It is important, especially in our current economy, to understand the difference between a good investment and a bad investment. In God’s economy, however, it’s more than important; it is the difference between life and death! The best possible investment in the world is the investment we make in expanding the cause of God’s kingdom in this world. The worst investment in the world is the investment we make in expanding the cause of our own little kingdom.
How have you been investing lately?
[Jesus] told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”‘ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself ?’ This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:16-21)
You know you are expanding the kingdom of the self when the accumulation of stuff seems functionally more life-giving than a growing relationship with your Savior. The man in this parable focused on expanding his own kingdom rather than the kingdom of God. He wanted bigger barns rather than a bigger heart . . . which, in the end, is the worst kind of investment we can make in this world.
So . . . is there anything you could identify right now that seems more life-giving than your relationship with Jesus? Where in your life are you investing your time, talent, and treasure to expand your kingdom—rather than expand the kingdom of God? The poorest man in the world with God is worth more than the richest man without Him.
Another sign that you are working to expand the kingdom of self is your focus to store up for yourself the stuff of this life: more money . . . newer clothes . . . a bigger house . . . a fancier car . . . a better body. In and of themselves none of these things is bad; they can actually be good gifts from a gracious God. But when good things become ultimate things they become bad things. We declare to a watching world what is most important to us simply by the evidence of what we desire most in this life.
What do you desire most in life?
Jesus’ parable challenges each of us to examine our heart to see exactly what it is beating for. Jesus wants us to be thinking beyond the stuff of this world and all that we are working to accumulate to expand the cause of our little kingdom. He wants us to see how everything we have been given is to be used for expanding the cause of His kingdom.
As I said before, good things become bad things when they become ultimate things. There is absolutely nothing wrong accumulating wealth. What is wrong is when we accumulate it without any concern for expanding God’s kingdom and helping others. Let us examine our hearts today and consider what matters most to us regarding the good things God has given to us. Are we simply satisfied with enriching ourselves, which is the worst investment in this world? Or are we enriching the lives of others? That difference makes all the difference in the world!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!