Let’s make a deal.
I provide you insight to Mama’s 2018 May Reading Challenge book, and you don’t look at your calendar to see that it’s mid-June. Mkay? We good?
Don’t look at me like that, Judgey McJudge Face. May was a craaazy month in my universe. Did I pick a teeny book of about 100 pages in anticipation of the mayhem? Yes! Should I have finished it while lazing on a seven-day Alaskan cruise? Yes! Did I manage to accomplish either of these things within the 31 days of May? Of course not! I did, however, read 3.5 other books during May. Apparently, my priorities are a bit off.
Side Note: I might have blown off May’s challenge altogether, but someone had to click on my Reading Challenge page, which reminded me that at least one person cares. Thank you, fair reader, as you challenge me to be a person who almost sticks to my commitments.
Let’s recap. May’s reading challenge told me to ask Mama Sr., for a book recommendation. Randy Alcorn’s The Treasure Principle won the vote. My mother discovered Randy Alcorn’s books a few years ago, and they definitely changed her perspective on the Christian life. If you want to read a fantastic book on Heaven, you should run out and find Alcorn’s (aptly named) Heaven. It actually got me excited about Heaven, which is kind of the truth we’re trying to sell to unbelievers, eh? Also, the modern church seems to have seriously skewed views about Heaven, most of which are completely unbiblical. Sigh. Hate it when that happens.
On to The Treasure Principle.
Here’s the crux of the Treasure Principle: You can’t take it with you–but you can send it on ahead. He’s talking about money, mostly, though I’m sure resources of any kind–time, physical goods, etc.–qualify as well.
The gist is this. God owns everything, including everything you have. He’s given it to you, and you work as his money manager. You will be blessed exceedingly and eternally if you use those resources wisely on earth. What counts as “wisely”? Well, read the Bible and discover what is close to God’s heart. What moves his ministry along on earth? How can you spread God’s glory best?
If you’re a Christian, then you know earth is not your forever home (I stole this phrase from the animal-adoption world). As such, you have faith in what Jesus said—storing up wealth for yourself here is a terrible investment. By following Christ’s instructions to give generously while on earth, we reap rewards that continue on and on and on.
Considering an outstanding rate of return is, what, 15% in the financial world these days, shouldn’t we be looking for an infinitely better return on our investments? It’s pretty logical when you view it from this perspective.
Why did Jesus put such an emphasis on money and possessions? Because there’s a fundamental connection between our spiritual lives and how we think about and handle money. We may try to divorce our faith and our finances, but God sees them as inseparable.
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Matthew 6:19-21
Rabbit Trail: Funnily enough, these verses always remind me of my brother’s science fair project. We went to a Christian middle school, so you had to find a biblical tie-in for your experiment. He did a project about rust, and the family rejoiced when they found the word “rust” in the Bible.
Y’all. I ate this book up with a spoon. I mean, where do I want my heart to be? Do I really want it to be at the mall? When I’m overwhelmed, I tend to find myself shopping (without the babies). It’s a way to relax, but I’ve lately recognized it as a way to try and find satisfaction in materialism. Why spend money on even more clothes as a way to make myself feel better? Food also fits into that category, but I already went there.
One final idea to share.
It’s increasingly common for Christians to ask one another the tough questions: How is your marriage? Have you been spending time in the Word? How are you doing in terms of sexual purity? Have you been sharing your faith? But how often do we ask, “How much are you giving to the Lord?” or “Have you been robbing God?” or “Are you winning the battle against materialism?”
Ouch. Ouchity ouch. How have we overlooked this point? Hebrews 10:24 tells us to “consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,” so shouldn’t our giving be included in this?
I’m excited to give to God’s mission here on earth. At the very least, I’m looking out for my own future rewards, which is not a selfish outlook, but a wise one. At the very best, I get to be a part of God’s kingdom here and now. Seems like a good bet to me.