• A Sound Investment

    1. Why can the world’s poor more easily be “rich in good works”?

    IT IS not the accumulation of this world’s

    wealth that brings security. It is the accumulation of good works. That is what makes one rich toward God, and the “poor of this world” can accumulate this treasure more rapidly than the rich if they are “rich in faith”. Furthermore, those who are poor in this world’s goods do not have to spend so much time caring for that which they possess. One who puts his trust in money has very little security, especially in these days. It seems that after every war money loses value. Shortly after the second World War most of the money in European countries was blocked in the banks by government order, and the people could not withdraw all their funds for many years. Even the rich were given only a small amount to use, and just recently those who were wealthy in pounds sterling found that overnight they lost thousands upon thousands of dollars, as the value of the pound on the foreign market exchange dropped from $4.03 to

    $2.80. Many other currencies lost much of their buying power in world markets at the same time. So the accumulation of money, wealth , or the uncertain riches of this world is of little value. Its value can vanish away overnight if governments so decree. How much better it would be for a man to make his wealth work to the benefit of others while it has some value than to hold it until it gathers moths and rust and becomes useless.

    2. How do Christians really make a sound investment now?

    It is really a sound investment to make your money work on behalf of the poor and by so doing to store up treasures in heaven. Christ Jesus preached the Word, and you can make your riches help you preach the Word. His admonition to all of his followers was to go forth and preach this gospel of the Kingdom in all the world for a witness. This takes time, energy and money, and Jehovah’s witnesses throughout the world are giving time, energy and funds, building Kingdom Halls, renting places and fixing them up so that they will be attractive assembly places. Jehovah’s witnesses invest their money in Bibles, books and magazines and take these to the people so that they, too, may study the Word of God. They invest their money in traveling from place to place and give of their strength in going to the ends of the earth if need be with this good news. Jehovah’s witnesses are great travelers, glad to spend their money so as to get to circuit and district assemblies or national conventions, for they know they will thus become better equipped so as to “be rich in good works”. What a grand and glorious work a Christian today has in going forth to the nations of the world with this good news which brings comfort to the poor and in being privileged to spend that which he possesses in the interests of those who are captive to this old world. Using your time, energy and money in doing this work is actually storing up treasures in heaven. It is something that no nation, no organization, no neighbor or thief could come in and steal from you. You have already given the good news to the poor, and they have its blessings. You spent your money in helping them, but the blessing to the giver is even greater than to the receiver.

    3, 4. What is truly “great gain”? How do some fail to make it?

    To do such work means that the individual will be content and happy and will always have something that is truly worth-while. Godliness is not just a matter of going to church on Sunday or going to the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s witnesses, although that is the only way some people try to show their godliness. The only way that true godliness can be of great gain is if it is combined with contentment. Your heart and mind as well as your body must be used in preaching the Word. Those who go to the synagogues or churches of this old world, or even to the Kingdom Hall, if they are worried because of their great possessions like the rich man that Jesus spoke to, haven’t the contentment that brings great gain. Perhaps they attend church for show or for business reasons or because it gives them a better standing in the community; but instead of contentment, they have only worries and problems.

    Paul gave good admonition to Timothy many years ago, and it will, if followed, change the whole course of one’s life: “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (1 Tim. 6:6-10 ) Individuals may accumulate great material gain, prominence, popularity, position, money and influence. They may gain all these things by their own efforts or through inheritance, but the important thing for them to remember is that godliness with contentment is great gain. When they came into the world they brought nothing with them, and when they leave they can’t take anything away. So why be sorrowful the rest of your life because you have great possessions? Take the Master’s advice: ‘Give to the poor; store up treasures for yourself in heaven, and come, follow me!’ ( Matt. 19:16-22 ) Is it not better to be contented in the house of the Lord than to be discontented in the Devil’s organization?


    5. How did Jesus illustrate we should not worry for the future?

    The certain rich man that Jesus spoke about who said he would eat, drink and be joyful, now that he had great wealth and had laid up great stores for himself, yet lacked contentment. He was trying to find it, but his wealth led him “into temptation, and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts”. He wanted to live just for himself. Jesus, speaking to his disciples, said, “Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about life, wondering what you will have to eat, or about your body, wondering what you will have to wear. Life is more important than food, and the body than clothes. Think of the crows! They do not sow or reap, and they have no storehouses or barns, and God feeds them. How much more you are worth than the birds!” (Luke 12:22-24 , An Amer. Trans. ) It is a matter of having faith in Jehovah God and of believing that when he placed man upon the earth there were ample provisions for all if the effort was put forth to use them. First, however, comes our worship of Jehovah, the Giver of all good things.

    6. How did both the psalmist and Job further illustrate this?

    Both Job and the psalmist recognized how God looks after the beasts of the field and the birds of the air and makes provision for them. Certainly human creatures are worth much more than these, and especially those who have entered into a covenant relationship with Jehovah God to do His will. Job 38:41 asks, “Who provideth for the raven his prey, when his young ones cry unto God, and wander for lack of food?” (Am. Stan. Ver. ) Again, “Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God: who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains. He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry.” (Ps. 147:7-9 ) Are not the needs of men made sure? Why then be worried about life and all its problems? Seek first the Kingdom!

    7. How must we avail ourselves of God’s provisions?

    Do not the squirrels gather nuts and store them away in holes dug in the ground or hide them in the trunks of trees? Do not the beavers make provision for themselves and the bees store up honey in their hives for the winter? The point is this: provision is made for all of the animals so that they can gather in the things necessary to their life. They work to gather what God supplies. Man can do the same. All that it is necessary for man to do is to use the things God provides. Man should not be lazier than the birds of the air, the fish of the sea, or the animals of the earth. As good counsel to the lazy man, the wise one said, ‘Consider the ant, thou sluggard.’ Yes, we have to work, but we do not have to become slaves to commerce or to this old world in order to live.

    8. Why is it foolish to hoard great riches for a future day?

    It is natural for man to want to live, and he would like to carry on his existence even in this present time of hardship and distress as long as he possibly can; but the hoarding up of earthly riches is not the thing that is going to guarantee life any more than it did for that certain rich man who stored all his wealth away in barns only to die that night. For, as the account says, “this very night your soul will be demanded of you. Then who will have all you have prepared?” (Luke 12:20 ,

    An Amer. Trans. ) Then Jesus in his discussion with his disciples said, “And who from among you though anxious can unto his stature add a cubit?” (Luke 12:25 , Roth.) If the body of an individual wears out and it is time for that body to return to the dust, there is not much that one can do in fixing up the organism. If the heart is exhausted and the nervous system worn out or the muscles become stiff and hard, there is not much that one can do to add another step to his life; he has reached the end of his way. So Jesus argues, “If then ye are not able to do even that which is least, why are ye anxious concerning the rest?” (Luke 12:26 , A.S.V. ) In other words, if we cannot extend our life just a little, not even a cubit, why then should we be so anxious and concerned about storing away great wealth , food, clothing, and in having many homes and properties? Why should we be anxious to store up that which we have collected during the past year into barns and then say: “From now on I will eat, drink and enjoy myself”? How much better it would be to give that which we have to the poor and store up for ourselves treasures in heaven!

    9. What treasure do we have? How do we store treasure above?

    What treasure do we have? Those who have come to a knowledge of God’s Word have the truth. They have come to understand who Jehovah God is, the Great One of the universe; how he provided his Son, Christ Jesus, to redeem mankind through him that they might gain eternal life; how Christ Jesus has now come and taken to himself his power and begun to reign and that the kingdom that we have prayed for is established. These things we know; these things Christians possess in the way of knowledge because of their study of God’s Word, and they can give this good message to the poor who are sighing and crying because of the abominations that have come upon them in this world. True Christians will devote what they have of this world’s goods, whether little or much, to bringing this message to the poor and comforting those who mourn. They remember that a person’s life is not due to the things that he possesses, but his eternal existence depends on the treasure that he stores up in heaven. They consistently add to their heavenly treasure by preaching the good news of the Kingdom.

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