Dividends Come from Investments
2 Timothy 2:15, 1:5, Graduate Sunday
2 Timothy 2:15 (NLT)
15 Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.
I would like to specifically address those who have graduated but this applies to each one of us here. We are like a bank in many ways – we have deposit and withdrawals; investments and dividends; earnings and losses. It is what we do with those deposits and investments that make a difference in our life. That is true for anyone of us. If I gave you $10.00 what would you do with it? Buy something to eat? Get some iTunes? Put it into your savings account? Hide it away?
Matthew 25:14-30 The Message
The Story About Investment
14-18"It's also like a man going off on an extended trip. He called his servants together and delegated responsibilities. To one he gave five thousand dollars, to another two thousand, to a third one thousand, depending on their abilities. Then he left. Right off, the first servant went to work and doubled his master's investment. The second did the same. But the man with the single thousand dug a hole and carefully buried his master's money.
19-21"After a long absence, the master of those three servants came back and settled up with them. The one given five thousand dollars showed him how he had doubled his investment. His master commended him: 'Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.'
22-23"The servant with the two thousand showed how he also had doubled his master's investment. His master commended him: 'Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.'
24-25"The servant given one thousand said, 'Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.'
26-27"The master was furious. 'That's a terrible way to live! It's criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? The least you could have done would have been to invest the sum with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest.
28-30"'Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this "play-it-safe" who won't go out on a limb. Throw him out into utter darkness.'
What are we doing with the investments we have been given?
- Take a bar of steel that is 4 foot long and one inch square – it is worth about $17.00.
- Make that bar of steel into ¼ inch by 1 inch lag bolts and sell the lag bolts at $.24 and you will make about 192 bolts equaling $46.00.
- Take that same bar of steel and make it into 3 mm syringes and you have an investment of about $6000
- That same kind of investment is true for us. Depending on how we invest what others have given us makes up the dividends in life.
- There is a lesson in this parable about effort. That steel bar does not just make themselves into lag bolts or and syringes. The craftsperson fashions those steel bars into more valuable items. So it has been in your life. Significant people have fashioned you into a more valuable person.
Let us think about those persons, their investments in your life, and the awesome dividends you’ve received—persons who sought to transform you from a bar of steel into something more valuable.
- Your schoolteachers
Paul tells Timothy to work hard - the KJV tells us to study to show ourselves approved,” The Holman Christian Standard Bible says, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God.”
- Teachers who taught you in school gave their best efforts at getting you to study and to do your best. You obviously responded to some degree, or you would not be here today as graduates.
- I am thankful for those teachers and profs that motivated me to learn and study. They instilled a hunger in me for spiritual and intellectual growth.
- Who are your favorite teachers? Drop them a note of thanks.
- As you grow and mature be aware that you are investing in those that are coming behind you.
- There have been youth leaders, Young Life, VBS teachers, and pastors that have invested in your spiritual life.
- Give thanks for those leaders and teachers in the Church who put you in touch week after week with the One who is the Truth, Jesus Christ.
- Think about those who have made spiritual deposits in your life. People like Carl and Brian. Those who have been doing children’s church forever. Think about those who shared their spiritual lives with you at VBS or Sunday School.
- The Jesus investment will pay tremendous dividends in the end.
- Our best will never be good enough by itself. We humans need Someone, our Lord, to take our best and make it better. Our studying is limited, yet God is infinite.
- Your parents
- They invested their time and talents in you and they are seeing the dividends multiply in your lives.
- Paul expressed confidence in young Timothy’s abilities and faith because of his family: “clearly recalling his sincere faith that first lived in his grandmother Lois, then in his mother Eunice…” (1 Tim. 1:5).
- We are the by-product of our parents, grandparents, and family. Give thanks for the investment they have made in you.
- Don’t just remember when their flaws and imperfections came out; because they are there.
- Remember what your parents have invested in your life that has grown you in positive ways.
- Here is the catch what kind of deposits will you make in the future when you have a family?
You didn’t graduate alone this past week. Your graduation – our life are a by-product of many investments that have been made in our life by teachers, spiritual mentors and family. You are the dividend of the Lord and His servants.
Show yourself as one who has been approved by God. As you leave this place and begin a new path of your journey, remember that the ones who have invested in you will continue to influence you and walk with you in the name of our Lord. Your dividends are the result of their investments.
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