By Rick Warren
The Bible says in 1 Timothy 6:18-19, “They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life” (NLT, second edition).
You are going to enjoy forever what you invest in Heaven, and you invest in Heaven every time you use money for good.
So how do you do that? Any financial advisor will tell you not to put all your eggs in one basket. You put your money into different funds for a balanced portfolio.
Did you know that God has given different funds that you can invest in for eternity? These funds are proven. They have a track record. They’re protected. They are risk free, and they yield enormous dividends.
1. The first investment fund is God’s Growth Fund. This is any time you invest in something that is going to grow your character. Proverbs 10:16 says, “The earnings of the godly enhance their lives, but evil people squander their money on sin.”
So how do you enhance your life with your money? You use it to grow spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally. When you use money to develop your skills and become mature, you are investing in eternity.
2. You can also invest in God’s Mutual Fund. This is every time you use money to encourage fellowship and build relationships with other believers. Romans 12:13 says, “When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.”
Why does God want you to use some of your money to show love to other believers? There are three reasons. First, it proves that you’re in God’s family. Second, it creates unity. And third, it’s a witness to unbelievers.
3. The next fund God wants you to invest in is his Service Fund. This is when you invest in eternity by using money to serve others. God wants you to take some of your money and use it to help people who are in need.
Proverbs 11:24 says, “The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller” (MSG). In other words, the more you help others, the more God blesses you. Why? Because God is a giver. He is generous, and he wants you to become like him.
4. The fourth of God’s investment funds is the Global Fund. This is when you use your money to share the Good News and bring people to Jesus. Luke 16:9 says, “Use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings” (NIV).
A lot of people have no idea what this verse means. Is it saying that you can buy friends? Not at all. It means that God wants you to invest in things that help get people into Heaven so that when you get to Heaven, they will welcome you there. It’s the greatest investment of your life!
5. The last investment fund is God’s Treasury Fund. When you give money to God as an act of worship, that’s called the Treasury Fund.
God makes a promise in Proverbs 3:9: “Honor the Lord by giving him the first part of all your income, and he will fill your barns with wheat and barley and overflow your wine vats with the finest wines” (TLB). A tithe is when you give the first 10 percent of your income to God. Anything given above a tithe is called an offering.
You can’t really give God anything, because he already owns it all. But think about the allowance you got as a child. If you went out and bought a birthday present for your mom, you’re really using her money. Does that mean she would like the gift any less? No! She cares more about the thought and the love behind the gift. God feels the same way about your giving.
The Bible says that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21 NIV). If what’s most important to you are the things of this earth, then every day you are moving further and further away from your treasure, because every day you are here on Earth, you’ve got one less day here on Earth. You’re moving further and further away from the things you’re going to leave behind.
But, if you’re investing in God’s funds and using your money to serve God’s purposes, then you’re storing up treasure in Heaven every day. You’re getting closer and closer to your treasure instead of further and further away.
Jim Elliot once said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”
Listen to the Rick Warren Series Financial Fitness