God woke me up early this morning with a very challenging, yet encouraging, message on my heart: “I’m looking for a return on My investment.”
If you’ve spent any time in the business world, you are familiar with this principle. Those who invest money in a business venture don’t do so just for altruistic reasons—they expect their investment to grow and give them a return. This “Return On Investment” is commonly abbreviated ROI.
God loves us. He wants to meet our needs. He’s a generous Heavenly Father who loves to bless His children. But make no mistake about it: God is an investor.
Take another look at the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30. The master was a businessman. He distributed his resources to his three servants in differing amounts, but he expected each of them to gain a ROI.
You see, the master was an investor, and he expected his servants to understand that fact. He wanted them to be investors too, gaining an increase on what they had been given.
Let’s understand this clearly: The master didn’t want his servants merely to be CONSUMERS or HOARDERS. He expected them to be profitable INVESTORS.
Two of the three servants in this story got it right. “The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more” (v. 16 NLT). According to The Message, this servant “doubled his master’s investment.” This was an impressive 100% ROI.
Sadly, the third servant was a hoarder. He wanted to play it safe, so he merely buried his allotted resources in the ground. When the master returned, this man proudly told him, “I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent” (v. 25 MSG). At least this servant hadn’t consumed everything he had been given, as some of us might have done.
But instead of being impressed, “The master was furious” (v. 26). He had expected the servant to exercise some faith, take some initiative, and gain a ROI.
I saw this principle at work when I inherited some money several years ago. Wary of the fluctuations of the stock market, my first thought was to just put the money in a savings account at the bank, where my inheritance would be safe. But my banker called me one day and confronted me on this. He pointed out that the rate of inflation was higher than the interest rate on my savings account. So my “play it safe” strategy was actually losing money every month.
God has made a huge investment in His people. He gave us His Son and, with Him, everything else we could ever need (Romans 8:32). He promises to bless us, but in turn He expects us to BE a blessing, so that His name and fame are spread throughout the earth (Genesis 12:1-3).
Perhaps you don’t have a lot of money today, but that is not the point. The third servant may have tried to excuse his hoarding by the fact that he didn’t have as much to start with as the others.
The question isn’t what you don’t have, but rather this: What are you doing with the money, time, talents, relationships, and resources you do have? As God is challenging me, let me ask you today: What has the Lord put in your hands? Whatever it may be, He wants you to use it to bless others, thereby gaining a return on His investment.
What ideas has He given you that you’ve never yet acted upon? What teachings from His Word have remained dormant in your heart, never yet implemented? What God-given dreams have you merely buried in the ground?