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Summary: Investing in our body is a sound investment that brings balance to our lives and enhances our Chrisitan service and Spiritual discipleship

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MAKING SOUND INVESTMENTS FOR THE NEW YEAR

JANUARY 2, 2005

I Corinthians 6:9-11, 19-20 “Your Body—Investing for the Future”

INTRODUCTION

It is the beginning of a New Year. We enter this year with hopes that it will be a prosperous year in more ways than merely financial.

If 2005 is to be a prosperous year, then now is the time to make sound investments that will enable this to happen. Mutual funds may be one area of investments, but it is also important for us to invest in our body, mind, spirit, and relationships. This is a wholistic approach to investing.

THE PURPOSE OF INVESTING

The first step in investing is often a trip to a financial counselor. Any financial counselor worth his or her salt will first ask, “What is your investment goal?” Most reply that they want to get rich to this question. The counselor persists, however, in making the goal more specific. Is the purpose of their investments for college educations, a retirement that includes travel, or a quiet retirement cabin on a mountain lake?

As we begin to talk about investing, it is important for us to determine the goal that we have for our investing. For the Christian, the goal is identified by Paul’s words, “Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. We invest so that we might truly be temples of the Lord.

There are several characteristics of temples that we might want to keep in mind as we ponder Paul’s words and our investment intent.

¨ Temples are places of worship. Our intention is to use our bodies in acts of worship—not only coming to Sunday morning services, but also the worship of work, play, and our presence in the lives of others.

¨ Temples are places of sacrifice. We sacrifice our personal, selfish desires and dedicate our lives to God’s goals and purposes.

¨ Temples are dwelling places for God. We live so that God’s presence in our lives is evident to everyone we encounter. We shine with the light of God.

THE MOTIVATION FOR INVESTING

Once we have established our reason for investing, we are then able to move on to our motivation for investing. What will drive us to put in the time and effort to achieve our investment goals?

When it comes to our body, we may have many motivations. We may want to invest in our body for health reasons, or to lose excess weight and build our self-esteem. While these are all good motivations, they are not what drive a Christian to invest in his or her body.

The Christian motivation for investing in our bodies is contain in Paul’s words that we have been bought with a price. Martin Luther writes in his explanation to the Apostles’ Creed that Jesus, “Has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death.”

The cross of Jesus Christ is our motivation for whatever we do as Christians. The cost of our redemption and the depth of God’s love for us it what touches our hearts.

The cross of Jesus Christ, his life, death and resurrection, is the deepest of all motivations. It will last when weight goals have been achieved and our self-esteem is secure.

THE DOES AND DON’TS OF INVESTING

Paul has a short list of activities that he warns against. He reminds his readers that Christians and our bodies are not meant for sin.

An argument can be made that Christians have been set free from rules and regulations. Paul does not disagree with this argument. He simply points out that not everything that we are capable of doing is beneficial for us.

At times is may be helpful for us to ask ourselves if we would treat our body like we do if it belonged to someone else. Instead of seeing our body as our possession that we can do with what we want, it may be helpful for us to remind ourselves that our body is God’s gift to us.

It is also helpful and empowering to focus on what we can do with our body rather than always concentrate on what we cannot do. We are called and empowered to serve God with our body, to minister to the needs of others, and to use our body for good. These are investments that will truly bring positive returns.

CONCLUSION

Our bodies are not to be ignored or neglected. The physical is not the antithesis to the spiritual.

Healthy bodies are platforms for meaningful service to God and to humankind.

Amen

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