by Chad Moore, Pastor, Bookcliff Baptist Church, Bookcliff, CO
Everyone likes talking about money, how we spend it, how we invest it, especially in Baptist life. Perhaps that is one of the most hyperbolic statements ever made, but in truth, as disciples of Jesus we are wealthy beyond measure in ways that most of us choose to never talk about, either because of our culture, our sensitivities or we decide not to. That wealth may want to be carried on, we hope, by the majority of people. That is why estate planning is highly important for those who need to get everything in order. Learning the california estate tax laws, or the tax laws wherever they are, for instance, we would be Colorado, will help plan for the future in the best way possible.
However, when we look at scripture money, finances, wealth, and talents are far from the back burner. How we invest what God has entrusted us with is of the utmost importance especially in light of the reality that we are not only living for the next 10-70 years but rather as disciples of Jesus we are living for the next billion plus infinity years and where I come from that is a long time.
When we think back to Matthew 25:14-30 we remember the moment where Jesus is teaching those who have gathered around and likewise us through the Parable of the Talents. Each one of the servants was given something, entrusted with a talent. And we remember in the parable that all saw their talents expand except for the one whom in verse 26 Jesus refers to as the slothful servant who buried what he was given in the ground and had nothing more to give the master than what he was given.
As we look at what we have been given we too have been given much, whether it be financially or actual talents, gifts, and passions. And no matter what stage of life we are in, we have a responsibility to plan well to live well, to not dig a hole and bury what has been entrusted to us, but to see it expanded well beyond us, but to see it expanded for the sake of eternity and the Kingdom.
This summer at Bookcliff Baptist Church Doug Lohrey, the President of The Colorado Baptist Foundation, invested his time and talents in us to share with us how the foundation comes alongside churches and individuals to help us plan beyond today, to help us look beyond living day to day and plan how we can see the finances that God has entrusted to us have an eternal impact during our lifetime and far beyond our entering the presence of the Kingdom.
We all are wealthy, we all are at the perfect age to plan well today. For as we read in Ecclesiastes 3:1–8, “ For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven….”
As a pastor too often we spend time in hospitals and at funeral homes. Too often we spend times in places of mourning and simultaneous celebration as those we love have been called into the presence of the Father. We have interacted with so many families who have planned the most special send-off for their loved ones. From laying them to rest in something like these beautiful Batesville caskets, to the readings at their wake, we have been there through it all. We have been with them, comforting them, when our Father has welcomed them back into his arms. Regardless of our life stage, regardless of the status of our bank accounts, God has entrusted us as stewards of His riches, what is His not ours. Are we giving of our talents, spending our talents for the Kingdom today, are we preparing our talents to be used by the Kingdom far beyond our lifetime, or are we being slothful as we hear from Matthew 25:26.
God has entrusted Colorado with the gift of the Colorado Baptist Foundation, a gift that provides resources such as financial planning, estate planning, and accounting for our churches. Let it be our prayer that we are found faithful – 1 Corinthians 4:2.