Eternal Investing 101

You might see a 15% increase in your portfolio, if
you’re good.  You might hold land that
appreciates at 10% annually.  Your
business might be booming; outperforming competitors, adding staff, and
increasing in value. Everything you touch might be turning to gold.  You might drive the cars you’ve always
dreamed of and own the home your neighbors envy. 


Now, wouldn’t it make sense to put some of that
wealth-building skill to work for the future? 
I mean beyond retirement?

According to Jesus, people who have the right priorities are
able to accumulate treasure in heaven; the ultimate in secure, appreciating
investments (Matthew 6:19-21).  Your
Eternal Retirement Account (ERA), won’t need to last you for just 25 years, it’ll
be relevant for 25,000.  And beyond.

Planning your eternal investments may be the longest-range
thinking you’ve ever done, and just like earthly investing, a little strategy
and discipline today could yield massive returns tomorrow.

How can I invest in eternity?

1. Consider your priorities. 
As Jesus was teaching people not to worry so much about earthly things,
he made this statement: “Seek God’s kingdom and his righteousness, and all the
earthly things will be added to you as well.” 
In other words, Jesus encouraged his followers to make God their first
investment priority.

2.  Determine your
risk-tolerance (faith).
  The more faith
you have to try new things and take big risks, the more impact you could have
for the kingdom
of God
.  Living a comfortable life and occasionally
contributing to charity is more or less is like stashing cash in a mattress at
home.  Is it saving? Sure.  But is it going to yield world-changing returns?  No way. 
If you want to make a difference, step out in faith and do things that
other people aren’t willing to do.  Get
creative, get adventurous, and put your trust in God.

3.  Contribute on a regular schedule. 
Many great investment strategies involve regular contributions and
rebalancing.  Don’t just count on your
estate plan or church donations to beef up your ERA.  Use your investing savvy to answer questions
like these: What could I do on a daily basis to show love for God and love for
other people?  What activities could I
get involved in weekly and monthly to serve others and promote the gospel?  What could I do annually that would take
faith, risk, and could change people’s lives?

4.  Ask God to set
your targets.
  Good investors know what
they need, and they know what it will take to get there.  Eternal investment is a higher challenge: it
involves letting God set your targets for you. 
Begin praying and asking God to show you how he wants you to use the
rest of your life.  What is his dream for
you and your family?  Beware, however,
that God isn’t into index funds (just doing what everyone else is doing).  God loves those aggressive growth holdings,
particularly international opportunities. 
He thinks outside of the box we call “Possible.”  Let God set your targets, and you’ll be in
for the most exciting, fulfilling ride of your life.

What will the “returns” look like?   In what form will I receive my ERA
distributions?  I can’t say for sure, but
I can guarantee you one thing: they’ll be far more impressive than anything
this world can offer you.  “No eye has
seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived, what God has prepared for those
who love him.” (1 Cor. 2:9, NIV). 

Dan originally wrote this article for publication in the MI Sun Times.


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