Friday, March 15, 2002
It seems as if almost no one could foresee the impending collapse of energy giant, Enron. People continued to invest in Enron right up to the announcement of their financial crisis. Many of their employees have been seriously hurt by the possible loss of their retirement funds they had invested in the company. Many outside investors have lost everything they invested. One news report indicated that virtually all investment analysts were recommending investing in Enron almost to the end. The scope of the financial disaster may be unfolding for years. Who could have guessed that this seemingly rock-solid investment could turn out to be worth nothing in the end?
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A WORD WITH YOU today about "Investing Where You Cannot Lose".
In a sense, any earth-concern or earth-stuff we invest in is going to turn out to be worth nothing in the end -- even if our financial dividends and profits continue to grow. But "in the end" means "eternity" - where only things that last forever will prove to have been life's most profitable investments.
In our word for today from the Word of God in 1 Timothy 6, beginning with verse 17, God talks about those who "put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain" - hey, even our headlines remind us how true that is. God goes on to say, "Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way, they will lay up treasure for themselves, as a firm foundation for the coming age..." God directs us to invest our time, our money, our energies in things that will last forever. Like people's lives.
You may not be getting rich. In fact, you may barely be making it. Maybe your name is virtually unknown and the work you do largely unnoticed. But if you're really affecting the lives of people around you, you are building up a stock portfolio in Heaven, Incorporated that's going to make you an eternal millionaire! The impact of your life isn't measured by the size of your bank account or the title on your business card - it's the number of lives who will say about you in heaven, "He or she made the difference for me!"
As our children left for school each morning, I would tell them to "GO MAD" that day. No, I wasn't encouraging them to be insane. They knew that "GO MAD" means "Make A Difference. God didn't put you here primarily to make money, to make friends, or to make an impression. He put you here to make a difference! If you're not investing your best in that, then you're missing what you're here for! And there is no greater difference you can make for someone than to help them be in heaven with you forever - by telling them about Jesus.
Ray Boltz has a song that has really touched a lot of us over the last few years. It's about people who have given quietly to the Lord's work, who have faithfully taught their Sunday School class, or who have said a word for the Lord. The song "Thank You" paints this beautiful picture of people you've unknowingly touched, either directly or indirectly, coming up to you in heaven and thanking you for helping them to be there.
Recently, a friend of mine was asked to sing that song at his grandparents' funeral - they went home to heaven with just a couple of days between their partings. It was hard for him to get through that chorus - "Thank you for giving to the Lord. I am a life that was changed. I am so glad you gave." But on the final chorus of that song, Steve looked down at his grandparents' caskets and sang - "Thank you for giving to the Lord." Then, with his heart and his eyes full, he said "I am a life that was changed!" Will there be people who will say that about you?