Monday, January 31, 2011

Are You an Alien? I Am.

Let's continue our journey through Randy Alcorn's great book entitled The Treasure Principle.

We've already talked about the first two "keys" to the Treasure Principle, but let's quickly recap:

Key #1 - God owns everything. I am just His money manager.
Key #2 - My heart always goes where I put God's money.

That brings us to the third "key." This one is equally profound, and also explains why we often hoard our possessions rather than sharing or giving them away.

Treasure Principle Key #3 - Heaven, not earth, is my home.

Well, not yet. But, one day.

Some of you may ask, "How can a place I've never been be my home?" Great question.

The thing is, we were made for heaven. We, as a species, have adapted well to living on this earth. But, God had heaven in mind when He created you. Read the following scriptures, and see if you can grasp this concept:

In the "Hall of Faith," Hebrews 11 speaks to the incredible faith that many of the stalwarts of the Old Testament (Moses, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob) had while they were living here:

All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth. (NLT)

Consider Paul's words to the men and women at Caesarea Philippi:
20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. (Philippians 3:20 NLT)

Reading the Bible, we should understand that this world is not our ultimate destination. We're only here for a little while. So, why do we behave as though that isn't the case?

As Alcorn so aptly points out in his book, "Where we choose to store our treasures depends largely on where we think our home is."

Alcorn uses a simple, yet powerful illustration to reinforce this notion. Suppose you are going on a three-month business trip overseas. You reside in America, but you will spend the next several weeks in Europe, living in a hotel. You are told that you cannot bring anything back home with you on the airplane. You can, however, mail your paychecks back home.

Would you choose to extravagantly furnish your hotel or apartment in Europe? Would you spend tons of money on the finest linens? No. Why not? Because you are only living there temporarily. You would be wasting a lot of money because you couldn't take it with you.

Ever been to a yard sale? Estate sale? Flea market? Junkyard? Ever notice anything? At some point in time, someone thought these items were valuable - at least valuable enough to pay money for them. Computers, VCRs, TVs, treadmills, cell phones, furniture, gadgets, toys, you name it. But, where do they all wind up? In the junk pile.

We are blessed in the fact that God gives us things to enjoy. We have lots of entertainment. Great restaurants. Beautiful homes. Sleek automobiles. And, I believe God is OK with us getting pleasure out of these things. But, not at the expense of losing yourself and your vision of eternity.

Remember, those of us who are followers of Jesus Christ don't belong here. We're just here for a little while, then God will take us to the place we were designed to be.

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