Oikonomics: Building Intellectual Capital – Renewing Your Mind

Romans 12:1-2

As we continue our look at the five capitals we have to invest in the work of God’s kingdom and the oikos or family of God, let’s again review what we’ve talked about so far. We have said that spiritual capital is the most important of the five—that the ultimate way to live the good life is to hear and do the Word of God. Closely related to that is relational capital, our capacity to love others as we have been loved by God. Those first two capitals reflect the greatest commandment that Jesus calls us to obey—to love God with our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Last week we looked at physical capital, how we care for our bodies as an investment in building spiritual and relational capital. We talked about establishing a rhythm of abiding and fruitfulness so that we can give our best time and energy to the work of God’s kingdom and the building up of the oikos.

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Oikonomics: Building Physical Capital

John 15:1-8

Thus far in this series we’ve looked at the two most important capitals according to Jesus: 1) Spiritual Capital, which is building the oikos of God’s kingdom through loving God and hearing and doing what God commands and, 2) Relational Capital, which is about investing in relationships, loving our neighbors as we love God. Being rich in these capitals is essential to being an effective disciple and being an effective oikos or household of faith.

The next three capitals that we’ll look at feed these two and when we invest in them well they will help us to grow our spiritual and relational capital. The first one of these is Physical Capital, the currency of which is the time and energy we have to invest in building the oikos.

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Oikonomics: Building Relational Capital

Luke 16:1-13

Last week we looked at spiritual capital, the most valuable investment we can make. Jesus invited people to live the good life of God’s kingdom by changing their hearts and lives and believing in the good news that God’s reign and rule was breaking in on the earth. Hearing and doing the words of Jesus are the currency for building spiritual capital that lasts like a house (an oikos) built on bedrock—an eternal investment that withstands any storm.

Today we look at the second most important capital, which is closely related to spiritual capital—it’s the investment we make in relationships. In fact, for Jesus, the quality of our spiritual capital is directly proportional to the amount of relational capital we invest in it. Remember the greatest of the commandments according to Jesus? Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. The value of our spiritual capital, our love and obedience to God, is revealed in the way we invest in our relationships with others.

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Oikonomics: Building Spiritual Capital

Matthew 7:24-29

We opened our series last Sunday by talking about “the good life.” Jesus’ definition of that life is much different than what we normally think. The rich ruler came to Jesus seeking to have it all, but Jesus challenged the way he was investing his life. The rich man was thinking economics, but Jesus was talking about oikonomics—about investing in God’s kingdom, God’s family, God’s oikos. When we do that, says Jesus, then everything else falls into place. When the spiritual capital of the kingdom is our primary investment, then our relational, physical, intellectual, and financial capital will follow. We’ll see them all in their proper priority and perspective.

It’s that spiritual capital that I want to focus on today because, for Jesus, it’s the most important investment we can make if we want to truly live the good life—the eternal life of God’s kingdom which isn’t just a future reality but a present one. This was the capital in which Jesus himself was most invested, and when we read through the Gospels we see him teaching his disciples to direct all the other capitals toward this one.

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Oikonomics: Living the Good Life

Luke 18:18-30

What is your vision of the good life?

It’s a question that most of us have in the back of our minds at any given time. It’s the kind of life we dream about, the kind of life we work for, but the kind of life that often seems just out of arm’s reach.

It’s a life that, for many, would include financial security, good relationships, the ability to travel, a nice home, etc. It’s the kind of life we imagine that the wealthy or the celebrity might lead—after all, we’re always hearing about how much people make and imagine what their lives might be like.

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