Dictionaries define an annuity as an investment from which
one receives an income over a long period of time. The most important aspect
of an annuity is that it is a long-term plan. But listen to the apostle
Paul's words, "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are
not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us"
(Romans 8:18). Paul had a long-term plan spiritually. He treated any suffering
or sacrifice that he endured while upon the earth as an investment that
would reap dividends beyond compare in the future.
A short-range plan concentrates on the here and now without
worrying about the possibility of a coming depression. It guarantees quick
gain with nothing planned for the future. A short-range plan is easier
and more affordable by most. It is easier to see because that is what everyone
else has. A short-range plan of life guarantees sin for awhile and nothing
"By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused
to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction
with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season"
On the other hand, a long-range plan considers benefits that
are not immediate but are of better quality and of lasting value. As Christians,
we can look toward heaven (Revelation 21:1-4), a place that has quality
beyond any comparison. Too often we get caught up in the rat race of every
day life and forget that this life is not the end of everything. When a
Christian has a long-term plan, he can see heaven as the end instead of
looking at the long narrow path full of obstacles that still lie in the
way (Matthew 7:13-14). A long-range plan emphasizes the beauty and glory
that can be shared after a short time of waiting, hoping, and investing
in that plan.
"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth,
where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust
doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where
your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matthew 6:19-21).
A long-range planner will trust the bank he is using because
of the confidence that bank has earned. A long-range plan is for those
who are committed because if you withdraw your money too soon, you will
never see the benefits.
There are two plans from which we can choose. We can choose
the short-term plan of pleasure and sin and bank with Satan, or we can
choose the long-term plan that looks toward heaven and bank with God.
"For our light affliction, which is but for a
moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which
are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things
which are not seen are eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).
We have the choice of investing our souls in either one of
these banks. Are we going to invest in the short-term plan of sin or the
long-term plan of Christianity? Warning: