“Investing in people” has become something of a catchphrase, but simply it means encouraging others to be or to do more. This can be by giving opportunities to other people and by investing our time and effort into their lives. The definition of encouraging includes to ‘stimulate the development’ or ‘persuade someone to do something by giving support and advice’. But, as Christians, if we adopt a concept from popular culture, we need to remember that God’s ways are often very different. There are Bible verses about investing in others that reveal some radical principles!
What does the Bible say about investing in others?
What is accepted by our peers can be persuasive but Bible verses about investing in others teach us some totally different principles. In God’s kingdom, we find that we are to give and serve others without expecting anything in return. True encouragement is not just about the words that we speak or even the actions that we take, it is investing in others to point them closer to God! That is our underlying motive, to see the body of Christ built up and strengthened.
“…encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.” 1 Thessalonians 2:12
To Serve And Not Be Served
During Jesus’ ministry, one of the most difficult concepts for His disciples to grasp was that He came to serve and not to be served. When Jesus first introduced this concept Peter rebuked Him! The second time that Jesus tried to teach His disciples that His purpose was as the Servant Messiah, they were arguing among themselves as to who was the greatest. The third time, as Jesus predicted His death, the disciples were jostling for position as to who would have the chief seats in God’s kingdom.
At times are we any different from the disciples? It is so easy to let our own plans and ambitions come to the fore. We get excited and engrossed in what we are doing, and it is easy to forget the bigger purpose. First and foremost, we are serving God above anyone, or anything, else. We are part of something much bigger than ourselves, we belong to the body of Christ. The Bible verses about investing in others teach us that we are not in this alone. In our journey of faith, we are to encourage and spur each other on.
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Give and it will be Given
Bible verses about investing in others have a counter-cultural approach to give freely, give generously, and don’t hold back. Whether we are investing our time, our gifts, or our finances, we are to give cheerfully and wholeheartedly. It is a privilege to be able to serve God with what He has given to us. We give without the expectation of return, but we can never outgive God!
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38
Biblical Examples of investing in others
Moses and Joshua
Part of Moses’ mission, was to prepare, encourage and strengthen his successor, he invested in Joshua. When Israel first left Egypt they came under attack by the Amalekites. Moses selected Joshua to lead the battle, this would be significant, as it would develop his military skills.
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When Israel was at Mount Sinai, where Moses received the Ten Commandments, Joshua is mentioned as his young aide. When twelve men, from the tribes of Israel, are selected to explore the Promised land, Joshua is among them.
Finally, over forty years later, at the border of Canaan by the River Jordan, Joshua would succeed Moses. God had forbidden Moses from entering the Promised land, he only saw it from a distance, he would not cross the River Jordan – his mission was complete.
“But commission Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he will lead this people across and will cause them to inherit the land that you will see.” Deuteronomy 3:28
Jesus and the Twelve
As Jesus’ ministry began, Hecalled twelve disciples to follow Him. He invested His time in teaching and preparing others to be evangelists so that they could continue the work after Him. Jesus commissioned and sent out the disciples He had chosen and gave them authority to proclaim His mission message with signs and miracles.
“Freely you have received; freely give.” Matthew 10:8
The disciples would become the witnesses to the gospel of Jesus Christ. They would be instrumental in spreading the word, from Jerusalem outwards to the ends of the earth.
Barnabas and Saul
Barnabas was sent by the leaders of the church in Jerusalem to report on a new work that had begun in Antioch.
“When he (Barnabas) arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.” Acts 11:23
But in response to the need for teaching in this new church, Barnabas invested his time and effort to go and find Saul. He proved himself to be a true friend as he brought Saul to join in this new work to the Gentiles. This was a significant step for Saul, Antioch would be the place where his ministry would begin. It was from here that he would embark on his first missionary journey.
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10 Bible Verses About Investing in Others
“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.”Tweet
Investing in others is not about networking or even collaborating, both of which have their place. This is about being willing to serve others in their best interest. It is about esteeming others and even preferment, being willing to put someone else, and their needs first. As we try to get to grips with this challenge, we are led straight to Jesus who willingly made Himself nothing, for us. Jesus took the nature of a servant and came to serve, investing His all in you and me.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.Philippians 2:3
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters Colossians 3:23
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. Hebrews 3:13
And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17
Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much… Luke 16:10
But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.Luke 6:35
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12
Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18
In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. James 2:17
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.2 Thessalonians 2:16-17