Profit or Loss?

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Mark 8:36 ESV

Do you remember as a young person, having the idea of compound interest explained to you? It usually went something like this: “If you just put away three dollars a day for the next 40 years, you will have saved $43,800; however if you figure in the interest you will earn over those same 40 years at 5% per year you will find that you have gazillions of dollars saved for retirement!” While that seemed mind-boggling to me, I still never put it into practice until much later in life.

Jesus often talked about risk and reward. He called for his disciples to risk investing everything they owned and everything they hoped for, including their families and futures for His kingdom. It’s not that Jesus was a greedy pitchman, or a con-artist parting folks from their money. Jesus in fact said things like, “Sell all you have and give to the poor…” Mark 10:21 and “…preach the gospel to the poor…” Luke 4:18. Jesus wasn’t interested in getting their financial investments, but rather their relational investments.

How different we all would be if we lavishly invested ourselves in others as much as we do in our retirement savings? Investment means putting our principle at risk. The greater the risk, the greater the reward. Can we stop and ask ourselves the question tonight,

“Who am I willing to give my life for?” Then no matter the risk, begin to daily invest your life in them and trust in God that it will be worth more than you could imagine. But before you invest, remember that risking it all on an investment is exactly what Jesus did for us all!

The Great Investment

And said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver. Matthew 26:15 NKJV

The Dow Jones measures the value of  the biggest companies in our economy and some of us invest there. But there are others called commodity traders who make their money by buying something now that they believe will have a higher value later.

As Christians we are a kind of eternal commodity trader. We have chosen to invest in Jesus No one is forced to be a believer. We must decide to put our trust in Him.

Sadly one of those closest to Jesus chose differently. Even after having observed Jesus healing the sick, raising the dead; forgiving sinners and feeding the hungry Judas still remained focused on himself. He still wanted to know what was in it for him.

Being greedy like Judas means choosing to see value differently than God does. God sees people as His best investment. But when we yield to greed it means we have chosen short term gain as our only reward.

How wonderful it is that God is the opposite of greedy! He never sees us as objects to be used or abused. When it would have been far more convenient for Jesus to remain safely in heaven He came to earth. When a comfortable retirement in some quiet place teaching willing disciples seemed appealing Jesus went to the cross. He stood still when we would have run. He refused rescue when we would have begged for help. He forgave His crucifiers when revenge would have been justified. He did all these things because He chose to love. Love has a high investment cost; but it also has an amazing reward. Jesus believed we were worth the cost of His own life.

The wonderful news is that He can be our reward and He is worth infinitely more than anything else in this universe! Living in love will mean choosing to see people as God does. His Grace gives us the privilege to buy in to the heavenly commodity exchange for free. All we need to do is sign the contract because our shares are already set aside in heaven. You will never beat the great return on investment God offers you this morning by grace. The market is already open. What will you choose to buy in to today?