Dr. C. S. Lovett’s
MARANATHA FAMILY NEWSLETTER
THE BIG PAYOFF INVESTMENT
Money has a way of locking a person’s heart to this world. Why? Jesus explained: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Luke 12:34).
To offset this power, He offers us an exciting incentive to invest in Him, “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life” (Matthew 19:29). He is basically saying, “I will give you 10,000% interest on every penny you invest with ME. And not only that, but you can also take it with you when you go to heaven! It will be yours to enjoy forever!”
Now that is an astonishing investment opportunity—a 10,000% return. What a fantastic offer! You would think Christians would seize such an opportunity, but they don’t. Right now, there are people with money to invest who don’t know where to put it. That’s tough for people who live off of investments. They want their money to work and provide a living for themselves. Yet they all understand when they die, they can't take it with them. However, there is information on the subject, but they are looking in the wrong place. That kind of counsel is NOT found in the newspapers but in the Word of God.
INVESTING BEYOND THE GRAVE
The offer has to be accepted while we are still living on the earth, while we are still living by faith. The Lord teaches us about this in one of His parables. Jesus told His disciples: “There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. So he called him in and asked, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer’” (Luke 16:2).
Now this estate manager had a good thing going. He lived high on the hog as long as it lasted. Somehow or other, word of this got to the boss. The rich man sent word for the steward to come to his office. When the steward showed up, the owner said, “I want you to bring all your books in for an audit. I mean to check on this and if it is true, you are out of here.”
The estate manager said to himself (vs. 3 & 4), “Oh, I am in trouble. When he goes over those books, I will be out of a job for sure. I’ve got to come up with something or I will starve. I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg.” Then he hit on an idea. “I know what I will do, so that when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses. I will protect myself so that when he does kick me out, I will have a place to go.”
So he called in each of his master’s debtors. He asked the first, “How much do you owe my master?” “900 gallons of olive oil,” he replied. Then the manager said, “Take your bill, sit down quickly and make it 450.” Then he asked the second, “And how much do you owe?” “1,000 bushels of wheat,” he replied. The manager told him, “Take your bill and make it 800” (vs. 5-7).
This manager was feathering his nest. These people would all owe him. Once they go for the deal, they can’t squeal on him, or they would have to give all that money back. Because money was involved, the manager had a lot of leverage. So this steward set himself up with places to go after he was fired. Next, we read in verse 8, “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly.” You would think the master would be furious when he found out what the estate manager had done, but he wasn’t. Instead, he was impressed. He even congratulated him. The owner marveled at the way his steward protected himself knowing he was about to lose his job.
THAT'S THE STORY
In the rest of verse 8, the Lord makes the application of this story. “The people of this world are shrewder with their own kind than are the children of light.”
If I may paraphrase the Lord’s words, Jesus is saying, “Christians are NOT SMART.” At least that is the feeling behind His words. When it comes to their spiritual futures, their heavenly treasure, they don’t seem to know how to prepare for the end of their time on earth. They know the end is coming, but don’t even want to talk about it, let alone plan for it.
They know they can’t take their money with them, yet they are ignorant when it comes to SPIRITUAL investing. They must somehow feel the Lord is going to lay up treasure for them. But the Lord says, “LAY UP TREASURE FOR YOURSELVES” (Matt. 6:20).
“I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves so that when it is gone, you’ll be welcomed into the eternal dwellings” (Matt. 6:9). Here the Lord gives the TECHNIQUE for taking our money with us. However, we have to convert it into the CURRENCY OF HEAVEN.
EARTHLY MONEY is no good in heaven. Money has to be converted into heavenly currency. What is heavenly currency? The Lord tells us in our passage—FRIENDS—and those friends are people. People make up the wealth of heaven. Jesus died for people that’s why they are the real wealth.
So if you want to take any money to heaven, you will have to invest it in people. We have to invest where God invests. Doesn’t that make sense? But your investment has to be done in such a way that it helps people get ready for heaven. That’s the only way money can be converted into heavenly currency.
A PARALLEL BETWEEN THE STEWARD OF THE STORY AND US
The steward secured his future by making friends before he was kicked out of his job. Here Jesus is saying, “You do the same. Secure your future by making friends for eternity.” He is more specific when He says, “Use worldly wealth to make friends for yourselves, so when your earthly life ends, they’ll welcome you into heavenly dwellings” (vs. 9,10).
Where are we going to get better counsel than from Jesus? His advice is—to make friends for eternity by using your money SHREWDLY. Now what does Jesus mean by FRIENDS? Associates? Acquaintances? Casual contacts? No. He is referring to spiritual friends. People you expect to be with you in eternity to enjoy forever. People in whom you make a good investment.
INVESTING IN OTHERS
1. Probably the easiest way is by praying for them by name. It takes time to lift them to the Lord in prayer. That takes time, but in our day TIME equals MONEY.
2. Another way is by using tracts. If you can’t pass one tract person-to-person, then just leave it somewhere. If someone picks it up and is saved, you will have made an investment in their salvation.
3. Still another way is assisting people in Jesus’ name, making sure a life-changing book or booklet is in their hands. By that, I mean the kind that helps a person get ready to stand before the Lord on that day. If what you give them helps them to become rich in Christ and change into His likeness, you will have added a lot of treasure to your heavenly account.
To my mind, this is a fabulous way to convert earthly wealth into the currency of heaven. The more spiritual friends you make, the richer you will be in heaven! The most thrilling moment will come when the Lord Jesus says to you . . .
“WELL DONE THOU GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT!”
C. S. Lovett
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