Invest in Life

Open Your Bible

Ecclesiastes 11:1-10, Psalm 94:17-19, Colossians 3:21-25

One day after work, I stopped by a retail store on the way home. Everyone and their mother was in line waiting for this one poor girl to ring them up at the register. I couldn’t help but notice she looked upset—haggard, irritated, all the unhappy adjectives. My first reaction was to wish she had a better spirit of customer service, but then something softened, and I was convicted to strike up a conversation once it was my turn. The short story was this: No, she wasn’t having a good day, because her best friend had just died, and she was the one who had discovered the body. To intensify her grief, she couldn’t find someone to cover her shift that coming Saturday and had to miss the funeral.

As you can imagine, few words felt appropriate in this situation. Doing nothing felt cold, but offering words of false comfort felt colder. How would Jesus respond?

Long story short, the Spirit prompted me to do something tangible for this girl—not to persuade her that everything would be okay or that knowing God would suddenly lessen the pain, but because the moments when I’ve felt most loved were moments when another human being did something unexpected to show God’s kindness to me. So, I returned to the store with a chocolate cupcake and a card that said this: “I’m so sorry you lost your best friend. Nobody should ever have to go through that. God sees you and grieves with you.”

The world encourages us to spend our days like money, trading them in for pleasure and recreation. But, friends, God urges us to invest our lives in the kingdom. He promises that we will reap a harvest one day (Galatians 6:9). We can’t guarantee that one conversation or random act of kindness will be the one to change someone’s life, but we can trust that God does not waste one moment of our lives. Ecclesiastes 11:6 says it this way: “In the morning sow your seed, and at evening do not let your hand rest.”

Even while operating out of a focus on life under the sun, the writer of Ecclesiastes lifts his head for a moment to comment on what life looks like in the kingdom. He acknowledges there is a God, one who has the power to make what we sow flourish, as well as bring judgment on our actions.

We never know God’s timing or how He might multiply the work of our hands. So, we sink our teeth into each day. Investing, planting, watering, we pray for the flourishing of God’s movement in the world. But even when we don’t see the fruit, God is still trustworthy with the results.

“Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord
and not for people, knowing that you will receive the reward
of an inheritance from the Lord” (Colossians 3:23–24).

Instead of spending all our days like money, let’s look for ways to invest in life. Giving someone a cupcake to remind them that their grief isn’t insignificant feels so small—almost silly. But as I watched the girl behind the register run around the counter with a big smile and arms spread open, it felt like Jesus was up to something.

(44) Comments

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44 thoughts on "Invest in Life"

  1. Christina Sach says:

    Absolutely beautiful. You never know what God can do with a “silly little cupcake”

  2. Holly Krylo says:

    Great reminders

  3. Jessica Nicolas says:

    We might not see what we sow grow and flourish right away, but as we continue to work, pray and wait… he is working! ♡

  4. Erricka Hager says:

    Lord, guide my steps so I can do what I can, with what I have; what You have given to me, right where I am, at this time and season in my life. Help me to be Faithful to You in investing all you’ve given to me by helping me not to fear and to just walk in obedience to Your will, the opportunities You provide, for whatever purposes You may have…In Jesus’ Name, Amen

    1. Amy Rogers says:


  5. Nicole Green says:

    Acts 20:35 “It’s more blessed to give than to receive”. So few of us realize that eventually everything we do, will reveal later in life when we’re old and need help. How we really lived our lives and how we really treated people. It’s so important to always think of someone else, and how we can be a blessing. Then is God pleased….

  6. Freyjah Fey says:

    Today’s reflection not only showed kindness at work but the reward of asking God first and then being obedient to do it.

  7. Jennifer Wheeler says:

    God works when we don’t even know it! ❤️

  8. Tina says:

    Beautiful words Bailey! The title .. Invest in life.. that would have been enough. Thank you!

    Wonderful sharing Sisters..
    Praying for all who need prayer, praying blessing, hope, grace peace healing, love over you all.

    God be with you.❤

  9. Ash H. says:

    My husband surprised me today with the information that God has called him to lead a group of people to set up a prayer station at our local BLM protest on Sunday. He just wants to show people that Christians care about injustice and want to love and listen. I’m so proud of him for listening to the Holy Spirit, and for his boldness in the face of a fairly apathetic church congregation. Please pray for his safety and that God is glorified Sunday and that hearts are softened.

  10. Lehua K. says:

    Praying for you Diana. I understand and can relate with your desires to push through with your work and its conflicts with your limitations. Thank God that He sees our heart and knows what we strive for, and that we aren’t judged based on our actual output, and that He is our ever present strength in all things. Where we are weak, He is strong.

    Pam, praying for you and your father and your family during this time. Thank you for sharing your heartfelt story about his life and service.

    Very good point Sarah, about patience and planting seeds, waiting for the harvest. I continue to pray the Holy Spirit will work in and through you to connect with your sister and brother-in-law. I relate with your struggles in a sense, because I am praying continually for my husband to be saved.

    I hope all you SRT ladies had a blessed day. :)

  11. Danielle McCutcheon says:


  12. Alisha Attella-Sevier says:

    I love today’s reflection, it’s so important-you never know what small thing will prove giant! Ecc 11:6

  13. Maura says:

    What a great message this morning! And how encouraging to read your responses my sisters. Angie, I prayed over your list and thank you for your prayers for me over the trip I get with my daughter and grands. As I read through I pray for and thank the Lord for each of you out there serving and giving glory to our God. That the Father blesses our work I have no doubt. Angie, I also love the Hug Patrol idea, a great way to live intentionally. In my employment in an ER years ago, I did admissions and God opened up the opportunity and my mouth when I felt the heavy sorrow or fear, to ask if I could pray with patients and it blessed me so. And I have continued that in what I do now and you know not once, not one time has anyone ever said no. But there have been many tears, and heart felt thanks. It is not because of my sometimes very simple prayers it is that reminder in the prayer, in the asking that we are not alone that God sees us and loves us and that He brought someone to notice the pain and see them. Knowing that so many are hurting in this time may God bring His peace and joy in the midst of fear and pain. He does, oh yes He does. You are loved dear ones by the King who sees your heart in your work. How great is that!

  14. Lindsay C. says:

    Diana I loved your comment and wrote it in my journal, “the expectation isn’t infinite, for we are finite creatures.” So often I want to implement a new habit but end up thinking too grand and give up altogether. I can expand, grow, and keep moving forward one small step at a time. Serving my family with gladness and rejoicing in each new day is a good first step.

  15. Mari V says:

    Bailey, that was so beautiful!

  16. Sarah D. says:

    I have to remember that when planting seeds, they need time to grow. I helped plant seeds in our garden we started this week, and I know it will take time to grow. It needs to be watered, pruned, protected from hungry animals :) and maybe even reseeded. It makes me think of sharing the gospel with people. I have really been convicted of this latel, remembering when I was in Hawaii last summer for an internship. I could have shared the gospel so many times, but I didnt, and that’s a huge regret for me. I’m praying that when we can see other groups of people again, that I will not be afraid to share. Also praying that the seeds I’m planting with my sister will grow…It seems like the soil of her heart is really hard. She and her husband are very scientific, wanting to know the facts from studies… I desperately want to see results quickly, but I know I have to trust God to do the inside work in her and her husband’s hearts. Praying that the Holy Spirit would speak through me to them, soften their hearts, and grow his truth in their lives, so that they could come into a real relationship with Jesus and have the assurance of heaven.

  17. Pam K says:

    Hi; I don’t post a lot but today I have to write a small tribute to my Father in Law. He will probably be with the Lord today or tomorrow and has struggled with dementia for several years. It’s been a tough journey as many of you know.
    But, he gave his life to serving the Lord, as a pastor, husband , dad and grandpa. I learned so much from his example of being ready to serve each day. When people called, he went. I watched him serve his neighbors, bringing some to the Lord. He placed himself in the community and cared for people in such a beautiful way.
    Those in his churches, in which he worked until aged 75, loved him so much. I keep thinking about his legacy and it’s beyond what we know. We are sad to say goodbye yet are resting in the truth that he will be with the Lord. I couldn’t be more thankful for this man and his witness to me over the years. He understood what we looked at today.

    1. Candida Armendariz says:

      Pam, thank you for sharing a glimpse of this man’s life. May your family be surrounded by comfort as this faithful servant returns home. I thank God that we have assurance of heaven. It makes losing people a little more tolerable.

  18. Diana Fleenor says:

    I love reading all your responses again today. The focus of the devotion on looking for opportunities to show the love of Jesus to others is such a good exhortation. Another thing that stood out to me in today’s reading is the notation to “Give a portion to seven, or even to eight…” Because I tend to get overwhelmed by all the needs around me, and desire to give to all, yet have not the human resources to do as such, I found this given number(s) of significance personally. I’m reminded that the expectation isn’t infinite, for we are finite creatures.

    In my aim to “work heartily,” my illness with ME/CFS requires me to pace in a special way in order to do work, whether physical or cognitively. I have not always accepted this need and often push passed my limits. But, what this overdoing does is push my body into what’s called post-exertional neuroimmune exhaustion (PENE), or a “crash” in layman’s terms. It’s my desire to work wisely and to do everything for the Lord, not as a people-pleaser. Would you all pray for me in this? I lift up to the Lord anyone else who struggles in a similar way. I’m so grateful to know that where we are finite, our Lord is not!

    1. AnneLyn P says:

      Praying for you, Diana Fleenor. Thanks for sharing.

  19. Lehua K. says:

    Thank you, Nicole. We never know what people may be going through, especially strangers and acquaintances. Sometimes even friends, family, and loved ones won’t say anything either.

    Angie, thank you. Sometimes I get a nudge in my heart, like God puts someone random in my mind to reach out to. It’s often someone I haven’t talked to in awhile. I’ve learned to act on them instead of just dismissing it as random and something weird my brain does. Sometimes I won’t just reach out generally, but I’ll remember a specific fond memory or just something I am grateful for that pertains to them, and I will share that as well to brighten their day and see how they’re doing. In these days of social distancing and quarantine, I have found any bit of connection helps, for both parties. I’m not sure if that’s the type of thing you’re looking for but I hope it helps.

    Ceegee, thank you. I’m glad your son is adjusting well. Continuing to pray he will do well in the transition back to work.

    Terri, thank you. Yes, we need to see others as God’s children. Great reminder! Thank you for sharing.

    Thank you Blessed Beth for your prayer!

    Churchmouse, thank you as always for your perspective. “let us look not AT others but IN to others” – yes, I need to do this more and to learn how to get out of my comfort zone, and ask people how they’re doing… and truly be ready for whatever answer they give. How often have I asked someone how they’re doing and expected a short answer like “I’m fine” so we can go about our day? Lord, please help me to catch myself and to improve in this area. Instead of going through formalities of short “hello, how are you” conversations, help me to be more open and ready for deeper conversations and opportunities to add more value to people, to listen and to share Your love and good news with them.

    It’s great to remember that we don’t always feel well or have great days either, and that we would want others to have grace for us in those times, even if they don’t know what’s going on. Having that empathy also makes it easier when it’s flipped around.

  20. Elisha Anne says:

    Especially blessed by the last verse, how we are to live before the Fathers face and not mans, to do what’s pleasing to Him. From Him alone we will receive a reward and may we fear Him alone. ♥️

  21. Angie says:

    Cynthia, I’m praying for your daughter’s cyst removal and wondered how she is doing?

    Elise, I pray and am thankful for your devotion to the Lord and your trust in Him as you graduate from college and look to the future.

    Donna Bell, your son and his family remain in my prayers during this time they are in Egypt and during Stef’s pregnancy.

    Mari, I thank God for your declaration of His care for you in all circumstances, providing exactly what you need.

    Maura, I wrote down to pray for you and your daughter…but I didn’t write details, so you received a broad spectrum of prayer this morning.

    Lehua and others who are presently working either again or this whole time, may the Almighty cover you with His feathers, may He be your shield every moment of every day.

    Mikki, I am praying for God’s guidance in your life as you prepare for a cross country move and wedding in October.

    Leann, Courtney, Taylor, and Kirstyn…I’ve lifted you before the Father as well, specifically.

    These are those prayed for this morning…but a list of about 140 of your names remains on my prayer wall. As God guides, humbly, thankfully, I lift you before Him. Thank you for this opportunity ladies.

  22. Angie says:

    Thank you Lehua and others for sharing. “Waymaker,” is the first song that came on when I mowed during my husband’s Covid illness. I love the whole song but, those lines, “Even when I can’t see it You are working, Even when I can’t feel it You’re working, You never stop, You never stop working,”…so good.

    Today’s devotional reminds me of the sign in our dining room. I posted the words the other day but, here they are again…”Today is the beginning of a new day You have been given this day to use as you will. You can waste it or use it for good. What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone, forever. In its place is something that you have left behind. Let it be something good.”

    My work, casting of bread upon the water, during the school calendar year is mostly my students and their parents. Summer frees me up. Often, we invite people we really don’t know (often from church) into our home in small groups of 10-15 for a simple meal and time of fellowship. Sometimes I find out their names that day. I always invite at least one other couple I know well, so we are not all strangers. I’m not sure that is a good fit for this time. I am praying about what and where God wants me to “cast his bread.” I want to be ready for situations like the “cupcake girl”…always, but, are there also intentional things I can do? When I was a young, we moms formed a secret group called, “Hug patrol.” We kept our ears and eyes open and when we heard about a struggle someone was having, or saw heartbreak in someone’s eyes…we prayed and then created a simple, inexpensive anonymous “hug” gift. It might be a cup with a packet of hot cocoa and a scripture, it might be a calendar with handwritten scriptures randomly throughout, or a freshly baked loaf of sweet bread. We each tried to reach out to 1-2 people a month. We “hugged” all ages.

    Will you pray with me that I will hear and obey God’s guidance? Have you done something that maybe I could do also? Have you been in a situation where someone did something for you and you saw Jesus in it and be willing to share? I know God will guide me, He knows my heart…but, I thought I would ask because maybe He will use you in His answers to my prayers. You don’t even have to address them to me…I read the posts each night and pray, so if you share stuff from your life or ideas, God will use them.

    1. Kerry Rowley says:

      This is so good Angie. I love the idea of your “hug”. Thank you for this urging.

  23. DOROTHY says:

    I know I for one need to heed to what Bailey wrote in the first sentence of her last paragraph, “Instead of spending all our days like money, let’s look for ways to invest in life.” I need to start today, now looking for ways to invest in life. I have lost two young people in my life in the last 17 years and it has made me realize God has a plan for each of us and it may be for only a 18 years or 88 years but we never know. Since we don’t know we need to live it in love and faith with God, Christ and the Holy Spirit. Both my father, who died at the age of 88, and my son, who died at the age of 18, lived their lives for God, Christ and the Holy Spirit. My niece had just come back to God and Christ. Lord, help me to live a life reflecting of You and Your Son. Amen

  24. Taylor says:

    Lord help me to invest in Your Kingdom today. Place something on my heart that I can do for You. Thank you for the hearts of each of these women who are seeking to bring your Kingdom onto Earth each day. Thank you for the conviction of not judging others too quickly and to see EVERYONE as worthy of your love and salvation. I pray that I would see others with grace and compassion. I pray over each of these women who gather here that you would use them for Your glory – that we would make disciples of You. Amen <3

  25. NanaK says:

    As always a great message and thought provoking responses ladies.
    Angela, I love you statement, “ I’m not the only person on God’s agenda so I’d better stop acting like it.” …there is no favoritism.” Col 3:25
    I agree with you all, let us live each day intentionally, lifting our eyes and hearts to those around us, being open and willing vessels to share the love of our Lord.

  26. Lizzie says:

    Yes! We don’t know what will happen, but God is in control. Live life for His glory, Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people,” And fear not, Ecclesiastes 11:10,
    “So drive worry out of your heart.
    Get rid of all of your troubles.
    Being young and strong doesn’t have any meaning.”
    As we serve God, regardless or our age, our status, or whatever else, we are loving God. We love because He first loved us, and He says what you do for the least of these, you do for Him! James 2:23, “and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness, and he was called God’s friend.”
    As friends of God… His love fills our hearts and we overflow out of love for Him!
    Lord, thank you for giving me love that is uncontainable, your love reaches to the heavens. May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to you. You are my Lord, my Rock, my Redeemer. In Jesus’s name, amen.

    1. Jennifer Martin says:


  27. CeeGee says:

    Agreeing in prayer with BLESSED BETH for those who are re-entering the workforce!
    CHURCHMOUSE – You nailed a big truth about interaction. One of the hardest things I’ve dealt with in the social distancing is that people rarely make friendly eye contact. I will keep trying and trust God that when I say ‘thank you’ or ‘God bless you’ to someone, it will bear fruit.
    LEHUA K- You listed third very phrases I keyed in on! I love your song reference and was reminded of the words to the song “even If” by Mercy Me:’Even if you don’t, my hope is you alone … It is well…’ So thankful work is going well for you. My son is adjusting to the many changes.
    BAILEY GILLESPIE – Thank you for sharing your ‘be a light’ moment. You are a blessing!I
    Have a blessed day ladies!

  28. Nicole Norris says:

    I love this one so much !!! What a great reminder ! How wonderful it is to live and work in the sunshine ….. how wonderful the l get of day….. YOU guys …. God is working through you and in you. My parents always taught me hard work….. always do your best no matter what …. that is what God wants from us too…. and doesn’t he deserve our best. “And in everything you do, do it for the kingdom, God’s glory….. I once was reminded when I was a young mom with a deployed husband …. those babies were God’s work…. washing those dishes and cleaning off those messy faces ….. those tasks that used to seem so mundane ….. that is what I was called to do at that time and I was called to do that for the kingdom then….. do EVERYTHING for his glory …..
    I always give people the benefit of the doubt when they have a bad “attitude” about something ……after having gone through many struggles myself Bc of a medical diagnosis for my son….. you NEVER know what is going on in that person’s life …. maybe they have never felt real love ? Maybe they have never felt God’s love through Someone else…. maybe we can be that light
    Be blessed …..
    such a wonderful reminder today ….

  29. Angela Sutherland says:

    I’ve been learning to take a second look at people lately. I’m notorious for allowing my first impression of a person be what dictates my actions toward them, and it’s something the Lord has been trying to work out of me. I’ve been hearing the gentle nudge of the Spirit say “what’s that person’s story? What is God trying to do in their life?” And in that gentle nudge, I’m reminded that I’m not the only person on God’s agenda, so I’d better stop acting like it! And it opens my eyes to loving people and seeing them through the lense of His heart for people.

  30. AnneLyn P says:

    Thank you, Lehua.

  31. Melissa Graves says:

    “If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.”
    ‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:25‬ ‭ESV‬‬
    Holy Spirit please fill us and guide us as we navigate these tumultuous times. Give us wisdom to live out the love of Christ so that others will be drawn to Him.

  32. Terri M. says:

    Lehua K., your comment this morning felt like you were speaking to me. “How often do I read other people’s actions without grace, without seeing the bigger picture and digging deeper into the why of their actions.” Thank you for reminding me that I need to pause before I respond, and let my words reflect God’s grace, remembering that this person is also one of God’s children. ~Thank you

  33. Sue says:

    “The world encourages us to spend our days like money, trading them in for pleasure and recreation. But, friends, God urges us to invest our lives in the kingdom.”

    May we live intentionally today.

  34. Blessed Beth says:

    Amen ladies, as so many of you are preparing to renter the work force, I pray for your protection, and I know God has done a mighty works in you during this time and I know he had great plans for you. You will be a blessing to so many, and have been through your postings.

    1. Mari V says:

      Thank you Blessed Beth. I so appreciate this. I go back on Monday. Not sure what my hours are going to be but I am grateful I have a job.

  35. Churchmouse says:

    It’s hard to read the faces of those around you if you have your head down, focused on the face of your cell phone. It’s only when we engage with others, eye to eye, that we can begin to understand who they are and what their story is. It is from their story that we learn their values, their concerns. From there, we can enter into conversation and offer them Jesus Who is the Master Storyteller. He desires for everyone’s story to intersect with His own. Let us do as Bailey has described in today’s devotion: let us look not AT others but IN to others. Perhaps doing so will lead both to an encounter with Jesus. That is far more productive than anything our phones have to offer.

  36. Lehua K. says:

    This reading touched my heart. How often do I read other people’s actions without grace, without seeing the bigger picture and digging deeper into why they might be acting a certain way? And yes, I need to remember to ask myself the question – how would Jesus respond? What would He do? I strive to default to grace and compassion toward others.

    “The world encourages us to spend our days like money, trading them in for pleasure and recreation. But, friends, God urges us to invest our lives in the kingdom. He promises that we will reap a harvest one day (Galatians 6:9). We can’t guarantee that one conversation or random act of kindness will be the one to change someone’s life, but we can trust that God does not waste one moment of our lives. Ecclesiastes 11:6 says it this way: “In the morning sow your seed, and at evening do not let your hand rest.”

    -YES. Galatians 6:9 is one of my go-tos. I want to invest my life in something lasting, something life-changing… Something significant. The pull on my spirit to something greater is God himself. Nothing else will satisfy.

    “Investing, planting, watering, we pray for the flourishing of God’s movement in the world. But even when we don’t see the fruit, God is still trustworthy with the results.”

    -This part reminds me of the song Waymaker that goes:
    Even when I don’t see it You’re working… even when I don’t feel it You’re working…
    You never stop, you never stop working…

    Even in the most mundane or challenging tasks, we can still have a spirit of enthusiasm and joy toward it, somehow. I am working on this as I readjust to working again. It’s a fresh restart since I have been more emotionally and spiritually grounded lately. Not perfect but progressing. :)

    I’m heading to sleep soon and most of you ladies will be waking up in a few hours, but I wish you all a blessed day!

  37. Kristen says:

    Yes! Do good, look at people and try to really listen, and help them. Sow seeds. We are to be salt and light. Don’t forget the Great Commission. You may not see a harvest, but the seed was planted. I’m also reminded of the Scripture that says God’s Word doesn’t return void. I think that the rest is that the Word will accomplish His purpose. I am not saying that I do all of this at all times. I need God’s help to do these things too. God help me and guide me. Please let me joyfully do what you want.

    1. Rei Lyons says:

      This hit me. YES! His word does not return void!