Investments, Dividends, and Audits?

Joseph Esposito

We hear a lot about penny stocks (can someone say, AMC?), index stocks, and the stock market these days. Everyone is looking to invest in the next Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, or Tesla. Vested stock holders judge a company’s success based on its return to them. In fact, many, if not most, decisions in major public companies are made based on how it will drive their stock prices and reward their investors. If a company’s stocks stagnate or slide, many times there’s a reckoning by its board of directors, who represent the investors.

When we think of the name “Enron,” many words come to mind. Fraud. Scandal. Deceit. Theft. But it was not always like this. A few years before its demise, Enron earned a six-year award streak as wall-street’s most innovative company. Everyone wanted in on this “investment.” From without, they looked great. But something was wrong within--very wrong. In 2001, someone with firsthand knowledge of their accounting methods blew the whistle. Enron crumbled, and investors lost $40 billion. A $95 stock was now worth less than $1. Investors were livid, and rightfully so. They had invested a part of their livelihood into a company, and expected a decent ROI.
2,000 years ago, God the Father decided to make a major investment…

…as part of His future ambitions and portfolio. However, He didn’t diversify. He put His investment all in one place. God sent His only begotten Son, possibly His greatest and most beloved asset, to be spent for one thing: the church, which is made up of you and me. Because of this, He loves the church, and expects a return. Let’s look at three questions as we consider the Lord’s investment in our lives, and whether that investment is yielding dividends.

1 Corinthians 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

1. When the Lord does an internal audit, what does He see? As a good auditor goes through each financial record to make sure the numbers add up, so the Lord is continually searching the hearts (Rom 8:27). We may fool others regarding our “life’s statement”, but not the Lord. How are our “books”?

2. When the Lord assesses our “growth curve”, what does He see? Over a certain period of time, investors expect to see growth. One would hope to see an average of 10-15% growth over a decade. How about in our lives? Looking back, what would the Lord see in our walk? Our witness? Our service? Our knowledge of Christ, over time? Have we abounded with growth (2 Peter 1)? Or is there something to be desired in our curve?

3. When the Lord assesses our future ambitions, what does He see? A major interest of investors is the projection of the company for the future. One of the most important calls a CEO will make is his quarterly or yearly call with his investors. They want to know their projected investment in the future. Likewise, the Lord rewards us for our past returns. But He desires future dividends as well. Last year’s soul winning isn’t enough. Yesterday’s walk isn’t enough. Being sold out in 2019 isn’t enough.

My dad asked so often: What’s the vision?

What is it for you? What will you do more for the Lord the rest of this year? What will you do more for His kingdom next year? What can you do more to further His cause as your life’s purpose? The Lord made the biggest investment ever made with His sacrifice on the cross, and deserves a return on that investment. If the Lord was the sole investor in the company of your life, would He be pleased with His investment? Let’s take an honest assessment within. Let’s assess our past growth. And let’s see how we can be profitable in the future. He is worthy.

Revelation 5:12 …Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

Joseph Esposito

Bro Esposito serves as the vice president of our Bible college, teaches the Cross Point Adult Bible Class, and heads up our children and teen Sunday school ministry. He and his wife Jennifer have five wonderful children.

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