Investing for Eternity
Sometimes when young people commence to earn a living, there is a strong temptation to buy everything that a covetous heart could wish. While prudence would lead one to use his earnings for some worthwhile purpose that would provide a measure of security for the future, there are some who foolishly spend their all without any consideration of the years ahead.
The Wisdom of Giving
The best investment obviously, is the one which gives the highest rate of interest with the least danger of loss. You, therefore, are strongly urged, as a young Christian, to lay up for yourself treasure in Heaven by setting aside a definite portion of your income for the Lord and for His work. “Lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal” (Matt. 6:20). This verse declares the absolute security of any investment made for the Lord.
You will be sure of liberal returns from such action, because God has promised that “He which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully” (2 Cor. 9:6). The Lord Himself will grant an eternal recompense for all that is done for His Name’s sake.
You will also receive a measure of reward in this life, for you will discover true joy in giving to others. There is a satisfaction in knowing that you have helped to ease the burden of those in financial difficulties, Moreover, through your gifts, you become a partner of those who are proclaiming the gospel and furthering the purposes of the Lord. Another result to your giving is the thanksgiving to God that arises from the heart of the recipient (2 Cor. 9:10-12). Furthermore, God loveth a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7); consequently, you will be given a special place in His affections. What remarkable spiritual and eternal dividends for an investment made on earth!
Our Duty to Give
As a young believer, you must early realize that the money you earn is not your own, because you are not your own, “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Cor. 6:20). Your strength, your talents, your time, and your money, all are His. It becomes you therefore to give of your possessions to the One Who gave His all for you.
Living in the twentieth century, you cannot minister of your substance directly to the Lord Jesus, as did Mary and certain other women which followed Him while He was here on earth (Luke 8:3). Notwithstanding, His Word reveals that He esteems any acts of kindness shown to His people as done unto Himself. He says, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me” (Matt. 25:40).
Because every true child of God is a member of the Body of Christ, when one member suffers, all members suffer with it” (1 Cor. 12:26). This kindred feeling of sympathy enables us to share the trials of others. Although you may be but young in the faith, you have a responsibility to use your means to relieve any brother or sister in Christ who may be in distress. In this way, “We bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2).
You have another weighty obligation as well, and that in regard to the spiritual welfare of the unsaved. Though you may not be fitted for nor called upon to preach the gospel at home or in the regions beyond, you should be a partner in that work by giving to the support of the evangelist or the missionary. This service is described in 2 Corinthians 9:10, as ministering seed to the sower. You ought, therefore, to join such efforts in the gospel for they result in fruit to the glory of God. If you are faithful in this service, the Lord may eventually honour you with a call to be a reaper in the harvest field.
The Scriptures also teach that those who minister to you in spiritual things should receive your gift of fellowship as an evidence of appreciation. The Apostle Paul rebuked the Corinthians for their lack of awareness in this matter (1 Cor. 9:11). Have you thought of ministering to the temporal needs of that servant of the Lord who pointed you to the Saviour? What about the saintly preacher who gave forth the truth of God in such a warm instructive way that your soul was fed and your heart strengthened to live more for the glory of the Lord and less for self and the world?
How Much To Give
Many, whose hearts are stirred to give to the Lord, find a problem in regard to the amount they ought to give. There is no set rule; nevertheless, God has stated a simple principle, “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity” (2 Cor. 9:7). If the Pharisees, under the bonds of the law, reluctantly gave a tenth, should we, who are objects of God’s grace, give less than they? The Egyptians, who would have perished of hunger but for the wisdom of Joseph, gladly gave up a fifth of their increase (Gen. 47:24). Zacchaeus, in the joy of his newly-found salvation, covenanted with the Lord to give the half of his goods to the poor (Luke 19:8). The poor widow of Luke 21, by casting her two mites into the treasury of the temple, surrendered all her living. The Lord Jesus provides us with the supreme example of giving, for He gave Himself. “Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich” (2 Cor. 8:9).
Divine principles would lead to the practice of giving a set percentage of our income, as the Lord has prospered us (1 Cor. 16:2). If we seek to honour the Lord with our substance, we may claim the promise given to the liberal-minded Philippians, “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). Let us remember the Divine promise, “Them that honour Me I will honour, and they that despise Me shall be lightly esteemed” (1 Sam. 2:30).
The money that we may spend now will be gone; the money that we may hoard will be left behind when we go home to Heaven, but all that we may give to the Lord will be ours, with compound interest, in the Treasury of Eternity.