Tim Owens, pastor
Fellowship Baptist Church, Chickamauga
We are bombarded with commercial advertisements on how to invest our money. There are radio and television shows dedicated to the topic. You have some people so caught up in get-rich-quick schemes that they throw good reasoning out the window and make really bad investment decisions just trying to make a quick dollar.
Then, you have some people so afraid of losing everything that they procrastinate until it is too late.
I remember hearing several years ago about a celebrity who was able to take a $1,000 investment and turn it into $100,000 in ten months’ time. How do we make sense of all this? Where can we turn for some advice? For believers in Jesus Christ, I believe the Bible has all the answers we need.
Many people do not think investing money is a “spiritual” issue. However, the principles found in God’s Word should guide every aspect of our lives. We are to be good stewards of all that God has entrusted to us.
Timely financial principals from King Solomon
In the Book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon gives us some timely wisdom regarding wealth. He gives us two main principles we can keep in mind as we look at this study. The first principle he gives us is “don’t be consumed with the quest for wealth” and the second principal is “don’t fall into poverty through laziness or misfortune.” There has to be a balance between these two principals.
If your whole life is consumed by the desire to have great wealth, you will be miserable. I remember hearing a story attributed to John D. Rockefeller when he was asked one time by a reporter, “How much money is enough?” Mr. Rockefeller’s attributed response was, “Just a little bit more”. He was never satisfied with his great wealth.
Cast your bread upon the waters – Ecclesiastes 11:1-2
There is an old proverb that dates back to 1617 from A. Swetam. It states, “He is a fool which will adventure all his goods in one ship.” There is some good wisdom in that phrase. We understand that if you put all your goods in one ship and that ship goes down you have lost everything.
In Ecclesiastes 11:1 King Solomon tells us to “Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days.” Solomon, in essence, is telling us the same thing. Diversify your investments. Be wise and use common sense in the way we invest our money. If we use a diversity strategy and one of our investment vehicles takes a loss we will not lose every thing.
The last part of this verse gives us the reason why, “For you will find it after many days.” If we invest diversely and wisely we can hope or expect a profitable return on our investment.
God tells us we should invest wisely. Multiple places in the Bible, God instructs us to work so we can give to others in need.
“Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth” Eph. 4:28 (also, Deut. 24:19-21). In verse number two we see a Hebrew form of the “definite for the indefinite.”
“Give a portion to seven or even to eight.” This is the same style of writing we see in Matthew 18:22 — “Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, until seven times: but, until seventy times seven.” This is teaching us not to limit to a specific number but to many. God wants us to diversify our investment.
That will allow us to spread the risk and hopefully gain a good profit we can, in turn, give to those in need.
Challenges may come up – Ecclesiastes 11:3-4
Life is unsure. We never know what problems, challenges, or misfortunes might arise, but that does not mean we do not need to act. Pray for godly wisdom and step out in the direction that God leads you in.
To not act because of fear can be catastrophic to our finances. Remember, God did not give us the spirit of fear! Use godly wisdom and step out in faith and obedience.
Leave it in the Master’s hands – Ecclesiastes 11:5-6
King Solomon is teaching us in these two verses that we do not know what the outcome will be. There is so much uncertainty in this world. But, we are still to work hard and diversify our investments.
Don’t let fear keep you from doing what God has instructed us to do. Seek God’s will in your decisions. Ask God to give you the wisdom you need to make the right and proper choices. Then, leave it in the Master’s hands. Dr. Charles Stanley said it best, “Obey God and leave the consequences to Him.”
Live It Out
- Are you trusting God and walking by faith in your investments?
- Are you looking for ways that you can actively help those in need?
- Are you giving to the Lord, cheerfully, in tithes and offerings in such a way that it challenges your faith?