Thursday, 17 September 2020
Title: Good Stewardship
Author: Arnold Lim

Psalm 24:1

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.

Ecclesiastes 11:1-2

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”

Prayer

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!

每日灵粮
星期四, 2020年9月17日
标题:好的管家职责
作者:林文礼弟兄
翻译:薛秀合姐妹

诗篇24:1
地和其中所充满的,世界和住在其间的,都属耶和华。

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。

在路加福音19:11-27(十锭银子的比喻)和马太福音25:14-30(按才干接受托付的比喻),耶稣教导我们应当成为祂的祝福的好管家。在等候主再来的期间,我们的才干和物质财富是要用于祂在地上的工作。重点是,尽管不是唯一的,就是:您是否会让金钱为您效力?

您可能会对圣经竟在谈论投资而感到惊讶。

传道书11:1-2
当将你的粮食撒在水面,因为日久必能得着。你要分给七人,或分给八人,因为你不知道将来有甚麽灾祸临到地上。

以往利用海运出口谷物绝对是有风险的。船只可能会在暴风雨中沉没,或者在加勒比海遭到海盗袭击。但这节经文依然鼓励投资。更有趣的是,在第二节经文中,它甚至鼓励多元化地进行七或八项的投资。换句话说,不要孤注一掷。请留心,这是圣经在谈及多元化的投资。

那么,请允许我问一个问题:一个人将所有资金以1.7%的利率存放在定期存款中是个好管家吗?

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。

我想告诉您:在这种环境下,您别无选择,只能承担一些风险,以获得更高的回酬。您需要投资在以下项目的组合:

  • 物业,以获取租金收入和会升值的价格
  • 债券,以取得利息收入
  • 房地产投资信托基金 (REITS)
  • 股票,以取得股息收益和资本增值

若您未具备必要的专业知识,请采取步骤以获取专业知识。或者,您也可以咨询理财规划师。

最后,当您的投资产生稳定的收入来源时,请不要忘记事奉祂;且要奉行十一奉献。申命记8:10记载,“你吃得饱足,就要称颂耶和华─你的神,因他将那美地赐给你了。你要谨慎,免得忘记耶和华─你的神,不守他的诫命、典章、律例,就是我今日所吩咐你的。”

祷告

我们的主及阿爸天父,祢是伟大又令人敬畏的上帝。祢配得一切荣耀、尊贵与颂赞。

愿主赐予我们机会,以祢所赐的才干和物质财富的祝福来荣耀祢。帮助我们成为祢的祝福的好管家;求赐我们智慧在这不稳定的经济环境中进行投资。

我们奉耶稣的名祷告,阿门!

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