2006-01-30 - A Good Return on His Investment
Are You Bringing the LORD a Good Return on His Investment?
From Isaiah 55
Everyone who cares to have a useful and fulfilling life should realize that it would be wise to look for productive outlets for their time, efforts, and money rather than to waste them. If we invest our money into a piece of property, in the stock market, or just into a savings account, we do it expecting that it will bring back to us some amount of increase over time. It would be pointless for us to work forty hours a week at a place of employment, and not expect that we will receive a fair income in return for our outgoing efforts.
What should the LORD Jesus Christ expect from the investment of His blood and His life - lovingly and faithfully given in exchange for our lives? Why should we come to Jesus and ask for the extreme privilege of cleansing our souls and our consciences from guilt and shame and then do little or nothing thereafter, to return honor and glory to His name and to add to His fame? When our hearts, souls, minds and often even more dramatically, our bodies have been set free of sin-sickness and a despairing future- to receive, instead, the promise of abundant and eternal life we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to our Benefactor. His Word sown into us must not return to Him void.
We asked for forgiveness, and Christ freely and fully pardoned us. Why, then, should we continue to use all of our time, efforts and money to selfishly bring food and pleasure to our bodies and minds - with no lasting satisfaction for our souls? We should fear the same judgment from the LORD as in Mark 11:20, when He withered the unproductive fig tree. Just as the rain comes down from the sky to water the earth and make it "bud and flourish", so the Word of the LORD comes into our hearts to produce a harvest of righteousness and spiritual prosperity both in us and in the world around us.
If we are not budding and flourishing with the continual joy and exuberant witness that shows that Jesus is alive in us, we need to get down on our knees, tilt our heads back, reach up to the heavens, and fervently pray for a refilling of the Holy Spirit. As the Bread of Life refurbishes our souls, we are revitalized in effectiveness for the Spirit's use. Some of us who are "too busy with life" may need to do this every day of our lives.
For further thought on giving back to the LORD what He deserves, John 15:1-8 tells us to show that we are His disciples by bearing "much fruit". As a meditation on bringing Jesus a good return on His investment, we could consider that the Spirit of God is a divine Business Manager. John 15:26-27 says He invests truth and love into every believer, with the specific intent to make it possible for us to know all about the LORD. He then sends us to testify to that truth to go out and "bear fruit."
Father in Heaven we humbly ask that you forgive our past lack of concentration on bearing much fruit for your Son and our LORD, Jesus Christ. Please fill us with the joy of serving, and make us useful and responsible in the body of Christ. Your Word tells us you will give us whatever we ask in Jesus' name so we ask that your Spirit will remind us every day, to make that day bring a good return on the extreme grace and mercy that you have shown to us. In the name of Jesus, make it be so. Amen.
I love you all with the love of the LORD -- Brother Bob.