Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Treasure Principle - Randy Alcorn

Do we beg for the privilege of giving? (p 76)

A few years ago, JD asked all of the Summit to read this little book. God used its message in amazing ways in the life of members of the Summit: building campaign, missions, people going to serve in missions, sharing with others withing the church, etc. I just recently finished it for the second time. Now, being at a different point in life - I got something more out of it - and saw more of its truths.
"The treasure captures his imagination, becomes the stuff of his dreams. It's his reference point, his new center of gravity. p 7" - Here, Alcorn is referencing the man who finds treasure in a field, goes and sells all his possessions to buy the field. Do I do that? Am I unwilling to let go of these treasures to find something untold - something beyond everything I can imagine?
"The less I spent on myself and the more I gave to others, the fuller of happiness and blessing did my soul become. p20" - This was taken from Hudson Taylor. One of the books this former missionary is called the Spiritual Secrets - how true is that statement!
"One of our central spiritual decisions is determining what is a reasonable amount to live on. Whatever that amount is - and it will legitimately vary from person to person - we shouldn't hoard or spend the excess. p 26" This is very difficult to figure out. Over the last 8 years I've made varying salaries - but now, am I content to live on what I make now? Where is wisdom in saving for the future? Preparing, being smart? Not hoarding - just being wise? This is where I question some in the book.
"Gain was precisely what Jim Elliot was thinking about! He just wanted the kind of gain he couldn't lose. He wanted his treasures in heaven. p 49" - Jim Elliot didn't have time to start saving for retirement or for when his car broke down - how was he going to afford another one. He lived his short life in total abandonment of this life - in total surrender to the next.
"In 90% of divorce cases, arguments about money play a prominent role. p 50" My Dad always told me that. I do believe him - even as I get older - especially as I get older. But, this is why it is important to talk about money issues (how much, will the wife work, how will you give, the husband's job to provide - God-given mandate, etc) before you even get engaged. It is a big deal!
"Giving affirms Christ's lordship. It dethrones me and exalts Him. It breaks the chains of mammon that would enslave me. p 57" But the flip side is - people can be so captured by how much they give that they use it as a pride builder - not a Christ-exalter.
"Think about it. How does a young Christian in the church learn to give? Where can he go to see what giving looks like in the life of a believer captivated by Christ? p 82" I learned the joy of tithing once I got to college. I learned the principles of tithing and saw the fruit of tithing from my mentors. They taught me how to do it, how to do it joyfully. Yes, we sat down sometime to have conversations about it -but I saw them live it out. It was amazing. I love knowing every two weeks I get to give - it is amazing the joy that comes from that. I love being able to give to people who serve in ministry or missions now - God has given and blessed me to be able to do that.
"Dickens said of Scrooge: his own heart laughed, and was quite enough for him. (p 91)"

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