Your Spiritual Investment Horizon

Your Spiritual Investment Horizon

Instruct them to do good . . . to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.
–1 Timothy 6:18-19

Investment counselors tell us that we ought to base our investments on our time horizon–that is, if we have a certain amount of money and we are going to need it in a year, we ought to put it in the bank or under the mattress. If we have a ten-year investment horizon, we can take a few more risks, and if our investment horizon is twenty years, we can take a lot of risk, knowing that ultimately, we will have a greater payoff.

Abraham’s investment horizon was not one year, ten years, or twenty years; his investment horizon was eternity. And because he had his eyes on eternity, he could take some risks. He could give up some temporal possessions in order to earn those eternal rewards. That is why he was willing to compromise with his nephew Lot and give him first choice of the land.

What were the consequences of that compromise for Abraham? Look at Genesis 13:14-17: “The Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, ‘Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever. I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth, so that if anyone can number the dust of the earth, then your descendants can also be numbered. Arise, walk about the land through its length and breadth; for I will give it to you.’”

After Abraham willingly said, “Lord, I am letting go of this possession in order to glorify Your name,” God said, “Abraham, nothing is going to stop this land from becoming yours.”

Have you learned that lesson? Have you learned that as long as you obey God, as long as you put His interests above your own, God will take care of you better than you could ever take care of yourself? Perhaps like Lot you have bought into the world’s philosophy that says, “The way to success in life is to hold everything in my life very tightly.” No, Abraham’s story teaches us that the way to success is by holding everything important to us–our money, our relationships, our dreams–loosely. Jim Elliot, who gave his life in the mission field, said it best when he wrote, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”


Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Prodigal Nephew” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2009.

“The Journals of Jim Elliot,” ed. Elisabeth Elliot (Grand Rapids: Revell, 2002), 174.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.