By Robert Rawson

Summary: Many find their hearts failing them for fear as they watch the daily ups and downs of the stock market.

As a small boy I would sit with profound interest listening to my father tell of the challenges of the Great Depression. Confidence in the US banking system was shattered. It seemed the only safe way to secure your cash was to hide it under the mattress or bury it in a well-marked spot in the yard. Those stories have stayed with me and have led me to follow a very conservative strategy in my personal investments. My statement of philosophy would read something like this: ?Don’t invest more than you can afford to lose, and, the greater the anticipated return the greater the risk.? This of course is from a secular perspective. In today’s marketplace many find their hearts failing them for fear as they watch the daily ups and downs of the stock market. The Dow Jones and the NASDAQ are far more important than things of eternal value such as the study of God’s word, prayer and focusing on the greatest gift ever given—the life of the Son of God.

God’s word says, ? ?Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse. . .and prove me now herewith,’ saith the Lord of hosts, ?if I will not open you the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it? (Mal 3: 10). This counsel is given in the context of asking the question, Will a man rob God? Israel had apparently been unfaithful in its responsibilities to God and the people asked, ?When did we rob You?? And God responded, ?In tithes and offerings.? I can’t think of a more promising investment opportunity than to be faithful to God and receive His assurance of blessings.

Some believe this biblical counsel means that for each dollar we give, we will receive a dollar in return. A careful reading of the text will help us to understand that God’s promise is to bless us. Those blessings might be gifts of money received at just the right moment of greatest need. We could share countless testimonies that would validate this to often be the case. But God has many ways to bless His children—health, happiness, family reconciliations and countless others. He knows what is best for us. We must leave it to Him to determine what we need most.

Investing funds in banks, stock markets and in many other options may be of value to provide for one’s needs in retirement, but let us not forget that the most important investment is faithfulness to God—the investment that brings eternal value. God wants to bless His children with the most precious gift of all, His companionship throughout eternity.

Investing for the future

Hearing God

The right to lead

The debt-free church

Sound mind investing

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July–September, 2001

Investing