Summary: We take a look at bad investments, earthly ones, as compared to good investments, heavenly ones.

Have you been following the entire Martha Stewart thing? It was just a year ago that the allegations surfaced that the Queen of Gracious Living was involved in an insider trading scandal. The prosecutors are saying that Stewart sold 4000 shares of ImClone Systems after finding out that there was bad news on the way from the government concerning the company and it’s main product.

Stewart originally denied the charges and a year ago in her regular appearance on CBS’s "The Early Show" Stewart said, "I think this will all be resolved in the very near future and I will be exonerated of any ridiculousness."

Comedian Dennis Miller said "Martha Stewart denied allegations that she had been given inside information to sell 4,000 shares of a stock in a biotech firm about to go under. Stewart then showed her audience how to make a festive, quick-burning yule log out of freshly-shredded financial documents."

And Conan O’Brien said “The corporate scandals are getting bigger and bigger. In a speech on Wall Street, President Bush spoke out on corporate responsibility, and he warned executives not to cook the books. Afterwards, Martha Stewart said the correct term was to sauté the books.”

In Spite of her claims of innocence prosecutors have charged her with five counts of conspiracy, making false statements, obstruction of justice and securities fraud. Now I don’t know what you think of Martha Stewart, and it really doesn’t matter, one CNN report said this about the lifestyle Guru The public has long had a love-hate relationship with Stewart. She is widely admired for her design and business acumen even as she’s disparaged for her perfectionist impulses and sheer omnipresence.

Our attitudes toward Martha have probably been formed from statements she’s made like “I catnap now and then, but I think while I nap, so it’s not a waste of time.” Martha Stewart, in McCall’s or “Life is too complicated not to be orderly.” Martha Stewart, quoted in Harper’s Bazaar

The reason Martha Steward is being charged though has nothing to do with her home making skills instead it has everything to do with how she handled her investments.

Investments, in this day and age everyone is talking about the right investment, the best investment, everyone wants a perfect investment. And with the Stock market the way it is those perfect investments are hard to find. But there are all kinds of investments, good investments and bad investments.

Every once in a while you’ll hear that someone like Martha has been convicted of insider trading, that is that they used confidential information to buy and sell stocks at an unfair advantage. In this particular scripture Christ is giving us some very important and valuable inside information concerning our investments. And this isn’t illegal.

In the first three verses that Bonnie read this morning Christ counsels us as Christians to sell some stocks and cut our losses, while at the same time he is advising us to purchase stock that has a very high yield. In our temporal state we’d jump at that wouldn’t we? If we had impeccable information concerning our investments we would make sure that we acted on that information. And yet this is far more important then mere money this is our eternity.

1) A Bad Thing In vs. 19 Christ tells us that bad investments are the ones that can be lost Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where they can be eaten by moths and get rusty, and where thieves break in and steal.

Now what Jesus was talking about were things that rusted, rotted or were ripped off. Today you don’t have to wait that long for things to become worthless, only until the warranty runs out. There is nothing in this life that is invincible, nothing that cannot be worn out, broke or destroyed.

Everything we earn, everything we buy everything we collect is susceptible to damage. And Christ is basically telling us that if that is where you make your investments then you are doomed to disappointment. In Christ day people associated material blessings with God’s blessings. Now that’s silly isn’t it, I mean we would never be guilty of that would we?

In other words ifn you could buy a new chariot every year then people would be convinced that God was rewarding you for something. Now I don’t believe that Christians ought to be destitute. You see I believe that we are children of the King, and as such we are not to inherit poverty. On the other hand I don’t necessarily agree with the Prosperity theology that is swept through the Evangelical Church a few years back. It been referred to as a cargo cult and that is pretty close to the truth. I’ve met some devote Holy Spirit anointed Christians who can pray heaven down, but who have really done no more then exist financially over the years.

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