A week or two ago, I had a forthright conversation with a financial advisor. With retirement in mind, we were consumed with looking at the dollars saved, rates of return, fees associated with the process and so on. And of course, such financial investments are important.
But the truth is, one of these days you and I will stand before the Lord and give an account of another kind of investment…our spiritual investment in people.
In the ’80s, the singer Ray Boltz had a very popular Christian song entitled, “Thank You.” In that song, he postulated about the encounters that may take place our first few days in heaven and the gratitude we might hear as we visit with people whose lives were changed because of our spiritual investment in them.
Maybe we will see an old next-door neighbor whom we are surprised to see. He might share, “I know you weren’t aware, but I was watching you. And because of what I saw in your daily life, I came to trust in your Savior too.”
Or a child might run up and explain that he was in our rowdy Sunday school class. He was the restless one in the back. He might explain, “As I made my way through my teenage years, I couldn’t help but remember your words and your kindness. I trusted Christ as my Lord in youth camp, but it really was because of you.”
And then we might bump into someone from a different culture. They don’t look anything like us. And in broken English they explain, “We have never met, but because of your financial generosity, a missionary made their way to my village and I became a believer in Jesus Christ. I am here because of you.”
A group might begin to gather around us, people of various age groups. And then it might dawn on us; we are seeing our grand children, great grand children and great, great grandchildren. Standing there are generations who worship the Lamb because of our spiritual investment in our family.
You talk about a “return on investment!”
I am not exactly sure how we will come to recognize these folks in glory, but I am confident that God will richly reward us for each and every spiritual investment. It is part of “laying up treasures in heaven.” (Matthew 6:20)
So this week let’s all take a few moments and daydream about those first few moments in eternity and be encouraged to do some more intentional investing. I don’t know that we will actually hear folks say “thank you.” But I do know the Lord wants to say “well done.”