The Treasure Principle – by Randy Alcorn

TheTreasurePrinciple This little book is deceptively powerful; easy to read but a hard hitting message. In 6 brief chapters Randy Alcorn unlocks the Treasure Principle (You can’t take it with you but you can send it on ahead!) with key biblical truth that not only challenge our attitudes to giving but to money and wealth full stop.

  1. God owns everything. I am his money manager. We are the managers of the assets God has entrusted – not given – to us.
  2. My heart always goes where I put God’s money. Watch what happens when you reallocate your money from temporal things to eternal things.
  3. Heaven, not earth, is my home. We are citizens of “a better country – a heavenly one” (Hebrews 11:16)
  4. I should live not for the dot, but for the line. From the dot – our present life on earth – extends a line that goes on forever, which is eternity in heaven.
  5. Giving is the only antidote to materialism. Giving is a joyful surrender to a greater person and a greater agenda. It dethrones me and exalts Him.
  6. God prospers me not to raise my standard of living, but to raise my standard of giving. God gives us more money than we need so we can give – generously.

Do you dare read this book and apply these principles? Can you afford not to?

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The Treasure Principle (Hook Focus)

I am sure that you are familiar with the proverb “Home is where the heart is”. We use it to convey the idea that a home is more than simply a place where we live; it is a place we share with people we love, a place that is filled with the memories that shape and define us as people, a place where we feel safe and secure. One of the large DIY furnishing chains tap into this desire with their catchphrase “make a house a home”. Sadly however, simply filling our houses with nice furnishings can never really make a home if it is not a place that accommodates our heart and so many people live with the ache for home that exists in their past, or even only in their imagination.

Jesus encouraged us not to become too attached to our present homes when he said “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21 ESV). Despite the similarity between the two heart expressions, Jesus’ statement is radically different. Jesus’ treasure principle is rooted in the fact that our homes and possessions are vulnerable to deterioration and depreciation, they are at risk of theft or damage and, in the final analysis, cannot be taken with us when we die. The treasure principle is that we take an eternal perspective and store up treasure in heaven.  Jesus presents us with a choice to serve God or to serve possessions! You can live this life seeking to provide as much comfort and security as you can for yourself and your family in this life, or you can devote your energies to preparing for an eternity with him.

There is an old Negro spiritual that has the lines “This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through; my treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue” that expresses the attitude of someone who is living by Jesus’ treasure principle, someone who is holding loosely to the things of this life. People who have learned to live by Jesus’ treasure principle will find that they have real peace and true joy despite the ups and downs of this life because they are looking forward to a destiny that is eternally secure. Are you?

This blog post featured in the February 2013 edition of Hook Focus

An Unopened Gift

No doubt like me you will be spending time during the run-up to Christmas selecting gifts for people you love. Perhaps you will do this from the comfort of your home as you go online to place your order. Or you might prefer the hustle and bustle of traipsing round a shopping centre, visiting shops, enjoying the decorations and allowing the piped music to get you in the Christmas spirit. However the real pleasure comes from sitting down together on Christmas Day and seeing each person express their pleasure and delight as they open their lovingly wrapped gift.

Sometimes someone is unable to be with us on Christmas Day and so a lone present sits under the tree looking lost and forlorn until we have chance to catch up with them a few days later. Imagine however the pain and disappointment you would feel if after all the effort of choosing a present you think will be well received the recipient mutters a hollow thank you and then puts it to one side unopened. “Are you going to open it?” you ask and they reply “Maybe later”. At the very least you would consider this kind of response rude and you might question the very foundation of you relationship that they could be so careless about your expression of love towards them.

Sadly in the busyness of the Christmas season, the greatest gift of all often gets sidelined and forgotten. The real meaning of Christmas is that God offers every one of us his gift of eternal life. This gift is made available to us through Jesus. Are you willing to take time to ‘unwrap’ Jesus’ life and teaching? Are you curious enough to find out what it means to receive the gift of eternal life? Or will you leave the greatest gift of all unopened and put to one side once the tinsel and decorations have been stored away for another year? You can unwrap God’s gift at any time, but we especially invite you to join us at Life Church and enjoy God’s gift of love this Christmas.

This blog post featured in the December 2012 edition of Hook Focus