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Girlfriends in God - Apr. 15, 2010

April 15, 2010 

Making Wise Investments 

Mary Southerland

Today‘s Truth 
Ecclesiastes 11:1 (NCV) "Invest what you have, because after a while you will get a return."

Friend To Friend 
The investments that we make in life determine the level of contentment that we gain from life. We come into this world as self-centered beings, concerned solely with our needs and wants. Only a personal relationship with Christ can truly change that egotistical human bent. Even unbelievers attempting to soothe a troubled and unfulfilled heart invest their time and resources in charities or service organizations.  They are trying to gain life from dead things. It simply is not possible. Unfortunately, many followers of Jesus Christ have not yet learned the spiritual principle that you cannot out give God.  We falsely assume ownership of the gifts God has given us to manage on His behalf. 

The story is told of a little boy who lived in a ghetto. Because of his strong belief in God, his friends constantly teased the little boy. They taunted him saying, "If God loves you, why doesn't he take care of you? Why doesn't God tell someone to bring you shoes or send someone with a warm coat?  Where is the good food you've been asking God for?" The little boy faced his critics, thought for a moment and with tears in his eyes, softly said, "I guess He does tell somebody but somebody forgets."

We forget. We forget the wonder of what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross. He served and calls us to serve. He gave and calls us to give. And because of that precious gift, that eternal investment of love made by Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary, you and I are redeemed from Hell itself. In response to God's love, the apostle Paul gave his life in service to God, finding his greatest joy in simply doing what God told him to do. Before he encountered Christ, Paul had been a man of great influence and power but as a follower of Jesus Christ the highest title he ever gave himself was "servant." 

It is important to note that Paul was first a servant - then an apostle set apart for the gospel. The people he served became his family and in turn served him by praying for him, encouraging him and meeting his physical needs. Service is not an option for the Christian. It is a command - a holy calling and the ultimate joy. The most contented people I know are the ones who serve the most. They have found an outlet for giving, have discovered their God given gifts and are using them to serve God. It is a paradox in the Christian life that the more we give, the more we receive and the greater our level of contentment. It is when we turn inward and become focused on self that discontentment creeps in and takes up residence.

The Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea are made of the same water that flows from Mt. Hermon. The Sea of Galilee is a beautiful place, lush and green, because it has an outlet. It gathers in its riches then pours them out again to fertilize the Jordan plain. It gives. On the other hand, the Dead Sea, with the same water creates destruction because it has no outlet. It keeps. 

The highest purpose in life is to be used by God to influence the lives of others. We often think that God reserves service for those called "ministers." Every follower of God is called to be a minister. Your mission field is your home - your office - your neighborhood - your world. If you want to discover the secret of contentment, look for opportunities to make investments in others by giving yourself away. Every act of service is an investment in eternity.

Let's Pray 
Lord, I recognize You as my source of contentment. I love You and want to serve You.  Today, I will look for opportunities to make eternal investments. Thank You for loving me and for giving me the privilege of serving You. 

In Jesus' name, 

Now It's Your Turn 
It is so easy to be wrapped up in our own needs to the point that we fail to see the needs of others. I want my life to count and the best way to do that is to invest my time, energy, and talents … everything I am and have …in serving God by serving others. Let me challenge you to join me in making a new commitment to serve.

Who has made eternal investments in my life?

What is my perception of service?

What are my spiritual gifts?

How can I use those gifts?

What are the benefits of serving God and others?

Can you make the following commitment?

I need to understand that contentment is found when I invest myself in others. There are "mission fields" in my life where I can serve Him by serving others. I choose today to become a "giver" instead of a "keeper."

More From The Girlfriends 
Do not let the enemy or your own heart tell you that you are not good enough to be used by God to serve others. Just make yourself available to God and see what He does in you and through you. 

Looking for an online Bible Study? Join women from across the world in studying the Bible by enrolling in my weekly online Bible Study, Light for the Journey.  The current series of lessons is "The Power of Forgiveness."  

E-Book Bible Studies are available in my online store. Each study is practical, Bible-based and perfect for individual or small group study. Leader's guide included.

Need help serving the difficult people in your life? Drop by our online store and check out my book, Sandpaper People, for practical steps you can take to deal with those tough relationships. Also available in CD and MP3.

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