In high school, I spent four years studying the German language. My German teacher was a good teacher and by the time my class was in our third year of study, he was lecturing us in German about art history. By our fourth year, we were fully expected to be conversational in our skill with the language. When I went to college, I intended to continue my study in the German language and culture; however, when I learned how full my schedule would be, I set aside the desire to continue studying. Now, so many years later of never using or speaking German, I honestly could not hold a conversation in German. I can understand a fair amount if someone were to speak it to me or if I were to read text; however, I do not have the recall to speak the language. Learning a language isn't like riding a bike - if you do not use it you will lose it. Jesus told a parable about the kingdom of heaven that showed us that we are expected to use what God has given us, which takes a plan. Please use the link and read through Matthew 25:14-30.
Jesus used a lot of parables to help have an understanding of things that cannot just be explained by experiencing it. But, when He told parables, He always used current experiences and ideas of the day. The parable He told in these verses relate to three servants of a rich master who were given bags of gold (NIV) to keep while the master was away. When the master returned, he was pleased to find out that the first two servants doubled the bags of gold and they were rewarded. However, the master was displeased with the third servant because he buried the gold since he was afraid of the master. The master's response was to take the gold away from him and give it to the first two servants and to throw the third servant out of his household.
There are so many details in this parable that I just cannot mention in one small post; however, there are some things that I do want to point out today. First of all, notice that the bags of gold were clearly the master's gold and the servants still doubled his money. I think this is a good reminder that everything on earth belongs to God, which can also help change the way we look at what has been given to us. I'm not just talking about monetary or physical possessions, but I am even considering things that cannot possibly have monetary value such as family, skills, and talent. When we remember that they were all given to us from God because He wants us to use them, it can change the way we use them and the passion with which we use them. We can invest into everything that has been given to us in order to bring God glory.
If we have been given money, we can consider how to invest the money in a way that honors God. Do we invest it in the world in order to have more financial gain, or do we invest it in people in order that they may have spiritual gain? Do we invest into our family in order to grow in our faith together? Do we invest in the talents God has given us and use it to build into God's kingdom? In this parable, the servants who invested wisely were given even more but the servant who didn't invest wisely had what was given to him taken away. It takes purpose to use what God has given to us to His glory. If we are not purposefully investing into His kingdom, we will unintentionally bury what has been given to us. God wants us to look and live life with kingdom vision, not with the temporary vision of this life. That isn't always easy when we are facing the pressures this life can throw at us, but the rewards for kingdom investment is great!
What do you invest into?
This post is linked with Soli Deo Gloria.