It is an indispensable fact of human existence that we are not self-sufficient beings. Our lives depend on procuring and consuming sufficient food and water, and our bodies are often ill-equipped to cope with our environment without adequate covering and protection. It is little wonder, then, that food, clothing, and shelter are commonly referred to as the basic necessities of life. But these necessities are external to ourselves, so we must acquire them in order to survive. Acquisition is therefore fundamental to human life…if we do not acquire, we die.
But acquisition of 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 (Genesis 1:28), 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 God’s glory. Thus, an essential part of true biblical stewardship involves the sound and timely investment and application of the resources God has granted to each of us.
Some Christians today may deny this, portraying fellow believers who are financially motivated as temporal-minded or too focused on building "bigger barns." This may be true for some, but it certainly does not apply to all. In fact, Scripture contains many examples of our responsibility for prudent investing, nowhere more clearly illustrated than in Matthew 25 in the familiar parable of the talents.
Christ told 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. While the Scriptures do not specifically say how the first two invested, it is clear that they did…and were commended and rewarded for earning a return on the master’s investment. The last man buried his share, incurring the terrible wrath of the master and having his portion stripped from him. The truth portrayed in this parable is simple: Whatever resources God has provided, true believers are expected 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, expecting more from those with greater ability and opportunity. He rightly expects something from every true believer, for "we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto 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…all believers are called to invest faithfully in His work here on earth. ICR’s ministry, wholly committed to the perfect Word of God and uniquely positioned to defend its truths through scientific research and education, is invested heavily in the work of the Kingdom. What are you doing to invest that "portion" God has entrusted to you?
* Mr. Morris is Director of Donor Relations at the Institute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: Morris IV, H. 2011. Kingdom Investing. Acts & Facts. 40 (4): 21.