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Sunday, September 18, 2016
Invest in Your Character, Not Your Comfort BY RICK WARREN — SEPTEMBER 18 Sunday
“Grow in spiritual strength and become better acquainted with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18 TLB).
God wants you to grow up spiritually and become more like Jesus Christ. How do you do that? By taking some of your money and investing it in yourself and your personal growth.
The Bible says in 2 Peter 3:18, “Grow in spiritual strength and become better acquainted with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (TLB).
You grow in spiritual strength by using your money to develop skills and educate yourself, to become a better leader, a better speaker, a better prayer, or just a better person.
I hate to tell you this, but you’re not taking your car to Heaven with you. You’re not taking your condo or your couch or your clothes or your china to Heaven.
But you are going to take your character. It may be tempting to use your money to invest in comfort, but God wants you to use your money to invest in something that’s going to Heaven — your character.
That means any time you use your money to buy a Christian book that helps you grow, you’ve invested in what I call God’s “Growth Fund.” Any time you use some of your money to pay for a retreat or a conference that helps you improve your life, you’ve invested in the Growth Fund. Any time you spend money on a class that helps makes you more of what God wants you to be, God smiles and says that’s a good use of money.
I’ll never forget when I bought my first Bible. I was a teenager and I thought, “This is the most important book to me, so I’m going to get the best one I can find.” I did a little research and found one that I like called the Thompson Chain Reference Bible. Then I said, “I want a binding that lasts, so I’m going to get it in the nicest leather I can find.” It costs me 60 bucks to buy that Bible — two months of my allowance. I gave up two months worth of snacks and movies and stuff like that, but I got a really cool Bible that I knew I could use for the rest of my life.
I still have that Bible. It’s my most treasured possession because I’ve been through it so many times and underlined and marked it all up.
The Bible says, “Why spend your money on something that is not real food? .... Listen closely to me, and you will eat what is good; your soul will enjoy the rich food that satisfies” (Isaiah 55:2 NCV).
You can spend your money on junk food or soul food. Choose to spend your money on food for your soul that helps you grow spiritually.