that the greatest use of your life is to invest it in that which outlasts it. In Matthew 6:20 Jesus said to “Store up treasures in heaven.” In the parable of the talents, we find principles for investing your life.
Matthew 25:14-30 (NIV): “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’ “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’ “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
You never know what will happen in the future. Jesus said: “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” (Matthew 25:13 NIV) We cannot look ahead. But we can be ready. Dad taught me how to save and put away income to use when I could retire. I was told once that there are three things you can do with your life: you can waste it, you can spend it, or you can invest it. There are plenty of things to waste it on. You can spend it on your career, on your hobby, on acquiring certain possessions, or you can invest it. But the question we must ask ourselves is, “Will we be ready when Jesus returns?” If you want to hear an incredibly powerful and life changing message from Pastor Aaron Taylor, I challenge you to listen to, Faithful Stewardship: Be Prepared! You can find it by going to http://painesvilleag.com/discerning-the-times.
Friend, start investing your life. We don’t know the day or the hour of the Master’s return, but as we discern the days we are living, let us invest in the lives we have been given and serve the Master faithfully!