God wants you to invest in other people in GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s family. This is what I call the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Mutual Fund.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The Bible says in Romans 12:10,Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“Love one another with mutual affectionÃ¢â‚¬ÂÃ‚Â (NRSV).
How do you invest in this Mutual Fund? By using some of your money to encourage fellowship, to build relationships, and to demonstrate love.
Anytime you give your money to God, it draws you closer to God. Anytime you give your money to someone, it draws you closer to that person. When you give money to people in your small group or invest in your small group, you grow closer to them. Anytime you write a note of encouragement, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve invested in the Mutual Fund. Anytime you prepare or buy a meal and take it to somebody whoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s sick, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve just invested in the Mutual Fund.
Anytime you open up your home to your small group and you provide refreshments and that costs you, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve just invested in the Mutual Fund. Anytime you provide a babysitter for somebody who needs to go to a conference or retreat, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve invested in the Mutual Fund. When another believer is discouraged and needs somebody to talk to and you take that person out to lunch and pay for the meal, you just invested in the Mutual Fund.
You can give to God, and God says thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s storing up treasure in heaven. But you can also give to other people. God says that when you do that as an act of love, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s like banking it in heaven. Anytime you use your funds to show love to somebody else in the family of God, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re investing in the Mutual Fund.
Why should you do this? Why should you give to encourage fellowship? The Bible says,Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“This service you do not only helps the needs of GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s people, it also brings many more thanks to God. It is a proof of your faith. Many people will praise God because you obey the Good News of ChristÃ¢â‚¬â€the gospel you say you believeÃ¢â‚¬â€and because you freely share with them and with all othersÃ¢â‚¬ÂÃ‚Â (2 Corinthians 9:12-13 NCV).
You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.