Friday, February 10, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: "The Treasure Principle" by Randy Alcorn

…first and foremost we give to God (2 Corinthians 8:5). Before anything else, giving is an act of worship. Giving jump-starts our relationship with God. It opens our fists so we can receive what God has for us. When we see what it does for others and for us, we open our fists sooner and wider when the next chance comes. 33

Another benefit of giving is freedom. It’s a matter of basic physics. The greater the mass, the greater the hold that mass exerts. The more things we own—the greater their total mass—the more they grip us, setting us in orbit around them. Finally, like a black hole, they suck us in. Giving changes all that. It breaks us out of orbit around our possessions. We escape their gravity, entering a new orbit around our treasures in heaven. 34

Treasure Principle Key #2: My heart always goes where I put God’s money…As surely as the compass needle follows north, your heart will follow your treasure. Money leads; hearts follow. 43-44

Treasure Principle Key #4: I should live not for the dot (life on earth) but for the line (life in the kingdom of the heavens).

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Jim Elliot 51

Commentary on Ecclesiastes 5:10-15…the more you have, the more you want…the more you have, the more people will come after it…the more you have, the more you realize it does you no good…the more you have, the more you have to worry about…the more you have, the more you hurt yourself by holding on to it…the more you have, the more you have to lose…the more you have, the more you’ll leave behind. 55-56

The act of giving is a vivid reminder that it’s all about God, not about us. It’s saying I am not the point, He is the point. He does not exist for me. I exist for Him. God’s money has a higher purpose than my affluence. Giving is a joyful surrender to a greater person and a greater agenda. Giving affirms Christ’s lordship. It dethrones me and exalts Him. It breaks the chains of mammon that would enslave me. 59

Nearly every study indicated that American Christians give on average between 2 and 3 percent of their income. 63

When it comes to giving, churches operate under a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. We lack communication, accountability, and modeling. It’s as if we have an unspoken agreement: “I won’t talk about it if you won’t, so we can go right on living as we are.” 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? Why are we surprised when, seeing no other example, he takes his cues from a materialistic society? 84