For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy. 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20 NIV
I was talking with a younger friend who has been successful in several ministry ventures in our town. He loves people and desires to help both physically and spiritually. He told me that he learned how to engage in community efforts by helping Pam and I in the city outreaches that we did as Tuscaloosa Life Church. He said, “What I learned by working with y’all, helped teach me and make me effective today. It will be fun when we get to heaven to see all of the links of people which God uses to spread His love.”
When we get to heaven, our investment in others will bring us great joy. It is part of the great commandment that we disciple others. That’s not a job only for the pastor, staff or leadership. The body of Christ is supported by each part ministering to one another. The investment in others will be part of the reward that we bring to heaven. People are our eternal investment. This idea captures Paul’s excitement over the believer’s in Thessalonica, for whom He
What does investing in others look like?
- Spiritual conversations. Spending time with friends is awesome, we were made for relationships. Eternal impact will include conversations about relationship with God, finding God’s peace in hard times, and inclusion of God’s word.
- For those you love, find time to intercede on their behalf. The older I become, the more that I see that prayer is more important than me trying to guide them. Prayer can move mountains, that is a lot easier than trying to do it by myself physically.
- Pray with them. All believers learn to pray by hearing others pray. The intimacy of talking with God about our lives teaches volumes for others to learn to engage Him. Who listens to you pray?
- Love for the word of God. Jesus quoted the Old Testament passages in conversations…not limiting them to preaching occasions. As you verbalize God’s word, as you show how it guides your feet and light’s your path, as you reveal how it speaks to you for guidance, others will find the rhythm of incorporating God’s word into their lives.
- Let them see and hear your interaction with God in your struggles and failures. God’s forgiveness touches all of our brokenness. Perhaps we might judge less, if humility were displayed more often. I don’t truly understand all of the dynamics, but others find hope when we invite them into the experience of God’s healing for our messed up lives.
There will be many opportunities for you to love upon others that I did not mention. You should at least have some names of those individuals which you are choosing to invest your spiritual energy. It will include your children, but will also involve those in your natural sphere of influence. Who are they? Who are those that will bring you much joy when you meet Jesus? May you find your investments were eternally worthwhile.
Blessings Love y’all