I’ve heard great reports about the new “Treasure Principle” class that Pastor Tony Giles is leading in the chapel during Sunday School. In hopes that all of us can benefit from the content, I asked Pastor Tony to write this week’s Pastoral Notes, drawing out a few highlights from the content of this important class. Please take time today to read and take to heart what’s written below.
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has andbuys that field. – Matthew 13:44
I’ve always been fascinated by that parable of Jesus. It’s vivid and simple. It’s provocative and disturbing.
And I’m not the only one. Randy Alcorn writes about the traveler in this parable, “From the moment of his discovery, the traveler’s life changes. The treasure captures his imagination, becomes the stuff of his dreams. It’s his reference point, his new center of gravity. The traveler takes every step with this treasure in mind. He experiences a radical paradigm shift.” (The Treasure Principle)
Here are a few other pointed reminders from that same book which we are reading currently in the Chapel Class:
“Our approach to money and possessions isn’t just important – it’s central to our spiritual lives.”
- “Giving breaks us out of orbit around our possessions. We escape their gravity entering a new orbit around our treasures in heaven.”
- “God prospers me not to raise my standard of living but to raise my standard of giving … Giving jump-starts our relationship with God. It opens our fists so we can receive what God has for us.”
- “God owns everything, I’m his money manager. As his money managers, God entrusts us to set our own salaries. We draw funds from his account to pay our living expenses. One of our central spiritual decisions is determining what is a reasonable amount to live on … and it will legitimately vary from person to person.”
- “My heart always goes where I put God’s money. … We are emotional beings made in the image of a passionate God. God always directs his strong desires in righteous directions. As we grow in character, we will learn to aim our passions toward godly targets.” See Matthew 6:24
- “Our giving is a reflexive response to the grace of God in our lives.”
Can you begin to see why we included this in our adult education curriculum? It seems that we are always learning this lesson and discovering fresh ways to apply the truth Jesus conveys to the lives we live. Pray with us – that the Lord who owns it all would guide us as individuals, as families and as a church body as we “manage” what He entrusts to us – all for His glory.
You can find a copy of the book and the companion Bible Study on the bookshelf outside the church office.