Buying the Right Spiritual Stock
Unless you have been living in a bunker somewhere or have been fasting from the news the last couple months, you know that our economy has taken a hit. Unemployment has climbed at the hightest rates since the Great Depression. The stock market has fallen rapidly over the last 8 weeks. And there are daily pleas to reopen the economy everywhere to get it back on track.
However, it's during these moments that financial advisors might tell you to take an inventory of your financial portfolio. There are stocks in your portfolio that you should have sold long ago. Stocks that maybe were never worth your investment. But there are other stocks that are good buys now. Stocks that you should move quickly to invest today.
Can I tell you that the same is true of our spiritual lives? Now is a good time to sell some of the unwise investments that you have made over the years. And it's an excellent time to reinvest your time, your energy, your very life in other pursuits.
So, what should Christians be thinking about investing in these days?
BUY: "Time with Your Family"
Hopefully, you have felt the blessings of spending intentional and uninterrupted time with your family during this season as I have. For so long, I can prioritize everything in my life—even good things like the church—over my family. Yet, the Lord can call another pastor to Christ Fellowship Church, but he has called Lance to pastor this family. At the end of my life, I will never regret the investments I have made in my wife and kids.
I can already hear the groaning through the internet already. Trust me, I love watching football with friends. My favorite holiday is March Madness. A Sunday afternoon nap watching the final round of the US Open is always heavenly. (Side note: I think we can all agree that baseball never has to come back again.)
However, we must confess that many of us have made too great an investment in sports and haven't received the return we had hoped. I am not saying never watch a game again. I am saying it's a better investment to spend time with your kids, drink coffee with your wife, meditate on the book of Ephesians than it is to follow all recruiting, reading every blog, and zoning out for every game in front of the TV.
We talked about this last Sunday with the Lord's Prayer. Jesus is teaching us what the priorities of our prayer life should be. Really, he's teaching us the priority of prayer in our lives. I can promise you this with no hesitiation, you will not regret one single prayer that you pray on this side of eternity.
For all eternity, we will rejoice in the investment we have made to know the Lord and to advance his mission through prayer. Think about this, you are taking part in the gospel getting to the nations by praying fervently in your home. What better investment could there be? Try it for a couple weeks, I promise you won't be asking for your time back.
SELL: "Technology" (Smartphone, Social Media, Newsites)
For many of us, this is where we are making our greatest investments of time these days. One recent study found that the average iPhone user touches his or her phone 2,617 times a day. 2,617 times! That is unbelievable! We invest so much time on scrolling through news articles, swiping pictures, catching up with acquaintances that we probably will never see again the rest of our lives. While at the same time, we miss our spouses and children sitting in the same room in front of us. If stay-at-home orders have taught us anything, it's that smartphones will not deliver to us what we have invested in them.
BUY: "The Church"
If your smartphone has been exposed as an unwise investment, hopefully, you have seen that the church is worth buying more stock in today. You could never survive the rest of your life on an island with your smartphone. Instagram will not sustain you. However, you could survive with the precious gift of gospel community.
Maybe up to this point in your life, the church hasn't been seen as worthy of your time. Maybe you would attend once or twice a month but it has never really cost you much. I pray that one blessing that will come from COVID-19 is that the people of God will never again underestimate the worthwhile investment of gathering faithfully and covenanting wholeheartedly with a local church.
SELL: "Video Games"
Hopefully, this one is pretty self-explanatory. Another study from Philip Zimbardo's research is that the average guy spends ten thousand hours playing video games by age twenty-one. Shaking my head. As John Mark Comer so eloquently said, "You could memorize the New Testament. Or, you could beat level four of Call of Duty."
Of course, we can't buy more of Jesus. Jesus is not for sale. Jesus is a gift of grace that none of us could ever afford. However, the goodness of God is that he does not withhold Jesus from us but lavishes more and more of his grace on us. He forgives us of all our sin in Jesus and he clothes us in Jesus' righteousness.
The daily investment that we make following Jesus and taking time to behold his glory will never compare to the investment of grace that he has given to us. We are debtors of his mercy and grace forever. So spend all your life on treasuring Jesus above everything else and for all eternity you will never regret that investment.