#iGospel – #iInvest

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Today I would invite us to think a little about investments. Our sermon today is entitled #iInvest….

The big word for many decent Kenyans is Investment! Investments! Investments! ….In the past 20 years Kenyans have been on frenzy to invest in as many schemes as possible, from the stock market to farming to land prospecting, to chamas and not forgetting the infamous pyramid schemes and quail farming…etc….However in my interaction with many Kenyans it seems like most of them prefer short term investments and especially get rich quick schemes. Whilst majority of the population is desperately looking for means and ways on how to maximize their investments in the shortest time possible, time and again it has been proven that the world of successful investors is for those who have the patience to go the long haul…….

I must confess that I am one among the many that have for a long time believed in making a quick break into the world of wealth; however I have had my own share of interesting experiences; My wife and I were introduced to some mushroom specialist who took us through the ropes of basic mushroom farming including the amazing prospects of conducting the farming in one of the rooms in our house and so we did the required, we bought the bags that contained the supposedly mushroom seeds and fungi, we also darkened the room and bought from the guys some sterilizing solution to sterilize the environment in the room, we made shelves for the mushroom seedling bags and lastly we forbade our over curious little boys from not even touching the knob of the door(this was going to be the investment that was going to change our lives). Good people days turned into weeks and however nothing seem to grow, all that changed was the color of the mixture in the bags. We decided to look for one or two of our friends who had invested in the same scheme and to our dismay they informed us that chances are we may have been duped and rushing to the place where the specialist had set up office your guess is as good as mine; they had closed shop!!!! That is when it finally hit us that all the darkening of the room, the spraying, the shelves, the patience and the money was all in vain.

What is your get rich quick “mushroom” story?

I have hardly come across any one that doesn’t like their things being processed very fast. We have a whole economy that revolves around this universal desire; from the lottery to Ponzi schemes, cleverly designed multi-level marketing clubs, we have quick cash farming schemes and we the Kenyans have rushed into these things in the thousands and the desire for quick gain is not bad in and of itself. That desire applied elsewhere has led to technological innovations and efficient systems and great business solutions all in the name of maximizing profits using minimal inputs. Ironically while most of society wants to get rich quickly, they are still the same people that will become suspicious of you if make some seemingly quick financial break. They will call you all sorts of names from street Pharmacist to “illuminati”. Generally people seem to have some measure of respect for anyone that has made wealth over a reasonable period of time and especially if their means of earning the wealth is public knowledge and is what would be considered legitimate and not hidden.

When it comes to legitimate and viable investments and I wish not to challenge their positions, however over the short period of time I have lived on this earth I have come to discover a key investment opportunity that goes a long way to reward those who engage in it. I have discovered an investment plan that guarantees the most amazing returns, I dare say more than any other investment scheme.

Allow me to draw your attention to an interesting conversation that touches on this amazing investments plan. It is like one of those movies which begin with the end of the story then goes into flashback mode (10 years earlier) Mathew 25:31-46

Like any serious public company a time will come when God will gather everyone who is in some way part of his Kingdom and He will declare dividends for the shareholders (every human being is in some way (positively or negatively) connected to the Kingdom of God). The most interesting part of God’s conversation with shareholders revolves around the criteria that he uses to determine each person’s returns and dividends. Some were greatly rewarded others suffered great loss, what was the difference?  The difference was in how they had invested in the people around them…..

Allow me to make certain assumptions based on some of the teachings of Christ Jesus in as far as investments are concerned:

The best investment you can ever make on this earth is to invest in the Kingdom of God……Mathew 6:19-21“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The best way to invest in the Kingdom of God is to by participating in planting a seed of God’s  influence, God’s values, Kingdom values  in the people around you; Mathew 6:33seek first the advancement of God’s Kingdom” The best way to invest in the Kingdom of God is to invest in the souls of people around you, to pass  on godly  values  to people around you and it is the only investment that will benefit you here on earth and beyond…it is the only investment that will follow you beyond the grave into eternity.

The Best way you can influence people around you with Godly values is by contributing towards helping them make the one most critical decision they can ever make on this side of eternity i.e. to have a relationship with Jesus. Daniel 12:3 And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. No other experience on this earth has contributed towards life change than when men and women encounter Jesus, when they encounter the living Gospel of God’s Kingdom through Christ Jesus.

Good people having this in mind I have come to realize each and every relationship around my life is an investment opportunity. It is not by chance that so and so is my barber, the new neighbors moved in next door, that I have been transferred to some new station and now I have to work with new people, yes that new watchman, that shop keeper in the neighborhood kiosk and your fellow parents in that school who always meet once a month; all these are investment opportunities!!!!

The million dollar question in this conversation today is, do people get better when they come around you or do they get worse or remain the same? Investing in people around you begins with the determination to positively impact anyone who comes within your circle of influence. Are you the kind that helps the new employee find their way and learn the ropes in your department?  Are you the kind that keeps firing your house helps or they get better when they work for you? Are you the kind that relatives want to dump their kids at your place because whenever they spend time at your place they go back to their homes better young men and women?  Do you just benefit from relationships around you or do you benefit relationships around you?  Or are you the kind that drains people around you, make the lives of people around you a living hell?

God’s desire as expressed in Mathew 5:13 is that we should have positive influence on those around us by being salt and light. I do believe that there is no better way of positively influencing the people around us than by investing in them the privilege of a relationship with Christ Jesus.  There can never be a greater investment than to help people connect with their God given purpose. You have in essence given them what no amount of money can buy them and no amount of beauty can attract and no amount of intelligence can decipher.

Every time I feel discouraged I am made to think of the many faces of people whom I have had the privilege of helping find purpose and connection with God. I have seen fathers whose entire families have been turned around and are now happy, together and fulfilled. Former drug junkies who are now helping street families and fellow young people, former alcoholics who are now sober not wasting their hard earned cash on alcohol and the list goes on.

It is critical to understand that when you invest in people around you, the returns are both eternal and also earthly…you also reap here on earth, in-fact listen to what the bible has to say with regards to investing in people around us “Luke 6:38…. give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.

I always love attending graduation retreats for the various experiences we have here at Mavuno, just to see and celebrate the various people that have experienced an investment of God’s life changing values and truths in their lives. All those before and after stories are invaluable! Like I said last Sunday whenever you invite someone to do any of those experiences or to just to come to Mavuno, you are in essence investing God’s Kingdom values in them and the greatest thing about that kind of investment is that it will follow you into eternity!

Good people whenever you invite someone to do any Marathon experience;  Mizizi, Simama, ndoa and Hatua; you are investing in that person, whenever you invite someone to hear a message that changes their lives, you are investing God’s influence  in that person. Whenever you invite parents to do Lea, you are investing God’s influence in them and their children. Whenever you take time to go to some school to talk to younger people on being responsible and about their sexuality, you are investing God’s influence in those young people. Whenever you gather all the children in your neighborhood and bring them to kids church (green house) you are investing God’s influence in those children! Whenever you invite some couple friends to do ndoa, talk to a work mate about Jesus or buy sermon cd’s and give them to your relatives and workmates.

Investing in people around you is investing in eternity. This is the only investment here on earth that will follow you beyond death into eternity.

Think about your eulogy for a moment and imagine a tribute of all your investments being read; your first ever investment a black mamba bike – because you spent a lot of time focusing on them – imagine if all your cars and houses gave a tribute to you?

Now imagine if all the people that you have positively influenced and positively impacted showed up for your funeral and one by one gave your tribute. How would that be compared to a house? Couples who’s marriage was saved because you introduced them to Ndoa. Young people who have become clean because you mentored them and well-adjusted children because you introduced their parents to do Lea… etc.

There are those of us who may say that this thing of investing in people only works for sanguine personality types and it doesn’t work for the introverted and the like. I was told by a certain friend about a fairly new concept in the corporate world and companies are spending millions to train their top level managers whether introverted or extroverted on this great concept; The concept of emotional intelligence. It has been advanced by the likes of Psychologists like Daniel Goleman. It has been suggested that like any other intelligent skill it can be learned and developed.  John Maxwell in an article “managing the discipline of relationship building” suggests some practical things we can do to start the journey towards becoming people persons;

Remember a person’s name. A person’s name is the best sounding word in the English language

Learn to smile. Consciously smile

In a conversation always allow the other persons interests to dominate the conversation.

If you want to be found interesting, be interested.

Learn to listen. You know you have listened when you can remember. For Christians, it’s remembering prayer points.

Any Christian of good standing must learn to connect with people around him or her with the aim of investing in those people towards the extension of God’s Kingdom. You can leave behind no greater legacy than the legacy of lives changed because of your participation in bringing them to a space of change!

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2 Responses to “#iGospel – #iInvest”

  1. Reblogged this on Allinone and commented:
    Awesome Sermon and Great Lessons Learnt #iInvest one of the Best this Month. Do people get better when they come around you or do they get worse or remain the same?
    Answer: Mathew 5:13 we should have positive influence on those around us by being salt and ligh

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  2. Erick Ashihundu Says:

    wow! i didn’t know i was investing.I was being this good person because i want to be good/great/influencial.Now i have an extra tip,learning to be intrested.
    i now want to invest more in the people around me,myself & above all, In His Kingdom.THANKS FOR THAT GREAT POST.lesson well learn (although i have no ‘mushrom ‘ story.)

    Like

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