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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Invest in this secret "super account" that the government can't touch (because they don't even know it's there)

The government taxes us, and taxes us, then taxes us some more. Tired of getting squeezed like a lemon, just so the fat cats can get fatter?
If you could invest in something that they can't touch, and that won't be affected by inflation and other economic swings, would you?

Sad but true... you can't take it with you

Image result for money  and time image
There's a time limit on how long we get to use and enjoy our earthly possessions. We all know that whatever money and stuff we gain that remains at the end of our lives will stay here when we die.  And some of it may very well be taken by people we don't want to have it - like the government, greedy relatives, leechy lawyers, and smelly bankers.

Glad it's true... you can send it ahead of you

"You can't take it with you" is an unchangeable fact. But there is another mucho more powerful economic fact concerning planning and investing for your future.    

God recently revealed to me that I needed to put away more for my future. I had been making small investments here and there. But He showed me that I needed to really step up my game. It made me think hard about the investments I had been making. God impressed upon me this Bible passage that I had read many times. Jesus said,  

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6)

I've believed these words since the first time I read them many years ago. But recently they have carried a heavier meaning for me personally. Part of the reason for this is the fact that I'm not getting any younger. And I'm thinking more seriously about the investments I'm making.

Up to this point in my life, the investing I was doing was important, but most of it I was only going to enjoy for such a short time - the years I have left in this life. I'm 47 now, so that wouldn't be a very long time compared to my future immortal existence in God's kingdom.

So I had a choice:

Invest more for a quickly evaporating future in this life
 - OR - 
Invest more for a future that will never end

It's not easy to delay enjoyment. But at this point of my life this decision was pretty easy to make.   

How to store up treasure for yourself in heaven

Step 1: Open your secret super account in heaven

You must first open your heavenly account so you can make deposits. You do this by coming humbly to the bank owner - Jesus. You can't build up savings in heaven until you are saved by Jesus. When you come to Him, He will reconcile you to Himself by forgiving you of your sins. And He will give you a new, better life. When you come to know Jesus, your account is open - no social security number required, no debit card or checkbook required. Best of government regulations or taxes.

Step 2: Make deposits into your heavenly account

All that you do for and with Jesus builds your heavenly bank account that you can enjoy forever in the next life. And that bank account will NEVER be negatively affected  by anything on the earth. Jesus is running the heavenly system, not the greedy men of earth. You can trust in His power and faithfulness to protect what you've invested.

Image result for money  and time imageHere's one example Jesus gives us of how someone stores up treasure in heaven.

"Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward." (Mark 9:41)

Giving a cup of water in Jesus' name - that's pretty simple. You can make large deposits and small deposits into your heavenly account. The point is - make deposits.

You and others will be blessed immediately in this life when you do things in Jesus' name. And you'll store up treasure for yourself in heaven to enjoy in the next life. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

But this isn't just about how you spend your money. It's also about how you spend your time. Are you spending your time and money on Jesus' behalf?

Ways to build your heavenly account

Following are some things that will grow your heavenly account:

  • Give to the needy secretly (Proverbs 19:17; Luke 6:27-36)
  • Do good to your enemy (Proverbs 25:21-22; Matthew 5:43-48)
  • Suffer persecution for following Jesus (Matthew 5:11-12)
  • Pray secretly (Matthew 6:5-6)
  • Fast secretly (Matthew 6:16-18)
  • Be welcoming to God's people (Matthew 10:40-42)
  • Work to help others know Jesus (1 Corinthians 3:5-9; 1 Corinthians 9:17)
  • Do good deeds in Jesus' name (Ephesians 6:7-8)
  • Seek God seriously (Hebrews 11:6)
  • Fear and respect God (Revelation 11:18)

Are you doing any LONG TERM financial planning?

Jesus told the following story of a man who thought he was wisely planning his future:

15 Then [Jesus] said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” 16 And He told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ 18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’ 20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ 21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12)

There's a lot to learn from this story. What stood out to you as you read it? Does it cause you to rethink anything you're doing for the future?

Let's say as an example that your financial planning is not "rich toward God" and starts when you're 25 years old and encompasses the rest of your earthly life - say until you're 85. That's a 60-year plan. That's relatively "long term." But what is it compared to being "rich toward God" and planning for your next life, which will last forever? All of a sudden, your 60 year plan looks pretty short-sighted.

There's nothing wrong with investing and saving for this life. It's good to try to be prepared. But is that all you're doing? Ask yourself, "Where is my treasure, on earth or in heaven?"

Who will you live for?

Here's Jesus' desire for our mindset. This was written to people who have already done Step 1 above.

"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory." (Colossians 3)

This isn't always easy to do. Earthly things are constantly bombarding us and trying to steal our attention. This is a mental and spiritual battle. Are you willing to fight this battle? If so, Jesus will empower you for the victory. Realizing that this world is so very temporary should help us to set our minds on Jesus and our never-ending future in the next life.

The following is one of my favorite Bible verses. It's also one that challenges me constantly to consider how I live my life. Sometimes I fail. Sometimes I succeed. Nobody said life would be easy.

And [Jesus] died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again. (2 Corinthians 5:15)

Is there any higher calling in life than to live for our Savior, the One that has done so much for us, and has such a great future for us? Bonus: As we live for Him, we store up treasure for ourselves in heaven.


P.S. - Merry Christmas to all. Celebrate Christ this Christmas. He is the reason for every season.

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