Fundamentals of Biblical Discipleship Part 2: Every believer should become an investor
I cannot think of many passages in the Bible that more clearly place before believers the responsibility to invest in the lives of other that II Timothy 2:2. Paul writes, “the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” Paul viewed Timothy as an investor of truth that had been entrusted to his account. Timothy was responsible to internalize that truth and then deposit it wisely so that it could reproduce itself exponentially to the glory of God.
This concept of stewardship is found throughout the New Testament. In Matthew 25, Jesus gives the parable of the talents to describe the nature of the kingdom of God. He compares Christ to “a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.” Each servant is given an allotment of money which his Master, Christ, excepted him to invest wisely. One servant received five, another two, and the last one. The servant who “received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.” The servant who received two, “he also gained other two.” The last servant did nothing with the stewardship he received. He buried it. Those stewards who invested their money wisely multiplied it, while the steward who buried it had no gain. Those who wisely invested their talents were commended, while the foolish servant was cast into outer darkness. The parable was given to demonstrate the concept of stewardship. God blesses us so that we will wisely invest His good gifts toward us! I Peter 4:10-11 teaches that same concept, but focuses primarily upon giftedness. “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ.” II Corinthians 5:18 says that God has “given to us the ministry of reconciliation.” All three passages, while referring to different aspects of stewardship, teach us that there are certain blessings that God gives each of us that we are not to sit on and enjoy, but wisely invest and multiply for His glory!
Go back to II Timothy 2 and think about Paul’s command to Timothy. “What you have learned” is your stewardship. That truth is your allotment of talents. Invest them wisely! Commit them to “faithful men who will be able to teach other also.” Committing truth to men meant that Timothy was to carefully look over those who were near him, and deliberately invest his time in the most committed. He would deposit the truth to their charge as a careful investment. His hope was that the truth entrusted to these faithful men would reproduce itself in more faithful, committed disciples. Timothy was like an investor looking for the best company in whom to place the care of his precious assets. Christ operated by this same principle as did Paul. Christ preached to the multitudes, but warned those wavering in their commitment that “the foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” He said, “No man having put his hand to the plow and looking back is fit for the kingdom.” He said if a man was not willing to “hate his father, mother, wife, children, and even his own life that he was not worthy to be Christ’s disciple.” Christ expected whole hearted commitment from His disciples. Timothy was commanded to commit the truths he had learned from Paul to faithful, teachable men. Paul and Barnabas parted ways because Paul was not convinced that John Mark was fit to travel with them. We must see the truths that we have learned as a deposit from God for which we are accountable to Him to wisely invest! How wisely are you investing your God given stewardship?