Thursday, 17 September 2020
Title: Good Stewardship
Author: Arnold Lim
The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it.
In Psalm 24:1, David states that the entire earth belongs to God, for He created the heavens and the earth. The ownership extends to our lives and our blessings – material and spiritual. The corollary is we are only stewards of His blessings.
In Luke 19:11-27 (Parable of the Ten Minas) and Matthew 25: 14-30 (Parable of the Talents)
Jesus teaches that we should be good stewards of His blessings. Our abilities and material possessions are to be used for His work here on earth while awaiting His return. An important takeaway, although not the only takeaway, is: Do you make your money work for you?
You may be surprised to know that the Bible even talks about investments.
Ship your grain across the sea; after many days you may receive a return. Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight; you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.
Exporting grain in a sailing ship was definitely risky in those days. The ship could be sunk in a storm or raided by a pirate in the Caribbean. Still the verse encourages investing. More interestingly, in verse 2 it encourages diversification by investing in seven or eight ventures. In other words, to not to put all of one’s eggs in one basket. This is the Bible mind you, talking of diversification of investments.
So, let me ask the question: Is placing all one’s funds in fixed deposits at 1.7% being a good steward?
We are now living in a period of record low interest rates and the situation looks like it will persist. Retirees depending upon interest income from their fixed deposits are finding it more and more difficult to make ends meet, as the cost of living rises due to inflation. For millennials preparing for the future – to buy a house or finance their children’s education – they will find it difficult to achieve retirement goals by placing all your monies in fixed deposits.
I would like to put to you: In this environment, you will have no choice but to take on some risk to achieve a higher potential return. You will need to invest in a combination of the following:
- property for rental income and price appreciation
- bonds for interest income
- Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS)
- stocks for dividend income and capital gains.
If you do not possess the necessary expertise, take steps to acquire the expertise. Alternatively, consult a financial planner.
Finally, when your investments are generating a steady income stream, do not forget to serve Him. And do tithe. It reads in Deuteronomy 8:10, “When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land He has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe His commands, His laws and His decrees that I am giving you this day”
Our Lord and Heavenly Father, You are great and awesome God. You deserve all glory, honor and praise.
Grant us opportunities to honor You with the abilities and material possessions that You have blessed us with. Help us to be good stewards of your blessings; grant us wisdom to invest in this uncertain economic environment.
We pray in Jesus name, Amen!
大卫在诗篇24:1中指出，整个地球都属于上帝，因为祂创造了天地。此所有权延伸到我们的生活和我们的祝福 – 物质和属灵的。其必然的结果是我们只是祂的祝福的管家。
我们现在生活在创纪录的低利率时期，而这种情况看起来还会持续下去。随着生活费因通货膨胀而上涨，依赖于定期存款利息收入的退休人员越来越难以维持生计。对于为未来做准备的千禧一代 – 买房子或资助子女的教育费，他们会发现将所有款项存入定期存款是很难实现退休目标的。
- 房地产投资信托基金 (REITS)