Seven Ways to Invest:
1. God – Jesus spent major amounts of his life separated from the crowds and alone with his Father. He would go off into the wilderness without food for forty days at a time just to talk to him. Before he gave the greatest sacrifice for all humankind on the cross, he took time to pray and invest in himself through one-on-one communication with his Father.
2. Family – We tend to focus on the last three years of Jesus’ life and ignore the thirty spent in obscurity. During that time, he spent much of it with his mother Mary. He performed his first miracle at her bidding and includes in his dying words instructions for her care.
3. Inner Circle – Everyone needs running buddies. Peter, James, and John were his three. Three times in the gospels Jesus singles them out.
- a. Mark 5 – Jesus heals Jairus’ daughter. Jesus enters the house, tells everyone else to leave except for Peter, James and John.
- b. Matthew 17 – The Mount of Transfiguration was the second.
- c. Matthew 26 – The Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus asks them to pray for him.
4. Disciples – The word disciple occurs 269 times in the NT. In addition to his select group of twelve apostles, Jesus chose seventy of his followers to go into neighboring towns and villages in his surrounding area. Jesus made certain to raise up a boatload of committed followers who would carry on his message after he was gone. His twelve disciples were at the forefront of this plan.
- a. As Eugene Peterson said, “Jesus invested 90 percent of his time with twelve Jewish men so that he could reach all Americans.”
5. Doubters – Dr. Mark Bird often says, “Plant seeds of hope or seeds of doubt.” To those who were arrogant and unbelieving, Jesus used strong language to speak to them. But to those who were equally lost, but searching, Jesus offered hope.
6. Outcasts – These are people outside the box and one’s pop culture has ruled second-class citizens. For Jesus, these were the lepers, tax collectors, and sinners. No one wanted to touch them because they were unclean. But Jesus did.
7. The Body – 1 Corinthians 12:12 says, “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.” To Jesus, life was meant to be spent in communion with others. This is the very essence of who God is.
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