Sunday, November 5

Investment Strategy

Lesson 2 of my study on Money and God.

Passage: Eph. 1:3-8 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. 5 He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8 that he lavished on us.

Lessons (especially related to God & Money):
Spiritual blessings are much more real, weightier, valuable, dependable, and solid than tangible assets, though the opposite feels true. It only makes sense to invest first in treasure in heaven, to seek first God's kingdom, and know that everything else (food, clothing, housing) will be given to me also. (Matt. 6). In reality I already possess every spiritual blessing, our inheritance, though much of it I can't access now, much like a trust a minor will have access to when they reach a certain age. Their financial decisions (such as education, wedding, etc.) can be made on the basis of what is in the trust because it is really there and really theirs.

-We should invest first in treasure in heaven, seeking first God's kingdom, and trust all our physical needs will be provided for us.
-We should make our major financial and life decisions on the basis of the spiritual blessings in trust for us. Those blessings are more solid, reliable and dependable--more real--than money in a trust fund or retirement savings account.

Are you investing first in treasure in heaven, accessing the spiritual blessings which are yours in Christ? How?
My practices of feasting on the word and abiding have been greatly strengthened over the last year. I have clarified that this week into a commitment that when I have a focused half hour or more to do work, that my first half hour will be on doing a Bible Study lesson (like this or SCF), unless I have a clear sense from God to do email, Fund Development, or other ministry tasks.

Lessons (especially related to God & Money):
The inheritance is "our inheritance"--a corporate inheritance of blessings for God's children, in which I have a share.

All the spiritual resources we have access to--including physical assets--are not only for our own personal benefit but actually belong to all God's adopted children, and we should use them accordingly.

How are you doing this?
I'm using teaching and pastoring for the sake of others and the body, within IVCF, with partners, and within my church body. I am using my body and energy for my family and those I'm serving in those arenas. I have been using my finances primarily for my family and for those we support in a regular or one-time way, rather than spending them on myself. I have continued to discipline myself not to buy items to indulge my own desires, such as electronic gadgetry, etc. Actually, I also struggle spending money on items such as clothing which are legitimate needs, as much as food is, because it feels like I'm spending it on myself. But if God has blessed me to bless others, that includes being dressed appropriate to the occasion for those I serve.

How are you going to apply today’s lesson to your life practically?
I am going to meditate on the reality that the spiritual blessings I have are more real, solid, and trustworthy than a trust fund or retirement investment. And I am going to work to be less burdened by using the blessings Christ has made available to his children, particularly in being willing to buy clothing or other needs as I have need, as long as I'm clear how they are for the benefit of the whole body and not just satisfying a whim of my own.

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