The Treasure Principle
Right Now Media is a wonderful resource that several have utilized for this series, but it is not only available for this series, it is available to all of you 24-7-365.
What is RNM? The Christian Version of Netflix. RNM has over 20,000 bible- based video resources for every member of the family, children, youth, and adult. You can access it on The Point app or on our website at gotothepoint.com. Once you have a Right Now Media Account, there is also a Right Now Media App you can put on your smart phone or even on your smart TV.
The church pays to make this resource available to everyone watching today, whether you are here onsite, or watching online. This is a great tool for spiritual discipleship. I would love for everyone to take advantage of this great discipleship resource. There is even a Point Channel on Right Now Media, and this is where you will find content that has been chosen by our staff.
Admittedly, 20,000 resources might seem overwhelming. But you can search categories of content, or you can go to The Point Channel to access handpicked resources anytime, anywhere, and day.
Today we are concluding a series that has provided an eternal perspective on how to handle the treasure that God has entrusted to our care. Some people seem to get a little anxious when we talk about topics like money, possessions, and material wealth at church. But there is no reason to be uptight. The Word of God is written in our best interest.
You will never go wrong LISTENING to and APPLYING the truths of God’s Word to my life.
The focus of this series has not been about duty or responsibility. The emphasis instead has been on the joy of giving and the wisdom of giving. King Solomon quite literally had it all. He is the wisest and wealthiest man to ever live. This is what he had to say about money…“Whoever loves money never has enough…” – Ecclesiastes 5:10a (NIV) In other words, the more you have the more you want.
“Whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.” – Ecclesiastes 5:10b (NIV) The more you have the less you are satisfied. “As goods increase, so do those who consume them.” – Ecclesiastes 5:11a (NIV) The more you have, the more people including the government, come after it. “And what benefit are they to the owners except to feast their eyes on them?” – Ecclesiastes 5:11b (NIV)
These things that we accumulate may look good, but the more you have the more you realize this stuff doesn’t meet your real needs. “The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether they eat little or much, but as for the rich, their abundance permits them no sleep.” – Ecclesiastes 5:12 (NIV) The more you have the more there is to worry about.
Then Solomon says, “I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owners.” – Ecclesiastes 5:13 (NIV) In other words, the more you have the more you can hurt yourself. The more you have the more you have to lose. “Everyone comes naked from their mother’s womb, and as everyone comes, so they depart. They take nothing from their toil that they can carry in their hands.” – Ecclesiastes 5:15 (NIV)
When it comes to worldly wealth, you can’t take it with you. Solomon is not preaching at us. He’s just telling us his story. When it comes to wealth, whether it is money or material possessions, you can’t take it with you. That’s the wisdom he wants to pass on to us.
In Ecclesiastes 2 he had this to say, “I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure.” – Ecclesiastes 2:10a (NIV) And then he summed things up by saying…“Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.” – Ecclesiastes 2:11 (NIV)
The more you have the more meaningless it all becomes. How does this happen? I think it has to do with the fact that things have mass. And mass has gravity. It’s simple physics. The more things we accumulate the more they tend to hold us down. The problem isn’t our money or our possessions. Money and possessions are fine. Money and possessions are a blessing from God. The problem is when we think those things can meet our deepest needs.
We’ve been in Matthew 6:19-21 where Jesus told us not to store up treasure on earth. It is not that treasures on earth are bad, they just don’t last, and you can’t take them with you. On the other hand, treasures in heaven will last for all eternity. God is not against us storing up treasures. In fact, He commands us to store up treasures. He commands us to store up treasures that will last. He just wants us to relocate our treasures from earth to heaven.
So, which would you rather have anyway – treasures on earth that don’t satisfy, and you can’t keep anyway? Or treasures in heaven that will last forever? This is what the Apostle Paul said this to his financial supporters in Philippians 4…“Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account.” – Philippians 4:17 (NIV) He is speaking in financial terms – words like gifts, credited, and account.
God is keeping an open account as we are laying up treasure in heaven. Jesus says He keeps track of every righteous thing we do for the good of others. He won’t overlook a single one. Every gift that is given, every deed that is done, is a deposit made to your account. And it doesn’t matter if the world sees it or not. The world is not our source.
They’re not the ones to give us our reward. Our reward comes from our Heavenly Father.
So, let’s conclude this series by summarizing the Six Keys to The 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 its people belong to him.” – Psalm 24:1 (NIV) That covers a lot of territory, doesn’t it? Everything belongs to the Lord. Stewardship is about the fact that God is the OWNER, and I am the MANAGER. “But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth…” – Deuteronomy 8:18 (NIV)
Sometimes we think it’s by on our own ingenuity, our own skills, and our own labor.
I don’t want to minimize these things because they are real. But God reminds us that talent, skill and even life and breath itself is a gift from Him. We should be thankful, not only for money and possessions, but even the ability to make money. Life, health, the ability to learn, these things are a gift from God.
“Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful.” – 1 Corinthians 4:2 (NLT) We want to be a good steward of all that has been entrusted to our care. WHY? “For we must all stand before Christ to be judged.” – 2 Corinthians 5:10a (NLT) Each of us shall give an account of himself or herself to God. There’s going to be a performance evaluation, a job evaluation, given to us by our Lord. We will be judged by how well we steward or manage the resources in our care.
Key #2 – My HEART always goes where I put God’s MONEY.
Remember the statement Solomon made? “As for the rich, their abundance permits them no sleep.” – Ecclesiastes 5:12b (NIV) That is because we only feel safe when our treasures are safe. Earthly treasures are always at risk. Always. They don’t become safe until we translate them into heavenly treasures by using them for God or giving them to God for His glory.
Jesus said, “Where your treasure is there your heart will be also.” You can find out where your heart is by looking through your checkbook, your credit card statement, your debit card receipts. These things provide undeniable evidence about where our heart is. Where we put our money does more than just show us where our heart is, it determines where our heart is going. Because our money follows our heart.
You’ll gain greater interest in heaven as you make eternal investments. That is what it means to lay up treasure in Heaven. It is in our best interest to be investors in the Kingdom of God.
Key #3 – HEAVEN, not earth, is my home.
The book of Hebrews reminds us that we are “aliens and strangers here on earth. We are longing for a better country—a heavenly one.” We are just passing through. I realize some might say, “I’m not sure that heaven will be my eternal home.” It’s your home only if you know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. If you don’t know Him, there is no better time than the present to get to know Him.
To enter into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, you simply admit what we all know is true, and that is that we are sinners in need of a Savior. You choose to place your faith in the One who died on a cross to pay for your sins. His Name is Jesus.
You confess your sins to Him and invite Him to be the Lord of your life. Then look at this promise from 1 John 5…“And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life. I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life.” – 1 John 5:11-13 (NLT)
As a believer, the Apostle Paul says that our citizenship is in heaven, not this world. This world is not our home. We’re here on earth on a short-term visa. We’re just passing through. Regardless of how long you live, it is really not much time in the eternal scheme of things. Scripture says, “Our days are but a breath.” That short-term visa we’re here on is going to expire soon. That leads us to…
Key #4 – I should live not for the DOT but for the LINE.
Our life on earth is like a dot on a line that has no beginning and no end. That dot represents our life, and that is a very small point on the line of eternity. The Bible says we’ll be spending eternity in one of two places – Heaven or hell.
If you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you’ll spend it in Heaven.
All of us live IN the dot. We can’t help it. But if we’re smart, we’re not going to live FOR the dot. We’re going to live for the line. We’re going to live with an eternal perspective. That’s what God calls us to. We have been offered a Heavenly eternal reward from Jesus himself. He is preparing a place for us. He wants us to spend eternity with Him.
Remember missionary Jim Elliot’s famous quote? “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Financial planners tell us to think 20, 30, or 40 years ahead when investing. According to the Bible, that’s too shortsighted. You can make eternal investments right now that will pay rich eternal dividends. They’re the only investment that will still be paying dividends 1,000 years from now.
Key #5 – Giving is the only antidote to MATERIALISM.
In 1 Timothy 6, the Apostle Paul says it like this…“Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” – 1 Timothy 6:9 -10 (NIV) Paul’s cure for materialism is found in the joy of giving. “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” – 1 Timothy 6:17 (NIV)
God wants us to enjoy the material blessings that He provides. But he also wants us to keep the bigger picture in mind. Speaking to those who are rich in this world he says…“Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” – 1 Timothy 6:18-19 (NIV) Giving is the joyful life. By giving I relocate my treasures from earth to heaven.
Key #6 – God prospers me not to raise my standard of LIVING but to raise my standard of GIVING.
We know that God provides for givers. “’Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the LORD Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.’” – Malachi 3:10 (NIV) The tithe is defined as 10% of our increase or income. God has promised blessings to those who put Him first in their finances.
Jesus said it like this, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” – Luke 6:38 (NIV) These verses represent God’s extravagant provision in our lives. God honors and rewards giving in a variety of ways. He faithfully provides for generous givers.
“For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity[ in you.” – 2 Corinthians 9:10 (NLT) Here comes the statement that is critically important…“Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous.” – 2 Corinthians 9:11a (NLT)
How would you personally finish that sentence? “You will be enriched in every way so that…” What? So that you can accumulate more and more stuff for yourself? Paul says, “You will be made rich in every way so that you can always be generous. God abundantly provides for us, not so that we can hoard everything for ourselves, but so that we can be free to give, to pass it on, to bless others, and to be generous. So, we have spent four weeks talking about The Treasure Principle.
As we close the series, I just want to remind you that Jesus invites us to switch our treasures from earth to Heaven because earth’s economy is so volatile. So many are worried about the stock market right now. Can I tell you something about the earth’s economy? It’s about to take a permanent dive. This is like an insider trading tip that comes from the Bible. The earth and everything in it is going to BURN. That is one more reason why it is wise to invest in eternity. Only God knows how many blessings we are robbing ourselves of when we don’t give.
Did you know God began the whole process of giving when He gave His only Son? And we are never more like God than when we give. Then Jesus continued this pattern of giving when He gave His life on the cross to purchase our redemption.
In a few moments, we are going to remember the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf as we receive communion together. But before we get to that, I would like to invite you to consider what you are going to do about what you have heard these past four weeks.
I said in week 1, the Treasure Principle has the potential to change your life. But nothing changes just by hearing. Change happens in the doing. Change happens as we begin to apply what we have heard. There is a giving covenant on page 100-101 of The Treasure Principe. We have reproduced that giving covenant and everyone should have received a copy on your way into the worship center today. If you are watching online, you can access the giving covenant online or on the app.
“My Giving Covenant” Pic of what’s Online (Side One)
One on side you will see the Six Keys to The Treasure Principle that I have outlined in this message. On the other side it says, “My Giving Covenant” (Side Two).
1. I affirm God’s full ownership of me, and everything entrusted to me.
2. I set aside the first fruits, at least 10% of every wage and gift I receive as holy and belonging exclusively to the Lord.
3. Out of the remaining treasures God entrusts to me I seek to make generous free will gifts.
4. I ask God to teach me to give sacrificially to His purposes including helping the poor and reaching the lost.
5. Recognizing that I cannot take earthly treasures from this world I determine to lay them up as heavenly treasures for Christ’s glory and eternal good of others and myself.
6. I ask God to show me how to lead others to experience the present joy and future reward of the treasure principle.
God wants your treasure to last forever. Here’s the final point in this series. I hope you will jot it down. My TEMPORARY possessions can be turned into EVERLASTING wealth.