“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:19)
In my last article, I encouraged you to store treasures on earth by paying yourself first. However, we should not stop there because that is only secondary. We must love God first then our neighbor as ourselves.
Investing for your financial security should be done side by side with investing for your spiritual security. A good retirement here on earth is great but our ultimate goal is to have an awesome retirement in heaven. Retirement on earth can only last for years. Retirement in heaven is eternal.
Before anything, can I ask you something? (I guess you have no choice) – How can you help people financially when you yourself have no money? You can pray for them and give encouragement, but is that enough?
Through the years I have I learned that it’s not fun being poor especially when you care a lot. I feel really bad when someone asks me for financial help and all I can do is to pray for them. I know God will send help to people who are in need but I find it more fulfilling when the help is channeled through me. James 2:17 says, “…Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
God gave us freewill to choose our actions and I believe with this freewill, He allowed us to choose what we can be. We can – “be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:8)
Being rich only in treasure is okay but, “For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?” (Luke 9:25)
We have to strive not only to be rich in treasure but also to be rich in our faith so we don’t forfeit ourselves.
How do we invest to grow our faith?
Be aware that investing to grow one’s faith is not about doing pious and religious works. We are saved not by our faith alone or by works alone – we are saved by the grace of God. You reap the harvest of the good works you did while you are still living. It is my belief that when you die happy and fulfilled, it’s not far that you will continue to be happy after death.
My first rule in life is “Do no harm.” If you love your neighbor as yourself, you are also loving God because you obey His commandment. When you obey God, you grow in your faith.
People make mistakes and fail in life. There will be situations when you will not be able to avoid harming others whether intentionally or unintentionally. However, it’s important that you ask forgiveness to the people you have wronged simply because it is the right thing to do. In the Christian faith, forgiveness is essential.
When you forgive or when you ask forgiveness, you are putting a lump sum deposit in your “relationship account.” Loving your neighbors is investing in your relationship.
Your nearest neighbor is your family – your mom, dad, brother, sister, wife and kids.
Your investment grows when you nourish your relationships through investing in great memories!
Investing in great memories can be as simple as dining outside, or walking in the park as a family, or if your family is far away, meeting them every day using technology like Face time.
Whatever you do, make sure you do the most essential part of being together – communicate with each other. Share your dreams, talk about anything especially the things that will make you laugh. Remove all the distractions during bonding time like cellphones and cellphones and did I mention cellphones?
Your gains will depend on how much you invest. The words “how much” is not measured by how much money you spend but it is measured by how much you love.
Another way of saving for your spiritual retirement is through serving your community.
Although serving a community does not guarantee you a spot in heaven, it is a place where you can share, learn and grow your spirituality and your character. Remember, not all who say’s “Lord, Lord” will enter the kingdom of God. Serving a community is great but the more important question is – did you love your neighbor?
When save all you can, you will find true gratification.
Contentment in life is when you say - “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” Your focus in life is for the Lord not to yourself. More blessings are given to you because you care more.
Remember, “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you’” (Hebrews 13:5)
Too often we fill ourselves with material things to fill a void or a need in our lives. Let us aim to have a deep and lasting happiness that always satisfies. This can only be achieved when our lives are centered to God and not on the things we have.
God will supply all of our needs.
Live humbly even in abundance. Serve God and be content with what you have.
This is how you can save all you can.
Of course, no activity is enough without the grace of God.
Finally, let us follow the words of Paul the apostle, “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:11-13)
When you save all you can, you will multiply your ability to do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthen us.
If you think you are still poor and you have nothing to save, always remember this – “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
At the end of the day, if you think you did your best but your best is not good enough, don’t worry, there is no shortage on the grace of God and God’s grace is more than enough!
Happy Thanksgiving Canada!
God is the greatest!