Gaining a Return on an Eternal Investment
By Jim Brown, Moderator
Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
So what can $1.59 buy these days?
Here are a few things: half a gallon of gasoline, a pack of gum at the airport, small fries from Wendy’s, and 13 of the 26 breath mints in an Altoids container. As you can see, you can’t buy much, unless you are standing in a market in Cambodia.
I like to think that I am a good money manager. I love it when I get good bang for the buck. I believe God wants us to manage His money well, so I work hard at making wise choices in buying things. Well, I must confess the Harley Davidson motorcycle that sits in my garage could be one of those gray areas. But I justify that by knowing it will hold its value. Besides, a ride down the road on a warm summer day with my wife…man, that is just priceless.
So with the recession looming and my retirement account plummeting, I wanted to make a good investment. So I jumped in my Jeep with three guys from the staff of our church, Goshen (Ind.) Community Church, and headed out to do a little fishing. In fact, others from the staff joined in another vehicle to do the same thing. We drove through Goshen, stopping to engage people in conversation. Before we knew it, we were standing in an open foyer. As I looked over the place, I noticed a coffee shop. But more importantly, I noticed a potential fish to be caught.
So I had a choice to make before I even glanced at the menu on the wall that had tall, grande, and whatever the next size is called. What was I willing to spend that morning on a good cup of coffee? To be quite honest, it just didn’t matter. I mean how much would you pay for a soul? How much would it be worth to drop a line and get a nibble? How much would it be worth to push someone else closer to Jesus? How much would Jesus pay? I knew my answer quickly after that last thought.
So I asked the young lady behind the counter what coffee she would drink if she were ordering. She told me she would drink Seattle’s Best. The reality is that anytime you buy the best, you pay for it. So I said, “Let’s do it.”
She asked what size, and I knew immediately…the tall would do. To be quite honest, it really didn’t matter to me how much it cost because a soul is priceless, isn’t it?
So I forked over $1.59 and prayed, “Lord, I know you want this girl to be saved, so please open her heart to you.” We talked and she was as open to the gospel as anyone I have ever seen in my life. I mean she would have bitten on a three-day-old worm that morning. It was as if she hadn’t eaten in days or that a fisherman had not dropped a line in her pond in years. She bit and swallowed it, hook, line, and sinker.
Yes, she gave her life to Jesus over a Seattle’s Best brew that cost me $1.59. I wonder is there any better investment in the world today? So in the midst of a recession, I made the investment of a lifetime for less than two bucks. I must admit I never knew coffee could bring such a good return.
We returned to our offices to share our stories and were filled with joy. And by the way, the coffee was out of this world good. Well, it should be, when it makes that kind of return on your money.
So I encourage you to grab a cup of java, maybe even Seattle’s Best, and drop a line. The potential for a good return on your money is out of this world.
Jim Brown is the senior pastor of Grace Community Church, a Grace Brethren church in Goshen, Ind., that ministers to more than 1,200 people each Sunday.