home > Pastor’s Desk > 2022 > December 2nd > HOW TO BE A SUCCESSFUL INVESTOR (OF MORE THAN JUST MONEY)

In the now classic 1926 story by George Samuel Clason, The Richest Man in Babylon, set in ancient Babylon around 4,000 years ago, he describes the frustration that a craftsman was experiencing because of his inability to get ahead. His clients were wealthy aristocrats who always seemed to be always getting richer. Yet, no matter how hard he worked he always seemed to be barely making ends meet. This led him to investigate how one might change his circumstances from struggling to succeeding. The result of his investigation was aided by an opportunity to talk with ‘the richest man in Babylon’ who told him that there was only one way for anyone to change their circumstances from poor to rich: invest. This, the wealthy man told the craftsman, was what all those who were rich did, and it was not what anyone poor was doing. The advice this craftsman received (and then implemented) was not a get-rich-scheme, but rather, it was a plan that involved budgeting, saving, and investing. The craftsman implemented the plan and, over time, he too became rich.

But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant!
You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed?
Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers,
and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest.
Matthew 25:26-27

 

HOW TO INVEST

Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it…he who doesn’t…pays it.
― Albert Einstein

Investing to most people involves money. Money usually represents the exchange of a person’s time, which is a portion of their life. With money a person can live – but our Creator does not want anyone to live for money (Heb. 13:5). But our Creator has designed this world to be able to abundantly provide for every inhabitant of this planet because He has made a significant investment into this world to enable it to be so. When God created Adam and the First Woman, it was an investment into this world. This investment would eventually result in the world’s billions of people who have since been born. God is therefore the Ultimate investor. And it should be readily seen that He has created His image-bearers to also be investors. It’s no accident that after the first eleven foundational chapters of Genesis, the remaining chapters all narrate the stories of significant investors: Abraham (Gen. 24:35); Isaac (Gen. 26:12); Jacob (Gen. 30:43); and Joseph (Gen. 41:49, 56).

In Robert Kiyosaki’s 1997 best-selling book, Rich Dad Poor Dad, he states that there are 6 levels of financial investing beginning with:

(i) saving money; then

(ii) banking your money; then

(iii) investing into a cash-management/mutual fund; then

(iv) investing into a business such as shares or a rental property. 

“Investing involves taking a risk that also usually involves a sacrifice – in the hope and likelihood – that it will produce increase, multiplication and growth.”

It’s not just business-people who are investors. Farmers are investors. Gardeners are investors. Mothers and fathers are investors. Kids church workers, Youth pastors, Home Group Leaders, and worship team leaders are all investors. In fact, we are all investors – it’s just that some people have learned how to do it well. Dave Ramsey is someone who has learned to do it well. By the age of 26 Dave had become a multi-millionaire from flipping real-estate. He then over-extended his business loan and without notice his bank was acquired by another bank who demanded that he clear his multi-million dollar loan immediately. As a result, Dave Ramsey went bankrupt. When he hit rock-bottom he was determined to recover. It was at this time that he encountered Christ. His newfound faith in Christ led him to search the Scriptures to learn everything that God had said about handling money. Dave concluded that God instructed His people to manage their money by doing 5 things – including investing. By doing these five things Dave Ramsey has now become a multi-millionaire again which has enabled him to live debt-free and to undertake much philanthropic projects. His five things that he sees prescribed in God’s Word for every believer is a little different from Kiyosaki’s list.

(i) Set a monthly budget and keep to it.

(ii) Get out of debt and cease using credit cards.

(iii) Tithe.

(iv) Save.

(v) Invest.

His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.
You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much.
Enter into the joy of your master.’
Matthew 25:31

INVESTING MORE THAN JUST MONEY

¶ The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly,
and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
Second Corinthians 9:6

Followers of Christ should learn: how to live with financial integrity; how to live debt-free; and, how to invest their money. John Wesley reported said that believers should earn as much as they can, save as much as they can, and give as much as they can. Some believers have mistakenly said that they don’t care about money. In one sense this is a correct attitude toward money (Jer. 9:23), but in another sense it does not reflect the overall message of God’s Word about how a believer should regard money. The Bible calls believers to steward (“manage”) their money wisely (1Cor. 4:2). Handling money wisely enables a husband and father to provide for his wife and children, build reserves for life’s unforeseen circumstance, and save for the future when there will no further income from his employment.

But investing does not just involve money – especially for the believer. The principles of investing also apply to our own lives by investing into our relationship with Christ through deepening our knowledge of God and His Word; prayerfully growing our capacity to serve Him; worshipfully learning how to emulate the attitudes of Christ in dealing with people, and sharing our time to serve and help others. You can invest into your own life by taking the time to learn, receive training, and develop new skills.

¶ You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus,
and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses
entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.
Second Timothy 2:1-2

Perhaps one of the most rewarding ways a believer can invest more than just money is by investing their time, expertise, experience, and presence into others. Mothers and fathers naturally do this with their own children. Any mother will tell you that mothering several children is a very demanding job that requires much sacrifice on their part but that they do it gladly because they know that the time and training they invest to the sons and daughters will one day produce a huge dividend. Elders and pastors within a church do the same thing for those in their church community. And God will often use you to invest briefly into the soul of another just for a significant moment with a word of encouragement or a timely gift.

If we want to see future generations of believers seeking the Lord and striving to serve Him more passionately, it will require that we each become prayer investors. Do you realise that your prayers will ‘live’ on after you have long passed away? You can begin to invest prayers by praying for those who will be ministering God’s Word the following Sunday. You can invest your prayers into the next generation of leaders within our church by praying for their future development. And you can, as I do, be praying for leaders of our church and state that are yet to be born! Be a prayer investor! 

 

THE CHALLENGE TO BECOME AN INVESTOR

Let me sum up. The most basic form of investing was described by Christ in the parable of the talents where He described it as putting money with the money-lenders to earn interest. Albert Einstein stated that compound interest is “the eighth wonder of the world”! When some people hear the word ‘investing’ they might think that it only involves money. Investing involves thinking about present action and the future consequences of those actions. And then acting in a way that sacrifices present income to invest in a richer future. Understood in a much broader sense, investing can – and should – mean thinking about much more than just money. It can involve investing time, effort, wisdom, training, and prayer. Investing done well results in increased wealth and riches which is not just limited to financial rewards. It is exemplified in the biblical promise, “You reap what you sow.” Each generation is responsible to steward the resources that are at its disposal. These resources are managed by individuals, families, communities, states, nations and the Church. Church leaders have a duty to invest well into the spiritual resources that shape culture to the glory of God so that a tree is planted for the next generations will be the ones who enjoy its shade. Will you invest your life, your time, talents, and treasure into a future reward that you may not even live to witness or enjoy?

¶ These all died in faith, not having received the things promised,
but having seen them and greeted them from afar,
and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.
Hebrews 11:13

Your Pastor,

Andrew

Let me know what you think below in the comment section and feel free to share this someone who might benefit from this Pastor’s Desk.

3 Comments

  1. LYDIA

    Thank you Andrew. I like your ‘punchline’…
    ¶ These all died in faith, not having received the things promised,
    but having seen them and greeted them from afar,
    and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.
    Hebrews 11:13
    Sowing into a soul for a moment or more, tilling the earth so to speak, knowing there is enough in and on this earth to care for all the billions of people that live on this planet. Its just what you do with what you have, knowing, as the book of Hebrews says, we are but strangers and exiles passing thru.
    While there is life we can certainly redo, which you pointed out. Therefore, its where our focus is, either on ourselves aiming to be rich – or on the Giver of life, who we put first in our lives and then, blessings of ‘all’ kinds abound, often too numerous to mention.

    Reply
  2. Norman Macdonald Macdonald

    I find investing in relationships challenging and rewarding and unlimited as well as the various ones you have pointed out. Keep on preaching it brother.

    Reply
  3. Prince

    Thanks so much Pastor Andrew, for sharing such balance and insiring truth. I have long wanted to visit Austrailia, l currently live and serve a Church in the United State and my contact number is 646 209 6255, Prince is my name.

    Reply

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