How to Make Wise Investments
has happened over the last couple of years with investment portfolios most
are asking how they can make wise investments. We have seen the
books cooked in so many corporate scandals we are leery of putting our
money in any place except our own pockets. Even if you feel you have
nothing to invest you are wondering what kind of future we are looking at
with the financial markets. Even bank Certificates of Deposit are paying
less than 3%. As U. S. jobs move to foreign countries we can only wonder
at what is in store. Wouldnít you like to know how to make wise
investments regardless of what happens in the financial markets?
you ever wanted to know how to make wise investments? Some of us
here this morning may not be worried about investments. We may feel as
though we donít have anything to invest, so what difference does it make.
But you are the ones who need to pay special attention to this lesson. You
may have more to invest than you realize, and I would like to help you
develop an eye for a good investment.
You have seen
television commercial programs where someone is telling you how you can
become a millionaire through buying and selling real estate, and you donít
have to have a dime to invest. You can even do it with bad credit or no
credit at all. What I am going to talk about this morning is no real
estate scheme. It is more real.
The Bible Is About Making Good
story of the Bible is about a God who promises to take care of you, if
only you will invest your life in his purposes. Godís call to
Abraham was accompanied with the promise that he would make Abrahamís name
great and multiply his descendants as the sands of the sea. God also
promised Abram he would bless those who blessed Abraham; he also promised
to curse those who sought to curse Abraham. This was an important aspect
of Godís promise in the ancient world.
rulers favored those relationships where they thought the gods or God of
those they favored would bless them. They understood their relationship
with such individuals was a great investment. Daniel survived in a
dangerous world during the rise and fall of the Babylonian Empire because
the ruthless rulers understood Danielís God would bless them for showing
favor to Daniel. They respected and feared Danielís God. That is also how
Joseph became the one in charge of all Egypt.
This is why
you see many of the ancient kings throughout the Old Testament giving
small fortunes to Godís people. They understood Israelís God blessed those
who blessed his people.
of heaven assures us that our lives are reciprocal. What we get
has everything to do with how we invest. It has nothing to do with how
much you have to invest. ďGive, and it will be given to you. A good
measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured
into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you"
(Luke 6:38 NIV) Donít miss the point! The emphasis here is not on the
quantity. Giving good measure has more to do with the quality than the
quantity, and the quality of your gift is determined by your motive and
purpose for the gift.
The economics of investing in Godís purposes is
governed by the mathematics of supernatural law. If the
motive for the gift is to help Godís cause, or to bless Godís people, God
will pour his blessings into your lap.
1 Kings 17:5-16
5 So he did what the LORD had told him. He
went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. 6 The
ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the
evening, and he drank from the brook.
7 Some time later the brook dried up
because there had been no rain in the land. 8 Then the word of the LORD
came to him: 9 "Go at once to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have
commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food." 10 So he went to
Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering
sticks. He called to her and asked, "Would you bring me a little water in
a jar so I may have a drink?" 11 As she was going to get it, he called,
"And bring me, please, a piece of bread."
12 "As surely as the LORD your God lives,"
she replied, "I don't have any bread-only a handful of flour in a jar and
a little oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a
meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it-and die."
13 Elijah said to her, "Don't be afraid. Go
home and do as you have said. But first make a small cake of bread for me
from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for
yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel,
says: 'The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not
run dry until the day the LORD gives rain on the land.'"
15 She went away and did as Elijah had told
her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her
family. 16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not
run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah. NIV
woman who lived in Sidon was not an Israelite. The Israelites
considered her a heathen. Listen to what Jesus has to say about her as he
rebuked the faithlessness of Israel.
5 I assure you that there were many widows
in Israel in Elijah's time, when the sky was shut for three and a half
years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. 26 Yet Elijah was
not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of
Sidon. 27 And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha
the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed-only Naaman the Syrian." NIV
makes the point that the unbeliever was blessed because she had more faith
than Godís chosen people. She surrendered all she had to God, even
though all she had was very little. God multiplied his blessing to her.
Itís the same principle God gave to Abraham. He would bless those who
blessed his people; it doesnít matter whether the person is a believer or
non-believer. God blesses those who bless his children. You canít make a
better investment than helping Godís cause. It makes no difference whether
you are a believer or a non-believeróGod does want you to believe so you
can be saved. But donít think for a moment that God doesnít take note of
how you bless his people.
spouse may be a Christian and the other is not, but God will bless the
non-believer in that union if he/she blesses the believing spouseís
efforts to be faithful to God. You must never forget, God not only
causes it to rain on the just and unjust alike, but he also blesses the
believer and the non-believer alike.
2 Kings 4:1-7
4:1 The wife of a man from the company of
the prophets cried out to Elisha, "Your servant my husband is dead, and
you know that he revered the LORD. But now his creditor is coming to take
my two boys as his slaves."
2 Elisha replied to her, "How can I help
you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?"
"Your servant has nothing there at all,"
she said, "except a little oil."
3 Elisha said, "Go around and ask all your
neighbors for empty jars. Don't ask for just a few. 4 Then go inside and
shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as
each is filled, put it to one side."
5 She left him and afterward shut the door
behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept
pouring. 6 When all the jars were full, she said to her son, "Bring me
But he replied, "There is not a jar left."
Then the oil stopped flowing.
7 She went and told the man of God, and he
said, "Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on
what is left." NIV
begin to see how the mathematics of the supernatural God works.
The only problem I have with this story is she didnít collect enough jars.
I am not sure what motivates me to feel this wayóit may be greedóbut
thatís how I feel.
If you have
lost the point of the sermon it is simple: make an investment in Godís
kingdom. Itíll be the best return you will ever get.
44 "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure
hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his
joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
45 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a
merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he
went away and sold everything he had and bought it. NIV
28 "And why do you worry about clothes? See
how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell
you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of
these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here
today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe
you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we
eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For the pagans
run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need
them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these
things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about
tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough
trouble of its own. NIV
How Do I Make Good Financial
invest in Godís kingdom; it doesnít make any difference whether you have
good credit, bad credit, or no credit. You can afford to make the
investment. The Bible characters we have been looking at made wise
investments in Godís kingdom when they didnít have anything to invest. All
they had was faith, and very little of that, they may have been acting
more out of desperation than faith.
wise investments in Godís kingdom doesnít have anything to do with how
much you have to invest, but it has everything to do with managing, or
handling what little you have properly. I have seen people with
very little income live better than those who have large incomes simply
because of principles of good management. God blesses good management,
because good management reveals your appreciation for the little you have.
Today we have a greater need for good managers than we do for increased
incomesódonít get me wrong, pay raises are needed. However, pay
raises do little good if we only use them to increase our expenses
Successful businesses persistently look for ways to cut their overhead.
The same principle can be used in running our household.
Donít feel as though you have to increase your spending just because
you got a pay raise.
To handle or
manage money you must set priorities in your spending.
Your first priority is to your family.
Donít think for a moment that God wants you to deprive your family of its
basic needs to give to money to the church. The Pharisees sought to give
to the temple what their parents needed, but they broke the command to
honor their fathers and mothers (Matthew 15:1-7).
1 Timothy 5:8-10
8 If anyone does not provide for his
relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the
faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
9 No widow may be put on the list of widows
unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, 10 and is well
known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing
hospitality, washing the feet of the saints, helping those in trouble and
devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds. NIV
the principle of reciprocal blessings again; the widow would be blessed by
God people because she sought to bless Godís people. We
are blessed by God when we seek to be a blessing to our
family and others.
discovered managing finances for a family is difficult. Spending
unwisely on things you really could live without before you take care of
the essential needs is a bad investment. There is no way you can put God
first doing so. If you want God to bless what little you have, make sure
you make a wise investment in the essential needs of your family.
to be content with food, shelter, and clothing. Two-thirds of the
world doesnít have these basics. You can only do it by
putting first things first. Take care of the essentials firstóhousing,
utilities, transportation, food and clothing. These things are not
optional. These are essentials.
Let no debt remain outstandingóor should we say
pay your bills. ďGive everyone what you owe him: If you
owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect;
if honor, then honor. Let no debt remain outstanding, except the
continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has
fulfilled the lawĒ (Romans 13:7-8 NIV). Investing in paying out debts
as we promise is a great investment. Donít pay penalties for late
payments. Late payments increase interest on your dept exponentially. If
you pay a $25.00 late fee on a $200 dollar credit card payment each month,
you increase the interest rate on that loan 12.5 percent per year.
more responsible you are with what little you have, the more God
multiplies it. I remember supporting my family through college.
The first thing we paid was rent and utilitiesóthen came the car payment,
we had to have transportation. With what little money we had left we would
scrounge around the grocery store eating only what was on sale. If what we
wanted to eat wasnít on sale, we didnít eat it. Truthfully, I still live
this way. Of course, we eat out more now than we did then, but when I buy
groceries, I still use the same practices as we did when were going
through college. Most families have a greater potential for saving money
in their kitchen expenses than any other area. This is especially true if
you donít have any money to invest anywhere else.
look around many of us could probably cut our grocery bill in half just by
going on a diet. This would be an excellent investment in our
health, which would also save a lot of money in and of itself.
Remember, you will always have more to invest in Godís purposes when you
use what little you have responsibly for those God wants you to provide
for. My wife and I have a couple of relatives who refuse to live
responsibly. They spend their money on everything but the necessities,
then they want to get money off their relatives so they can pay for the
necessities. Their parents depleted their resources bailing them out each
time they were about to lose everything. The parents are all dead and this
couple is in worse condition today than ever. They are a burden to their
children. Their lives are deplorable. They always made more money than
those who tried to help them, but they refused to manage their financial
affairs. They have hit bottom. They were doomed to hit bottom years ago,
but their parents wouldnít let them hit bottom. Now they are in their
fifties, and getting off bottom will be harder than ever. However, it can
be done as soon as they become responsible with the little they have. I
would like to send them to a course on money management. They have never
enjoyed Godís supernatural laws of mathematics kicking in on their
of an elder who taught a member of his congregation how to manage
finances. She had consistently asked the church for help over the
years. The elder asked her if he could look at her bills and help her
manage her finances. She has never had to ask for financial help again.
are times when even the most responsible will need help. Abraham
faced famine, Joseph faced hardship, Elijah was fed by ravens during the
drought. We have helped responsible individuals in the past that had
fallen on hard times. I remember three people who gave the money back to
the church when they got back on their feet. No, they werenít asked to do
that, but they wanted to be responsible. One couple has moved away, but
every time the young woman visits our worship service, she puts a check in
the offering for the express purpose of paying back what we gave her
family. I hate to hear that she does it. It was meant as a free gift with
no obligation to repay it. I think they could still use the money, but you
see she is making a wise investment with the little she has. And God will
multiply her investment.
Investing in Godís purposes is essential, for Godís supernatural law of
mathematics doesnít kick in until youíve invested it.
teachers came to Jesus asking, ĎTell us then, what is your opinion? Is it
right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?Ē Jesus replied, ďShow me the coin
used for paying tax.Ē They brought him a denarius. Jesus asked them,
ďWhose portrait is this? And whose inscription? ďCaesarĒ they replied.
Jesus then said, ďGive to Caesar what is Caesarís and to God what is
stop with ďGive to Caesar what is Caesarís.Ē The lesson wasnít complete,
because the most important point was what followed: ďGive to God what is
Caesarís image was on that coin, Godís image and inscription are on us.Ē
When we give to God what belongs to God his law of supernatural
mathematics kick in. But first you have to give yourself to the Lord for