The Treasure Principle, Part 1
15% of everything Christ said relates to the topic of money and possessions, more than His teaching on heaven and hell combined. The Treasure Principle is a three-part series that provides a biblical understanding of money and possessions in view of eternity.
The Treasure Principle Part 1
Mosaic Rockford – Dave Spooner – Jan. 8th, 2017
- Starting a 3-week series called “The Treasure Principle” . . . Randy Alcorn
- We have a responsibility to teach the entirety of the Bible including what it has to say about material possessions.
- 15% of everything Christ said relates to the topic of money and possessions, more than His teaching on heaven and hell combined. There is a fundamental connection between our spiritual lives and how we think about and handle money.
- This is by no way a means to prop up our church or personal finances but to communicate from the word about this important area of our lives.
Money and possessions is a key indicator of the state of our spiritual lives
- How we relate to money and possessions is key evidence of our repentance
Before Jesus came on the scene John the Baptist commanded people to produce good fruit in keeping with repentance. Three different groups asked him what this “good fruit” was, John answered them in Luke 3, with every answer dealing with money and possessions:
- We should share clothes and food with the poor (v. 11)
- We should not use our position to take advantage of people for money (v. 13)
- We should not bribe, manipulate, force, or blackmail people for money and we are to be content with our pay (v. 14)
- Jesus with Zacchaeus “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody our of anything, I will pay back four times the amount” (Luke 19:8) Jesus response? “Today salvation has come to this house” (v.9) Zacchaeus’s radical new approach to money proved that his heart had been transformed.
- Jewish converts who sold their possession and gave to the needy (acts 2:45, 4:32-35)
- Ephesian coverts who burned magic books worth millions of dollars (Acts 19:19)
In contrast, Jesus called a man a “fool” who had stored up things on earth for himself but was not “rich toward God”.
And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ 18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ‘ 20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ 21 “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”
Money and possessions are best invested in eternity
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Jesus warns us not to store up treasures on earth, it’s not just because wealth might be lost; it’s because wealth will always be lost. Either it leaves us while we live, or we leave it when we die. No exceptions.
- (ill) John D. Rockefeller was one of the wealthiest men who ever lived. After he died someone asked his accountant, “how much money did John D. leave? The reply was classic: “He left . . . all of it”.
- “cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like and eagle” (Prov. 23:5)
- Do not be overawed when a man grows rich, when the splendor of his house increases; for he will take nothing with him when he dies, his splendor will not descend with him. (Psalm 49:16-17)
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” – Jim Elliot
- Jesus commands that we “store up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matt 6:20) He wants us to store up treasures He commands us to store up treasures. He’s telling us to stop storing them in the wrong place and start storing them in the right place. According to Jesus, storing up earthly treasures isn’t simply wrong, it’s just plain stupid.
- (ill.) North and South currency value is temporary–
- insider trading – people should be gitty about these investment opportunities
- God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7)
- And when we give we are giving toward God . . . ultimately not only toward men. 25 (least as to me)
- Giving up lesser for gaining greater (Matt. 13:44 treasure hidden in the field)
- Delayed gratification. Not 10 years or 30 years but a million years.
You can’t take it with you, but you can send it on ahead.
III. Treasure Principle Key #1 God owns everything. I’m His money manager.
- “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it”. (Psalm 24:1)
- “The silver is mine and the gold is mine,” declares the Lord Almighty (Haggai 2:8)
- Remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth. (Deut. 8:18)
- You are not your own; you were bought at a price (1 Cor. 6:19-20)
- God is the owner, we are the manager, We need to adopt a steward’s mentality toward the assets He has entrusted to us, not given to us.
- The steward’s responsibility is to find out what the owner wants done with his assets, then carry out his will. When we give, we are giving away God’s money to do God’s work.
- “Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand” (I Chron. 29:14)
- Attitude of Job 1:21 The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”
- Attitude of John Wesley when house burned to the ground “The Lord’s house burned to the ground, one less responsibility for me”.
To think and live like this requires faith
- Faith: that God is real, He is true to his word, there is an afterlife, He is coming again . . .
- James 2:17-19
In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that — and shudder.
- Obedience is a result of faith Rom 1:5 “call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith”.
- Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.(Heb 11:1)
- 1 Peter 1:3-6a Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice
Three good questions:
- What person are you living for?
- What place are you living for?
- What possessions are you living for?