What does it mean to lay up treasures in Heaven?
As we ponder what it means to store up treasures in heaven, we ponder what author, preacher and teacher, Randy Alcorn published in his 2001 book, “The Treasure Principle.” It provides a very good look at money, giving, generosity, and stewardship through the lenses of Scripture. Alcorn gets you to think beyond our present day to process and see how stewardship today not only impacts today, but tomorrow and eternity!
As Randy Alcorn was coming to the end of his this book, a statement that he wrote stood out like a beacon, which was his call to action:
“I invite you to transfer your assets from earth to heaven. I invite you to give humbly, generously, and frequently to God’s work. Excel in giving so that you may please God, serve others, and enjoy treasures in Heaven.” – Randy Alcorn, The Treasure Principle, Pg. 94.
The premise of this book, The Treasure Principle comes out of this passage of Scripture wherein Jesus sums up one of his parabolic teachings:
“The Kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field” (Matthew 13:44).
This parable is about a hidden treasure that was discovered in a field by a traveler. When he found this treasure, he hid it again, sold all he had, and purchased the field and the treasure with it. I have heard some people express in summary that what the traveler gained through selling all he had and buying the field, his gain became immensely greater than what he once owned.
The 6 “Treasure Principles” in The Treasure Principle
First, we would HIGHLY encourage you to get a copy of this short, yet powerful treatise by Alcorn. But I will outline the six main Treasure Principle points that he makes that can radically impact your giving and stewardship today, which will in turn impact your rewards today, and for all eternity. \
- God owns everything. I’m His money manager. We are the managers of the assets God has entrusted—not given—to us.
- My heart always goes where I put God’s money. Watch what happens when you reallocate your money from temporal things to eternal things.
- Heaven, not Earth, is my home. We are citizens of a “better country—a heavenly one” (Hebrews 11:16)
- 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.
- 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.
- God prospers me not to raise my standard of living, but to raise my standard of giving. God gives more money than we need so we can give generously.
Interconnection of our Finances and Faith
Are your treasures on earth? Or are your treasures in heaven? Scripture speaks to the eternal impact of our resources and finances of today. Jesus states that what we give on Earth will be stored up for you “where moth and rust do not destroy and thieves do not come in and steal” (Matthew 6:19-21). Our stewardship of today’s resources can easily go well beyond our days here on earth if we give generously unto the Lord’s work.
In Luke 3, John the Baptist preaches to a crowd and states that those listening ought to repent and follow God, and…:
- Share their clothes and their food with the poor (v. 11)
- Those that are tax collectors not cheat or steal from those paying (v. 13)
- The soldiers of the day ought not extort money – be satisfied with what you earn (v. 14)
In the passage of the widow’s mite, Jesus praises this widow for her generosity and expresses that what she gave was well above what all the rest gave! (Mark 12). A hard passage for many to put into practice is when the rich man asks Jesus how to gain eternal life, and Jesus’s response was, “sell everything you have and follow me.” (Matthew 19: 21).
These are just a token group of examples in Scripture that corollate money and faith in the Bible. Be reminded of this passage in Matthew 6:21 which says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Your finances, your stewardship is directly tied to your heart (what moves and motivates you) and your heart is the seat of your faith in action. Let us be encouraged to lay up for ourselves treasures in Heaven! If our hearts are heavenwards, so will our treasures be also.
God Doesn’t Need Our Money
Of all the passages in Scripture that speak about the richness of God and His never-ending way to supply our needs due to His vast wealth, we see it especially in the miracle of the feeding of the 5000 in Matthew 14. What one young boy’s gift of a lunch turned into a feast for 7-10,000+ people (women and children). Verses 19-20 say, “Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.” Why did Jesus do it this way? Could he have just, with a word, made all of those there be full within their stomach? Could He have just taken some dirt, grass or water and created some form of food for everyone? Instead, Jesus multiplied the young boy’s gift and honored his generosity with a miracle. In this miracle, it has become clear to me that God really does not want OR need our money, but what He does want is our hearts, and our willingness to steward well what He has put into our care.
Your Heart Will Follow Your Money.
Randy Alcorn on pg. 42 of his book states “As sure as the compass needle follows north, your heart will follow your treasure” .
Our monetary investment in helping the poor, feeding the hungry, providing medical relief and water to those in great need expresses our great care about these things, and more so, the people that the provision will impact! Our hearts will follow what we invest in and what we value the most. As we give and see the physical and spiritual impact of generosity, our hearts will be drawn closer and closer to the giver of all good gifts, and we will appreciate how God used our gift to impact someone’s life. We see this clearly in Matthew 6:21 which says:
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
What is it that we love, value, or invest in the most? That is where our heart’s needle will move toward, like a compass needle moves to true north! And I believe fully that when we see that impact of our investment. Our heart will follow our generosity! If our hearts are heaven-focused, we will lay up our treasures in Heaven.
This World is Not My Home.
All of the wealth and possessions that we acquire during our time here on Earth will fully and unquestionably remain on earth upon death. When we graduate from here to heaven, all of our possessions here on earth will be either given away, thrown away, sold at an auction house or at a yard sale. All of our finances and items will be given to someone else because “things” are just things, a temporary satisfaction.
On pg. 45 of the Treasure Principle, Alcorn compares to storing treasures in a hotel room. He gives this great illustration:
“Would you fill your hotel room with expensive furniture and wall hangings? Of course not. You’d send your money where your home is.” (45).
Alcorn makes a good case that our choosing to freely give of our finances and resources, it frees us from materialism and the bondage that we wear and carry from lugging around those burdensome earthly treasures. Alcorn well said it this way:
“As you store up heavenly treasures, you’ll gain an everlasting version of what that man found in the treasure hidden in the field. Joy.” – Randy Alcorn, Treasure Principle
The releasing of our finances and items through generous giving shifts a person’s mindset away from themselves and it aligns our heart and mind with the values of God!
We Believe This!
As we review what the Scriptures say about money, finances and our earthly treasures, and tie that into Randy Alcorn’s Treasure Principal book, we are reminded what wakes us up in the morning and drives us to do what we do each and every day!
We want to take a few minutes to explain why we are doing this podcast, and also why we are passionate about our other ventures that lie behind this podcast. We want to help Christians lay up their treasures in Heaven.
We help Christians become even better Stewards of ALL their assets in the following ways:
LIFE FINANCIAL GROUP – Wealth Management from a Biblical Worldview
The Life Financial Group, Inc. is a wealth management firm that exists to help families become even better financial stewards of God’s gifts while protecting their wealth and honoring their convictions. Since 1978, The Life Financial Group has provided professional, Biblically-sound financial services, counseling, and education to the Christian community. It is our goal to help individuals apply God’s Word by developing Biblical priorities, giving generously, minimizing debt, investing wealth carefully, instructing their children and grandchildren on basic finances, and including the Lord’s work in their wills and trusts.
BEACON TAX SERVICES – Tax & Accounting Services
Beacon Tax is a professional tax service company helping individuals, families, and small business reduce tax liabilities while providing helpful advice. From individual tax returns to comprehensive tax planning, Beacon Tax helps clients understand their whole financial picture so they do not pay more than they need to.
LIFE INSTITUTE – Stewardship Seminars from a Biblical Worldview
Life Institute exists to serve churches by helping Christians establish a Biblical framework for everyday financial decisions. Through stewardship seminars and ministries, Life Institute partners with churches to help disciple Christians, offer practical Biblical teaching for everyday stewardship decisions, and provide personalized family guidance and instruction from a Biblical worldview. At Life Institute, we are passionate about seeing churches succeed by helping them develop a healthy culture of Biblical financial stewardship.
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