When I was in my late twenties I read articles and books on finances and investing. Most of the authors pointed out that if you could save just $2,000 per year for 10 years when you were 25 and then add nothing to it you’d have more money at age 65 than if you saved $10,000 per year for 10 years when you were 45. The power of compounding interest on your money is great. (Well, at least it was until the last decade or so.) Of course, these books urged regular investing right up until you retired. But they urged you to start young.
I’ll be 65 this May. I’m glad that Sharon and I put aside money when we were young and kept on doing so over the years. We’re not rich. But we do have money set aside for retirement (though we hope to never retire).
This principle applies to the investment of our entire lives, not just our finances. What we do with our lives when we are young has a tremendous impact on our lifetime achievements for Christ. Consider two young people.
At age twenty-five Todd learned about the doctrine of eternal rewards. This doctrine energized him. He realized Christ could return any day. He began living each day to the glory of God. He longed to hear Jesus say, “Well done, good servant.” As a result, he stopped dating unbelievers or immature believers. Two years later he married a godly young woman named Liz. They served Christ together for forty years. He was an elder for decades. He taught Sunday school and home Bible studies. Liz taught Sunday school and women’s studies. Their ministries at age 65 were rich and full because they had walked closely with the Lord for four decades. Todd died of cancer just before his sixty-sixth birthday. He was just as on fire for Christ then as he was at twenty five.
Todd and Liz had four children, all of whom came to faith in Christ. All of them are active in solid Bible-teaching churches. They too are energized by the doctrine of eternal rewards.
Todd’s had a younger brother, Roy. He too learned about the doctrine of eternal rewards when he was in his early twenties. But unlike Todd, he was not energized by the idea. He knew he was eternally secure and he was thankful for that. He wanted to serve God. And Roy did serve God. But he was content to be one of the many in church who just attend and give and yet don’t get too involved. In is late twenties he married a beautiful young lady named Sue. She wasn’t a believer. But he figured she would come to faith soon. They did not serve Christ together. In fact, Sue did not come to faith in Christ and did not come to church with Roy. This had a negative spiritual impact on their children too. Some of their kids are unbelievers. Others are believers who are lackadaisical in their service for Christ.
At age fifty-five Roy encountered eternal rewards teaching again. This time it grabbed him. He began serving Christ wholeheartedly. When he died of a heart attack at age sixty-five, he was an elder, a Bible teacher, and a godly example.
Both Todd and Roy persevered in their faith. Both were serving Christ wholeheartedly when they died. But Todd started thirty years earlier. Todd served Christ wholehearted for forty years; Roy for ten years. Both will rule with Christ in the life to come. But Todd will rule over more cities (compare Luke 19:17, 19). He started young and kept on spiritually investing until he died.
Who you marry makes a difference in how well you’ll be able to serve Christ. Whether you do drugs or not will have a great impact on how well your body and brain will work the rest of your life. What you eat and how you take of yourself makes a difference in lifetime service for Christ. Regular spiritual instruction in a solid Bible-teaching church causes you to grow spiritually and makes you more and more Christ-like over time. Lack of a good spiritual diet hurts your spiritual growth and ministry.
Don’t wait till you’re a senior citizen to start doing your best for Christ. Give Him your best each and every day. It is important that you start giving him your best right away. Don’t wait. Your spiritual golden years are the life to come. And those golden years will arrive very soon because the Rapture is imminent.