Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Wise Investment

The more I read the Bible the more I believe what this Blog is based on. II Timothy 3:16 - All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. All scripture includes the verses that I might think of as insignificant. Just this morning I came across one of those "insignificant" verses that I have read numerous times and never really payed much attention to it.
I Thessalonians 3: 7 - Therefore, brothers, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith.
As I read this verse I began to think about what encourages me in the midst of distress. I rarely face persecution (which may be a great topic to write on one day) but I do get distressed as Paul puts it. For me personally I think I get distressed when I begin to focus too much on me and my. I begin to look at what I have, what I don't have, what I want, what my neighbor has and on and on. In other words I am focusing on what I am investing in. For the most part it is junk! I am investing in things that don't matter. I am spending too much energy managing my investments only to watch the stock market take a hit and wipe half of it away. I am spending too much time pursuing material things only to watch them get old, out dated, expensive to maintain.

Paul, on the other hand, invested in something that brought him great joy. Paul invested in people. Paul spent his time, energy and money sharing the Gospel with people he came in contact with. He took the great commission seriously.
Matthew 28: 19, 20 - 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Paul did as Christ commanded and the investment he made paid huge dividends. In the midst of his persecution and distress he was encouraged. In the midst of being beaten, stoned, shipwrecked and the like he had joy!
II Timothy 1: 3, 4 - 3 I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy.
This comes from Paul's second letter to Timothy and was written just before Paul was killed. Paul knew he was about to be killed but in the midst of this he knew that his investment in Timothy was paying off. He knew that Timothy would continue to fight the good fight and it brought Paul great joy.

As I read this simple verse in I Thessalonians over and over and over I thought about my own life and what/who am I investing in? Am I investing in things that will only bring more distress or am I investing in things that will bring joy in the midst of distress. Paul encourages Timothy to follow in his footsteps and invest in others:
II Timothy 1: 1, 2 - 2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.
II Timothy 3: 10-14 - 10 You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11 persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it
Paul knew what would bring joy in someone's life. First and foremost was the Gospel, secondly was investing in the lives of other Believers, making disciples who would continue the work Christ has called each one of us to. So I ask: What are you investing in?

1 comment:

  1. I have so much to say to this, but only one thing that is relevant.

    "What are you investing in?"

    Us, as in we the people. When do we start?

    Glenn Poston