What does it mean to earn returns? To earn returns means to gain or receive profit on a committed capital (an investment). Usually, the capital and the gains earned belong to the individual who provided the capital.
Although whatever we own belongs to God (we are simply stewards – see Psalm 24:1), we can legally and rightfully earn returns on it for ourselves. You might ask, “How in the world can anyone gain returns on what belongs to another person?” Well, in God’s economy, it is very simple. Spend God’s money and resources wisely and generously: don’t be stingy, and the returns will pile up for you in heaven (see Luke 18:22). What a brilliant idea! After all, earthly riches are temporary; we do not take our possessions in moving trucks with us when we die.
Paul says to the young preacher Timothy, “Command them (the rich) to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasures for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life” (1 Timothy 6:18-19 NIV).
In the parable of the shrewd manager, for instance (see Luke 16:1-9), the manager falsified debtors’ records that cost his employer lots of money. He came up with a scheme in preparation for his future, thinking these debtors would be kind to him when he was broke after being fired by his employer. But in our case as Christians, we don’t have to falsify anything; we have God’s permission to use all that He has entrusted to us for His glory and for our benefit (see Matthew 6:19-20).
So Christian, what are you doing with what God has entrusted to you? Are you holding onto it tightly? Remember, “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously” (2 Corinthians 9:6 NIV). So let it go. It is not yours anyway; allow it to work for your future!
“How?” you ask. Meet the needs you see around you, give to God’s work, and Jesus’ response to you will be, “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you took me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me” (Matthew 25:35-36 NIV).
If we don’t invest what God has entrusted to us now, we cannot hope for any future returns. If you’d like to hear God say to you, “Well done good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your Master’s happiness” (Matthew 25:21 NIV), then do this: START TODAY PUTTING GOD’S RESOURCES TO WORK to benefit others!