Summary: investing your life for God
Intro: at the beach retreat we all sat on the beach looking at the waves crashing on the shore. Ecclesiastes 11:1 came into my mind, that if you cast your bread on the water it will return after many days. It was like God spoke to me about life, investments we make, and God’s reward system as each wave hit the shore. My title for this message is simply this: no deposit, no return.
No Deposit, No Return
Ecclesiastes 11: 1-6
I. If you don’t send anything out, you can’t expect anything to come in—cast your bread upon the waters.
· God doesn’t reward idleness, God doesn’t bless playing it safe, you have to step out, you have to cast something, you have to trust God in investing your life. God just doesn’t bless you for existing, you have to give, you have to pray, you have to witness: if you haven’t thrown anything out, it is useless sitting on the shore waiting on something to come in on the next wave.
· God allows you to be involved in the process of life. So many people want to have a great garden that don’t want to cast out seeds, fertilize, pull up weeds and then gather the harvest. They just want it to all show up in the refrigerator. But God doesn’t work in a no deposit system, you have got to do your part so that God can do His part.
· Faith isn’t playing it safe—Peter step out onto the water---God never pulls us out of the boat, we have to step out in faith to walk in the supernatural. Moses, what is that in your hand—Jesus says, take the little boys lunch and see what we can do with it.
II. Sow as much as possible—v.2—the next law of deposit is deposit as much as you can, as often as you can, in as many places as you can. Here is a wonderful teaching—don’t limit God to one place and one time.
· Don’t ever become a Sunday sower, don’t see your ministry as something you do one day a week, see your life as a continual looking for opportunity to invest your life into others.
· Solomon gives us a secret for the ages—the more investments you make, the more returns you can expect. Invest your life into as many people as you can, and you will see results over the years. Sometimes you may think your investment is so small and insignificant, but it may be the investment that makes a difference in someone’s life forever. Every teacher, every minister, every parent, every friend may be the one to make a lasting impression on someone else forever.
III. Don’t wait for perfect circumstances to invest—v.3-4 here is a wonderful piece of wisdom—if you wait for everything to be perfect before you make a move or investment, you will never do anything. Fair weather Christianity never gets anything done.
· I guess everyone is guilty of saying—one of these days, or somewhere down the road. Solomon says, today is the first day of the rest of your life.
· Fear and unbelief still keeps people from entering into the promises of God. Some people will spend their entire lives on the wrong side of Jordan.
· I’d rather do the right thing wrong, than the wrong thing right—I’d rather try and fail, than fail not trying. Interviews with people at retirement centers reveals their biggest regret in life was not trying more things, not stepping out more.
· These verses mean, you never know which investment will become the best, so invest and trust God. V.5-6
IV. You will find it after many days—v.1c—here is the great law of investing your life—you may not see results today, or tomorrow, but if you invest your life into others, into the work of God, you will get returns, you will receive blessings.
· Don’t ever consider an investment into the things of God, into someone’s life a waste, because you can’t see as far off as God. You may make an investment that seemingly is void of any return, but someday it will become a blessing.
· Sometimes you will find a reward and forget about the original investment. It is such a blessing when you find out you made a difference in someone’s life, and you didn’t even realize it.
· Don’t give up, keep watching the waves, the next wave may have your blessing on it. Life sometimes is hard, and can at times be discouraging, the more you try, the less results you see, but keep making the effort, keeping casting your bread, you will one day see the returns of your life.
Close: the story goes that Gabriel and Michael set up a meeting with Jesus after He enters into glory. They say, you have secured salvation for the world, and you have left it in the hands of a few followers to carry into all the world. We are curious to know, what if they fail, what if they give up, what is your back up plan. Jesus looks at these two great angels and said, there is no other plan.