Jesus made a very clear statement on the priority of spiritual investments. Don’t keep hoarding for yourselves earthly treasures that can be stolen by thieves. Material wealth eventually rusts, decays, and loses its value. Instead, stockpile heavenly treasures for yourselves that cannot be stolen and will never rust, decay, or lose their value. For your heart will always pursue what you esteem as your treasure. Mt. 6:19-21 (TPT) Undoubtedly Jesus knew the truth of the proverb: So above all, guard the affections of your heart, for they affect all that you are. Prov. 4:23 (MSG)
Your Investments Will Follow You
We’ve all heard the saying in regards to money, “You can’t take it with you.” Very true; never saw a U-haul following behind a hearse. But there are spiritual investments that DO follow us, as an eternal deposit in God’s kingdom. This is illustrated in the Book of Revelation where the church is called to fight against and endure the dark influences of the world’s system of treasure.
There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name. This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus. Rev. 14:11-12
A posthumous reward is that our deeds will follow us. Rev. 14:13
Forerunner of Extravagance
One of the most well known spiritual investments is that of Mary of Bethany. She performed an extravagant act of worship by pouring a jar of expensive perfume on Jesus. His response: She has done a beautiful thing to me…Wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her. Mt. 26:10,13
Her deeds have been following her ever since.
The disciples only saw Mary’s gift as a waste. They were limited to seeing the currency’s earthly value. This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor. Mt. 26:9 While money itself can also be a spiritual offering to God, it contains the dangerous potential to detour us from what is eternal.
Remind the wealthy to be rich in remarkable works of extravagant generosity, willing to share with others. These spiritual investments will provide a beautiful foundation for their lives and secure for them a great future, as they lay their hands upon the meaning of true life. 1 Tim. 6:18-19 (TPT)
The kingdom of heaven is like a [very precious] treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid again; then in his joy he goes and sells all he has and buys that field [securing the treasure for himself]. Mt. 13:44 (AMP) Under rabbinic law, if someone working a field comes upon a treasure and lifts it out, it would rightfully belong to the owner of the field. So in the parable, the man first arranges to buy the field.
The treasure is a gift but the field will cost you.
Give What Is Asked of You
Jesus once asked a rich young man to make an extravagant spiritual investment. Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me. Mk. 10:21 The man was too attached to his wealth and so he went away with a heavy heart. Mk. 10:22
The disciples observed this encounter and were challenged at the cost of following Jesus. He assured them: No one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields, along with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. Mk. 10:29-30
The bottom line is that everyone’s story has a unique thread. What the Lord asks of me He may not ask of you. The goal is to respond in obedience. The assurance is that everyone will receive much more in return.
The Apostle Paul wrote the bulk of the epistles, our guidelines for Christian living. He invested his life with an eternal focus in mind. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 1 Cor. 9:25 His last letter contains a beautiful epilogue reflecting his heart’s pursuit.
For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. 2 Tim. 4:6-8
In all of the sufferings and trials he endured for the kingdom, Paul was confident of his future. I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day. 2 Tim. 1:12 The word picture here for “entrusted” is of “one who has to take a long journey and deposits his valuables with a friend, trusting him to restore it on his return.”
Our spiritual investments, stockpiled treasures, are safely deposited with God.
Our responsibility is to ensure that God’s investments are safely deposited with us. 2 Tim. 1:14
The life which at first was God’s deposit with us, becomes our deposit with God.