Investing in the treasures in Heaven | Worship

By Bishop Eric Jacobsen, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints | Dec 23, 2013

On a recent business trip, I flew home sitting next to a woman who shared her many difficulties with investing.

After a series of unfortunate investments, she said she had finally decided a while back – out of frustration – to give up on investing, and to sell out.

As an investment adviser myself, I sympathized with her experience. In my 20 years of experience, I have never seen so many diverse opinions and uncertainties of how and where to invest our money today.

But as I continued my travels home that day, I reflected on Christmas and how grateful I am that "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son" (John 3:16) who guided us to life's most sure, valuable and lasting investments.

Jesus warned "a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth" (Luke 12:15). Rather, He admonished us to lay up for ourselves "treasures in Heaven."

Money has little to do with His gospel. He taught us to fully invest ourselves in his gospel – to "love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength" (Mark 12:30).

In return, He assures us of rich and lasting rewards—in this life and the next.

Christ was approached by a rich young man who asked how he could inherit eternal life. Jesus reviewed the commandments, and the young man said he had lived them from his youth.

Jesus then responded, "One thing thou lackest; go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in Heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me" (Mark 10:21).

Jesus invited this young man to become fully invested in following Him by giving relief to those less fortunate. Any investment we make in serving and caring for others will bring greater joy to others and ourselves, and create some Heaven on Earth.

Jesus was perfectly obedient and invites us to do likewise: "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15). Our level of obedience is a measure of just how invested we are in following Christ.

Obedience comes with lasting rewards, as taught in the Book of Mormon:

"I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into Heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness" (Mosiah 2:41).

At the very center of the gospel of Jesus Christ is His atonement – the ultimate sacrifice that Christ suffered for the sins and pains of each of us. His atonement opened the way for each of us to repent and find forgiveness, healing, redemption and peace.

Peace is more valuable than any worldly possession. We cannot buy peace; it was bought for us by Jesus Christ, who is truly the Prince of Peace.

Christmastime is a great opportunity to consider how our life's investments are doing, and whether we need to reallocate our attention to those things that are of most worth.

But any investment will have its ups and downs. At times, we may feel like we're losing. We will be tempted to cash out, to give up. But we must press forward with full faith and confidence, and continue to stay fully invested.

Jesus fully invested himself in our success and happiness. He gave His all for us. At this time of giving, may we give our all to following Him!

 

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