Summary: Jesus taught us to invest our finances wisely for His honor and glory and for the good of those we love.
Investing in Eternity
For the past several weeks, we’ve been considering some things the Bible has to say concerning personal finances, that is, the money God has entrusted to you and me. We’ve considered giving, stewardship, debt, and today we are going to talk about investing. In this message I want to share with you some biblical principles that I have learned about investing and hope that you too will become convinced that this is one area of our lives that is in need of some spiritual attention.
Remember what we have learned – your attitudes about finances have more to do with your faith than they do with your money. Giving is not about money; it is about faith. Stewardship is not about money; it is about trust. Debt is a spiritual problem, and investing, whether you do it or not can reveal some spiritual problems as well. Some people invest because they have a spiritual problem – their trust is in their ability to provide for themselves rather than God so they pour their energy and trust into investments. Others don’t invest because they have a spiritual problem – they lack the wisdom to realize that God has given us sense enough to look down the road and make sound financial choices. There has to be a proper balance that doesn’t come from a right relationship with your accountant – it comes from a right relationship with God.
In fact, the most important investment you’ll ever make concerns what you’ll do with your soul. The Bible teaches that one day you will die and in that moment you’ll stand before Jesus Christ with nothing more than the decision you made in this life concerning Him. The Bible says that we are all born in sin, and because of our sin we are condemned to die and are presently under the wrath and condemnation of God. In your natural condition from birth you are a sinner and because of your sin you are separated from God. There is nothing you can do of your own accord to straighten yourself up, you can’t do anything to make right your natural, sinful condition. Your only hope is in Christ, the only begotten Son of God, the Lamb who came and lived and died to take away not only the sin of the whole world, but your sin as well. The most important decision you can ever make is to repent of your sin, confess it to a holy and just God and trust Him to save you.
It won’t matter how much money you have when you die or how well you invest it on this earth, when you die none of it will have mattered. Somebody once asked the CPA of a wealthy millionaire who had just died, "How much money did he leave?" "All of it" he replied. Sure you ought to invest your money wisely as we will see, but what you do with your money is not nearly so important as what you do with Christ in salvation.
There are many things you should make wise investments with. You need to invest your time on this earth wisely. God will hold you accountable for how you spend it. You need to invest your talents and abilities wisely also, but since we are talking about money, let’s just deal with money. Jesus said in our text,
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Now we read that Jesus said, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt…” But Paul told Timothy that “if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (1 Timothy 5:8)
The dilemma, or difficulty as I see it is where to draw the line between the two statements of Scripture. God expects that a man will provide what his family needs and in fact holds that man responsible to do so; but at the same time that same man is told not to lay up treasures for himself on this earth. What does all of this mean? Does this mean that we are to provide food and shelter, basic necessities but not all the extra stuff we enjoy so much? Does that mean that we are not to have trampolines and stereos and all the other stuff?
To find the answer, let’s look at verse 19 more closely. Our Bibles read, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth…” The Greek text literally says, “Don’t treasure for yourselves treasure on the earth.” What is a treasure? It is wealth or stuff that is stored up or hoarded. It means something of great worth or value, whether a person or a thing. It can also mean a collection of precious things. It is like the man Jesus spoke about in Luke 12:15. He said,