What comes to your mind when you hear those words? If you’re like most, you probably think of in financial terms. You invest some money. You’re investing into your retirement account.
But the most significant way that we can invest is by engaging others. To give of ourselves (and the gospel) to make a difference in someone else’s life.
Recently, I’ve had opportunities to invest in several people’s lives who are either non-Christians, unchurched, or young believers. In other words, I’ve had the opportunity to spend time with the rebellious and the religious. As followers of Christ, we are called to invest in others. That means that we share our time, our concern, and maybe even our resources to let others know that we care about them. That’s exactly what Jesus did…He invested into people. Let me give you two examples of the people He invested in…one religious and one rebellious:
Nicodemus (John 3; John 7:50-51; John 19:39-42)
It’s probably difficult to get more religious that Nicodemus. He was a Pharisee and a member of the ruling council called the Sanhedrin. Although he was pressured by his fellow Pharisees, Nicodemus was very intrigued by Jesus. In fact, he went to Jesus at night (probably so he wouldn’t be seen by the other Pharisees talking to Jesus). And what did Jesus do? Jesus engaged Nicodemus. He invested in him. He answered his questions. He told Nic that he must be “born again” to enter the kingdom of God. And Jesus’ investment paid eternal dividends: Nicodemus became a believer/follower of Jesus. In fact, at Jesus’ death, Nicodemus took embalming spices to prepare Jesus’ body for burial. He and Joseph of Arimathea were the ones who took the body of Jesus and buried it.
The Woman at the Well (John 4)
We don’t know her name, but we do know her story. A Samaritan woman who had been married five times and at the time Jesus spoke to her, she was living with another man she was not married to.
And although no respectable Jewish man would have spoken to a Samaritan, much less a Samaritan woman, much less a “loose” Samaritan woman, Jesus spends time with her. He offers her “living water” that only He can bring. And that investment paid eternal dividends: she was saved, and began telling others she had met the Messiah!
Investing in others for the sake of Christ and the gospel can be messy. It can be frustrating. It can be difficult. It can be time-consuming. But, it can also be fun, exhilarating and meaningful. In fact, it’s the reason we’re here on this planet: to invest in others, by making disciples of Christ. It’s rewarding, and it can pay eternal dividends.
Whom are you investing in? Do you have someone (who’s not a believer. or who is unchurched, or far away from God) whom you’re praying for daily?
Who’s Your One? Who’s that one person (or family) you’re investing your life into theirs? Whether they’re religious (and far away from God) or rebellious (and far away from God), we should be making eternal investments!
Church, let me encourage you to invest in people:
pray for them
spend time with them
show the love of Christ with them
share the gospel with them
invite them to church
invite them to Fall Festival
Let’s invest in people…the one investment that will reap eternal dividends!