It is an indispensable fact of human existence that we are not self-sufficient beings. Our very lives depend on procuring and consuming certain amounts of food and water, and our bodies are often poorly equipped to cope with our environment without adequate clothing and protection. But these basic necessities of food, clothing, and shelter are external to us, so we must acquire them in order to survive. It follows that acquisition is fundamental to human life—if we do not acquire, we die.
But the pursuit of such basic needs is certainly not the sole purpose of mankind’s existence. While all creatures must acquire sustenance, mankind, made in the image of God, was created with much more sophisticated capacities for a far greater purpose. God first established humans as stewards of His creation, tasked with the special responsibility to study the earth and its creatures (science) and then apply that knowledge (technology, commerce) for the optimum benefit of mankind and the earth—all for His glory (Genesis 1:28). Therefore, an essential part of true biblical stewardship includes the sound investment and application of those resources God has granted to each of us.
Today, some Christians may deny this, viewing those fellow believers who are financially motivated as temporal-minded or too focused on building “bigger barns” (Luke 12:17-19). This may be true for some, but it certainly doesn’t apply to all. On the contrary, the Bible contains many examples showing our responsibility for prudent investing, and nowhere is this more clearly illustrated than in the familiar parable of the talents from Matthew 25.
In this passage, Christ tells the story of a master who gave various portions of his estate to three servants before leaving on an extended trip, expecting each man to invest what had been entrusted to him. The Scriptures do not specify how the first two servants invested, but it is clear that they did and were commended and rewarded for earning a return. The last man buried his share and incurred the terrible wrath of the master, who called him a “wicked and lazy servant” and promptly stripped his portion from him (Matthew 25:26-28). The parable portrays this simple truth: Whatever resources God has provided, He expects believers to invest and grow that portion entrusted to them.
While the parable’s main emphasis pertains to the signs of a true believer and the resulting rewards in the heavenly Kingdom, it also squarely applies to the wise investment of our resources, financial or otherwise, that God has graciously provided here on Earth. The Lord evaluates service and gives rewards in relation to the believer’s motivation and opportunity, calling for more from those with greater ability and resources. He rightly expects something in return, for every true believer is “His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works” (Ephesians 2:10). And since “faith without works is dead” (James 2:20), a life with no evidence of good works is not a life of authentic faith in Christ.
Whatever portion God has given you—whether in skill, influence, or wealth—He calls all believers to invest faithfully in His work here on Earth. How are you managing your portion for the Lord? Why not “invest” with ICR, a ministry dedicated to the perfect Word of God and uniquely invested in the work of the Kingdom? As a ministry, we commit to steward your portion wisely and effectively for the cause of Christ so that, together, our service will lead to a rich heavenly return that will please the Master.
*Mr. Morris is Director of Donor Relations at the Insti-tute for Creation Research.