by Rick Warren
“Love one another with mutual affection” (Romans 12:10a NRSV).
God wants you first to learn to love him and invest in what I call the “Treasury Fund.” Then he wants you to learn to love and invest in other people in God’s family. This is what I call the “Mutual Fund.”
The Bible says in Romans 12:10, “Love one another with mutual affection” (NRSV).
How do you invest in the Mutual Fund? By using some of your money to encourage fellowship, to build relationships, and to demonstrate love.
Any time you give your money to God, it draws you closer to God. Any time 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. Any time you write a note of encouragement, you’ve invested in the Mutual Fund. Any time you prepare or buy a meal and take it to somebody who’s sick, you’ve just invested in the Mutual Fund. Any time you open up your home to your small group and you provide refreshments and that costs you, you’ve just invested in the Mutual Fund. Any time you provide a babysitter for somebody who needs to go to a conference or retreat, you’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 lunch, you just invested in the Mutual Fund.
You can give to God, and God says that’s storing up treasure in Heaven. But you can also give to other people. God says when you do that as an act of love, it’s like banking it in Heaven. Any time you use your funds to show love to somebody else in the family of God, you’re investing in the Mutual Fund.
Why should you do this? Why should you give to encourage fellowship? The Bible says, “This service you do not only helps the needs of God’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 Christ — the gospel you say you believe — and because you freely share with them and with all others” (2 Corinthians 9:12-13 NCV).
You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.
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Talk It Over
How have people in God’s family invested in your life through their giving? What has been the effect on your life?
What does God want you to do if you can’t afford to give money to other believers to encourage them?
How do you think God responds to giving that is done without love?