Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Risk Tolerance and Investment Return

What kind of investor are you? Do you tolerate higher risk for higher profit potential? Prefer lower risk with guaranteed return? Maintain a nicely balanced portfolio?

What kind of Bible reader are you? Among the profits sought for time invested in Bible reading are to …

• obtain words of comfort or encouragement
• gain wisdom / advice on how to live
• gain knowledge of biblical principles
• find corroboration for an established belief
• expand religious doctrine
• expand a legalistic list of thou-shall-nots
• fulfill a perceived duty
• study history
• study prophecy of the future
• hear from God personally
• understand the character of God
• know the Person of God

Reading the Bible to simply check it off a "to do" list carries low risk and the guaranteed return of self-satisfaction. Substantial penalties may apply for unsanctioned withdrawals. Higher profit potential requires a greater investment. And if you would obtain the highest return—if you want to know God—expect a wild ride recommended for those not faint of heart.

Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace, be still!" And the wind ceased and there was a great calm… And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, "Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!"
~ Mark 4:39-41 (NKJV)

Seasoned men of the sea were battered by waves which provoked a terrified cry to Jesus for help. When He offered His signature message of peace and good will to the storm, His disciples were filled with an entirely new kind of fear—the fear of facing God.

Peter and John and Paul stand among the greatest apostles. Like a host of biblical greats who came before, each of them trembled when confronted with meeting holy God.

When Simon Peter saw [the great catch of fish], he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!" … And Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men."
~ Luke 5:8,10 (NKJV)

Lord, make us brave and fill us with faith. Lord, fill us with desire to know You, that we will better love You. You are worthy of all we have, and all the best of it!

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This post is part of the "One Word at a Time" blog carnival hosted by Peter Pollock. You're invited to visit his site and see what others are saying about today's one-word theme: Much.

Comments are welcome (including respectful disagreement) and will receive a reply.
You may also contact author via Twitter – @anne4JC
or e-mail – buildingHisbody [plus] @gmail.com
Copyright 2012, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.


  1. I like your list of Bible reading habits. I think most of us who believe God's word matters probably can recognize ourselves somewhere in that list. At times I've struggled, not knowing whether I should be reading devotionally or as a means of study, or whether I should be reading widely or deep. I think the answer is "all of the above," at different stages and seasons in the life of faith. I've read through the entire Bible several times and have found great joy and benefit in some of the most unlikely places. Now I'm more likely to camp out in one spot and let God's word soak deeply into my soul. Nice to meet you here at the carnival. Blessings.

    1. Nancy, I wish I could say I've never been guilty of reading the Bible in order to "find corroboration for an established belief" or "expand a legalistic list of 'thou-shall-nots'." As you say, great joy and bnefit is found in unlikely places of this "living and powerful" Word. Praise God for His willingness to meet us in every place.

  2. Just as with any investment to reap a return we must first invest. Unlike others, it is a guaranteed unparalleled positive return.

    The initial investment is faith with a guaranteed return of salvation by His grace alone.

    Further investment in His Word and Way yields fruit and eternal increase.

    1. Yes, Dusty, Jesus was a capitalist for sure when it comes to eternal riches.

  3. The Word became flesh and dwelled among them... That's a level that changes everything and still does. It's not casual reading or religious duty, it's sold out, following hard after Him. Love this, Anne! Thank you.

    1. Thanks, Jason. I think when I feel tired, I can be guilty of trying to make the Word casual reading. It's simply too powerful for that to happen.

  4. We need to daily invest in His Word.

    1. And, Denise, daily investment will yield daily returns far above the investment. :D

  5. Haven't seen you for months and months. A blessing to have you popped back into my life.

    So much of what you said is very accurate. And I did walk through your Bible list. Some of it is exactly where my spiritual/reading focus has been for years. God simply uses some aspects to keep my attention spanning. I'm not a very "sweetness and light" person, spiritually speaking, although some of my most loved spiritual sisters and brothers are. I'm a seriosity-focused person, on alert, seeking what to do next and how to serve.

    [BTW, I'm reading this and catching up on the posts now. I've been up at s.etole's since last Friday and have another 10 days before I head for home. As usual, we're hanging out, hashing out, winding up and down. A good blessed time. And you'd be blessed, too. ;-)]

    1. caryjo, I'm glad to catch up with you. Some recent personal challanged have afforded me only a fraction of online time that I used to have. Though I miss the people with whom I'm out of touch, I'm grateful to think that Heaven lacks nothing, least of all time. : )

  6. I am reading the Bible through again this year, and I suppose that is accomplishment. There is always a lesson that pops up even in the ugly stories of God's children rebelling and being captured and carried off.
    Then the goodness of God is shown when his children repent.

    1. Yes, Hazel, it is a wonderful accomplishment to read through the Bible. And yes, the urge to repent and God's goodness amid suffering are two recurring themes you really can't miss when you read the Bible. One of my very favorite passages is Judges 10:15-16:

      And the children of Israel said to the LORD, "We have sinned! Do to us whatever seems best to You; only deliver us this day, we pray." So they put away the foreign gods from among them and served the LORD. And His soul could no longer endure the misery of Israel.

  7. I love how you can read the same thing in the Bible and it hits you differently each time. My favorite are the little nuggets that stand out from the page that you never noticed before. This reminds me that I need to spend more quality time in the Word, thank you!

    1. You too, Fatha Frank?! Though I've read the Bible cover to cover several times, I'm still amazaed to not only discover snippets that have eluded me, but have them reach out and grab me.


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