Faithlife Sermons

Commitment: Investor or Trader (4)

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Commitment 81

In his newspaper column called “Market Report,” Bill Barnhart once explained the difference between investors and traders in the stock market.

“A trader in a stock,” writes Barnhart, “is making decisions minute-by-minute in the hope of shaving off profits measured in fractions of a dollar.… An investor, on the other hand, typically buys or sells a stock based on views about the company and the economy at large.”

In other words, traders are wheelers and dealers. They pursue short-term profits. Traders may have no confidence whatsoever in the companies in which they buy stock but they buy, smelling an immediate payoff.

By contrast, investors are in it for the long haul. They “chain themselves to the mast.” Investors commit their money to a stock, believing that over a period of years and even decades the stock will pay strong dividends and steadily grow in value. Investors aren’t flustered by the typical ups and downs of the market because they believe in the quality of the company, its leaders, and its product.

In the kingdom of God there are also investors and traders. They come to Christ with very different goals. Traders in the kingdom want God to improve their lot in this world. If following Christ means pain or hardship, they sell out.

But investors in the kingdom stay true to Christ no matter what happens in this world, knowing that eternal dividends await them.

Eternal, Feelings, Rewards, Suffering, Temporal

Mark 4:1–20

Mark 4:10–12 KJV 1900
10 And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. 11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: 12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
1 Corinthians 2:9–10 KJV 1900
9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
1 Cor. 2:
1 Corinthians 2:13–14 KJV 1900
13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
1 Cor.
Mark 4:17–18 KJV 1900
17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended. 18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
2 Corinthians 6:17–18 KJV 1900
17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
2 Cor. 6:17-

I feel that, if I could live a thousand lives, I would like to live them all for Christ, and even then, I would feel that they were all too little a return for His great love to me.

C.H. Spurgeon

Tim Bowden, in his book One Crowded Hour about cameraman Neil Davis, tells about an incident that happened in Borneo during the confrontation between Malaysia and Indonesia in 1964.

A group of Gurkhas from Nepal were asked if they would be willing to jump from transport planes into combat against the Indonesians if the need arose. The Gurkhas had the right to turn down the request because they had never been trained as paratroopers. Bowden quotes Davis’s account of the story:

“Now the Gurkhas usually agreed to anything, but on this occasion they provisionally rejected the plan. But the next day one of their NCOs sought out the British officer who made the request and said they had discussed the matter further and would be prepared to jump under certain conditions.

“ ‘What are they?’ asked the British officer.

“The Gurkhas told him they would jump if the land was marshy or reasonably soft with no rocky outcrops, because they were inexperienced in falling. The British officer considered this, and said that the dropping area would almost certainly be over jungle, and there would not be rocky outcrops, so that seemed all right. Was there anything else?

“Yes, said the Gurkhas. They wanted the plane to fly as slowly as possible and no more than one hundred feet high. The British officer pointed out the planes always did fly as slowly as possible when dropping troops, but to jump from 100 feet was impossible, because the parachutes would not open in time from that height.

“ ‘Oh,’ said the Gurkhas, ‘that’s all right, then. We’ll jump with parachutes anywhere. You didn’t mention parachutes before!’ ”

Any church could use such Gurkha-like commitment and courage.

Matthew 6:24 KJV 1900
24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
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