Treasure Principle Summary: How to Invest in Heavenly Things
“I invite you to transfer your assets from earth to heaven. I invite you to give humbly, generously, and frequently to God’s work. Excel in giving so that you may please God, serve others, and enjoy treasures in Heaven.”
– Randy Alcorn, The Treasure Principle
Jesus once told a story about hidden treasure discovered in a field. Upon finding it, a traveling man went and sold all he had to buy the field and the treasure with it. What he gained was much more valuable to him than any other thing he once owned.
Jesus sums it up this way. “The Kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field” (Matthew 13:44).
Author Randy Alcorn calls this The Treasure Principle.
Six Treasure Principles
In his book, Alcorn details six “Treasure Principles” to help you experience the liberating act of giving, of pursuing Jesus in a deeper, more fulfilling way. Below is a Treasure Principle summary and highlights of Alcorn’s revolutionary guide on giving.
- God owns everything. I’m His money manager. We are the managers of the assets God has entrusted—not given—to us.
- My heart always goes where I put God’s money. Watch what happens when you reallocate your money from temporal things to eternal things.
- Heaven, not Earth, is my home. We are citizens of a “better country—a heavenly one” (Hebrews 11:16)
- I should live not for the dot but for the line. From the dot—our present life on earth—extends a line that goes on forever, which is eternity in heaven.
- Giving is the only antidote to materialism. Giving is a joyful surrender to a greater person and a greater agenda. It dethrones me and exalts Him.
- God prospers me not to raise my standard of living, but to raise my standard of giving. God gives more money than we need so we can give generously.
Faith and Finances are Interconnected
In his book, Randy Alcorn posits that everything you give on Earth will be stored up for you “where moth and rust do not destroy and thieves do not come in and steal” (Matthew 6:19-21). Giving generously on Earth is connected to heavenly reward.
In Luke 3, John the Baptist is preaching, and a crowd of people asks him how they should repent and follow God. To live a life that heeds God’s commandments, John the Baptist said to do the following:
- Everyone should share clothes and food with the poor (v. 11)
- Tax collectors shouldn’t pocket extra money (v. 13)
- Soldiers should not extort money and be happy with their wages (v. 14)
When the widow gives two coins to the temple offering, Jesus praises her above all the rest (Mark 12).
When a rich man asks Jesus how to gain eternal life, Jesus tells him to sell everything he has and follow him (Matthew 19: 21).
Each of these examples relates to money. In the Bible, possessions and the health of a person’s spiritual life are inextricably connected. Matthew 6:21 says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Of course, storing up heavenly treasures is not an exact equation—give a dollar on Earth get a dollar in Heaven—but Alcorn explains that giving is a deliberate act of obedience, a following of Jesus in one of the most tangible ways, and God honors obedience.
God Doesn’t Need Our Money
Matthew 14 records a giving miracle. Commonly known as the feeding of the 5,000, it’s the story of a young boy obediently giving what little he had to feed the crowds of people that had followed Jesus and his disciples.
Verses 19-20 say, “Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.”
Jesus multiplied the young boy’s gift and honored his generosity with a miracle. Consider this: Jesus could have simply made their stomachs full or created food out of nothing; instead, he received the compassion and sacrifice of his followers.
God doesn’t need our money. He wants our hearts.
Where You Give Your Money Your Heart Will Be Also
Alcorn describes giving as an act of worship.
He says, “As sure as the compass needle follows north, your heart will follow your treasure” (42).
When you invest your money in helping the poor, saving slaves, returning sight to the blind, feeding the hungry, and giving water to the thirsty, you instinctively care more about those things. Your heart follows your treasure.
“Give and it will be given to you.” – Luke 6:38
Giving is worship to God. When it’s done sacrificially, it’s a choice to give to the Kingdom, to praise God by honoring his commandments to share with others and care for the least of these (Matthew 25:40).
You’re a Pilgrim on Earth, not a Resident
The difficult truth is that everything a person has on Earth remains here when after that person has died. It is lost, thrown away, or given to someone else. Ultimately, things are just things, a temporary satisfaction.
Storing up treasures here is what Alcorn compares to storing treasures in a hotel room. You cannot take it with you.
“Would you fill your hotel room with expensive furniture and wall hangings? Of course not. You’d send your money where your home is” (45).
Giving frees people from materialism, from the bondage that comes with toting around heavy Earthly treasures.
“As you store up heavenly treasures, you’ll gain an everlasting version of what that man found in the treasure hidden in the field. Joy” – Randy Alcorn, Treasure Principle
Giving shifts a person’s mindset and aligns it with God’s values.
Read The Treasure Principle to learn more about how to unlock the secrets of joyful giving. (available for purchase now on Randy Alcorn’s website)