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Sermons Based on ‘The Treasure Principle’

The Treasure PrincipleBelow are sample sermons preached on Randy Alcorn’s book The Treasure Principle: Unlocking the Secret of Joyful Giving. Use these to inspire your own preaching on the joy of storing treasure in heaven. See also some sample sermon series.
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  • Sermon Series on ‘The Treasure Principle’

    The Treasure Principle
    Dennis Gray. Sermon series preached at Riva Trace Baptist Church, Davidsonville, Md., January 7, 14, 21 and 28, 2007.
    What would we do if we had a financial counselor who could see into the future and tell us what to invest in? This would give us not only peace of mind but also a reason to invest. Pastor Dennis Gray offers this four-part sermon series on how to apply this simple principle to our lives: “You can’t take it with you ... but you can send it on ahead.” Based on Randy Alcorn’s book The Treasure Principle, Gray presents this radical idea in an accessible and convincing way. We shouldn’t be buying and investing for this world; we should be buying and investing for eternity. When God gives us commands, he is not being arbitrary; rather, God’s commands are for our own good. When he tells us to lay up treasures in heaven, it is because he knows it will be better for us to do so. Most of us probably can outline exactly how much money we have and where it is going. But have we ever asked ourselves, “What kind and amount of spiritual treasure do you have waiting for in heaven ... what’s your balance like? These sermons are available as MP3 audio files, downloadable PDF notes, and flash slides.

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    Don’t Be Anxious, Lay up Treasures in Heaven
    John Piper. Sermon series preached at Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minn., March 2 and 9, 2003.
    Pastor John Piper preaches a two-part sermon series. Part 1: Jesus is relentless in his radical call to a wartime lifestyle and a hazardous liberality (“she put in all that she had,” Luke 21:1-4). If we as a church—indeed if the entire Christian movement—were gripped by the radical life and open-handed liberality that Jesus taught, and if we tasted the freedom from fear and greed that Jesus bought with his own blood, what an avalanche of mercy and missions and financial means would be released among us! O what a responsibility we rich Americans have in this world of suffering and need (see Luke 12:48). How should we use money to lay up treasures in heaven? Part 2: Piper aims to motivate his audience to seek the kingdom of God first, from a heart that is not shriveled up with anxiety but, rather, that is free to give however God leads. Clearly, Jesus wants his disciples to be free from enslaving anxiety. That’s why he gives at least eight reasons to help us fight the fight of faith. He knows this is a battle. He knows we are going to wake up from time to time with irrational anxiety attacks. He knows that there will be wars and rumors of wars (Matthew 24:6). He knows he is sending us out like lambs in the midst of wolves (Luke 10:3). He knows that the time will come when those who kill us will think that they are serving God (John 16:2). And in spite of all that, Christ wants his people to have peace, not anxiety—so much peace that we are free to keep giving to the poor and to the cause Christ in the midst of great calamity and stress. Randy Alcorn says, “God prospers me not to raise my standard of living but to raise my standard of giving.” The same thing can be said of why Christ gives us peace. Let’s look at Jesus’ reasons not to be anxious.

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    The Treasure Principle: God’s Wisdom for Living in a Material World
    Dan Sarkipato. Sermon series preached n.d.
    In this six-part sermon series, pastor Dan Sarkipato works through the “keys to the treasure principle” discussed in Randy Alcorn’s book The Treasure Principle. Each weekly installment expounds upon one of the keys that encourage us to send our treasures on to heaven, where they will safely await us: (1) It’s not my money; it’s God’s. (2) My heart always goes where I put my money. (3) Heaven, not earth, is my home. (4) I should not live for the dot but for the line. (5) Giving is the only antidote to materialism. (6) God prospers me not to raise my standard of living, but to raise my standard of giving. With a thoroughly intellectual but accessible style, Sarkipato exhorts a biblical view of money in order to teach that “God doesn’t just want your money; he wants every part of you dedicated to His service. And you don’t really know what joy is, what happiness is, what fulfillment is, until you live your life for Him.”

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    Miscellaneous Individual Sermons

    Living for the Line—Not the Dot
    John W. Yates II. Sermon preached at the Falls Church, Falls Church, Va., November 3, 2002.
    Not long ago, PBS aired a television program on the modern-day plague of “affluenza”. Has this life-destroying epidemic crept into your life? In a sermon based on Matthew 6:19-21 and Randy Alcorn’s book The Treasure Principle, pastor John Yates challenges us to view affluenza as the poison that it is. Only when we see that materialism is poison will we care to try the cure: generous giving. Though “you can’t take your earthly treasure with you, there’s a sense in which you can send it on ahead.” Therefore, we must rid ourselves of “the practical illusion that this earth, here and now, is our true home,” and begin to invest today in God’s eternal kingdom. That is the secret to living for the ongoing line, not the temporary dot.

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    Investing in Eternity
    Randy Alcorn. Sermon preached at the annual Generous Giving Conference, Sarasota, Fla., February 28-March 2, 2002.
    Many times we as Christians think that possessing wealth is a bad thing, “for the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10a). Yet ministry leader and author Randy Alcorn, in sharing the basic tenets of his book The Treasure Principle: Discovering the Secret of Joyful Giving, teaches that God “is not against us having a treasure mentality” but, rather, against us having the wrong kind of treasure mentality. The treasures of this world are fleeting, but the Bible teaches to “store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy.” God does not call us to renounce our treasures but to relocate them. While we can’t take our wealth with us into the next life, we CAN send it on ahead. Storing up treasures in heaven means giving of what God has given us here on earth and someday reaping the eternal rewards of having been faithful. This resource also is available on compact disc.

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    Your Heart Follows Your Treasure
    Adrian Dieleman. Sermon preached at Trinity Christian Reformed Church, Visalia, Calif., August 24, 2003.
    “[God] wants your heart! He isn’t looking for ‘donors’ in His kingdom ... He wants people so filled with a vision for eternity that they invest their money, their time, their prayer, their talents, themselves in what really matters most.” Pastor Adrian Dieleman offers this two-part sermon on how valuable it is to lay up treasure in heaven and how foolish it is to lay up treasure here on earth. The sermon is taken from Matthew 6:21 and based on Randy Alcorn’s book, The Treasure Principle. Heaven will be place of bustling activity and responsibility. If we wish to play a key role in this eternal place, we must be faithful with what we have been given here on earth. If we store up treasures on earth, we are simply moving farther and farther away from them. But by being generous and laying up treasures in heaven, we move closer to our savings every day. With inspiring historical examples and many relevant Scripture passages, Dieleman does a through job of communicating the message of eternal reward.

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    The Treasure Principle
    Stephen Pattison. Sermon preached at Capital City Christian Church, Frankfort, Ky., September 24-25, 2005.
    In this conversationally-toned sermon Dr. Stephen Pattison creatively narrates the story of the man who found a treasure in a field (Matthew 13:44) and the story of the rich young man who asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life (Matthew 19:16). Jesus warns us to not store of treasures on earth, where moths destroy and thieves break in and steal (Matthew 6:19-21). At the same time he encourages us to store up heavenly treasure. What is this heavenly treasure? Pattison quotes Randy Alcorn’s words in The Treasure Principle. This heavenly treasure probably is: (1) Jesus himself, (2) a heavenly place and (3) possessions, eternal rewards. The “treasure principle” from Matthew 6 is that while we can’t take treasure with us, we can send it on ahead. Pattison shares a few memorable stories to illustrate the fleeting nature of earthly riches.

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    You Can’t Take It with You
    Adrian Dieleman. Sermon preached at Trinity Christian Reformed Church, Visalia, Calif., February 9, 2003.
    “Tonight, I want to give you the ultimate insider trading tip. If you follow what I say, it will earn you untold wealth.” Pastor Adrian Dieleman, preaching from Matthew 6:19-24, says that Jesus gives us insider trading tips on what to get out of and what to get into. These tips include the following truths: (1) There is a fundamental connection between our spiritual lives and how we handle money. (2) Earthly treasures do not last. (3) Heavenly treasures are forever. Jesus teaches that if we want to have true riches, we must invest in eternal treasures and not in earthly goods. Dieleman borrows much of his material from Randy Alcorn’s book The Treasure Principle.

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    Made for Ministry
    James Kim. Sermon preached at Trinity Presbyterian, The Colony, Texas, August 21, 2005.
    “If the church, Christ’s body, fails to live out her destiny, then simply there is no hope for this world.” Pastor James Kim preaches powerfully from Esther 4:14 about the church’s ministry on earth. The church should value these lessons from Esther’s story: (1) We must not keep silent “at such a time as this.” (2) If we do keep silent, God will use others to accomplish his purposes, and we will be punished. (3) We have been called for a time like this, and we have the opportunity to turn things around. Kim warns us that the American church will become more silent and irrelevant if we continue to use our funds for internal ministry, instead of for ministry to our communities. This sermon, part of a church-wide Bible study using Randy Alcorn’s book The Treasure Principle, is the second in a sermon series which considers the four M’s of the congregation’s mission and vision statement.

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    Buried Treasure
    Dennis Gingerich. “The Treasure Principle” sermon series, no. 1. Sermon preached at Cape Christian Fellowship, Cape Coral, Fla., November 13, 2005.
    This sermon delivered around Christmastime offers believers an alternative to our cultural compulsive consumerism. Jesus’ teaching on money, which author Randy Alcorn calls the treasure principle, can help us to get through a consumer-oriented Christmas without regretting our spending decisions. We ought to be investing our treasure where it will last and bring the greatest returns (Matthew 6:19-21; 13:44). The treasure principle of Matthew 6 teaches that we cannot take our treasure with us when we die, but we can send it ahead to heaven. Jesus teaches three key things about the treasure principle: (1) Storing treasure for ourselves is a good thing. Jesus wants us to do what is in our best interest. (2) The location of our investments is critical. Jesus teaches us the smart thing to do is to put our treasure in God’s kingdom, where our investment will last. (3) Our hearts and our wallets are connected. Having a right attitude about money is central to our spiritual development. Clearly, Jesus is the ultimate investment counselor and teaches us to do what ultimately will benefit us the most.

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    The First Key to Joyful Giving
    A.T. Stewart. “Treasure Principle” sermon series, no. 2. Sermon preached at Westside Baptist Church, Mableton, Ga., November 11, 2007.
    In this conversationally toned sermon, Pastor A.T. Steward asks: Does our money really belong to us? Are we the owners of our money, so that we can do whatever we want with it? He answers, “No,” we are not owners but trustees of the money God has given to us. As Psalm 24 teaches, “The earth is the LORD’s, and all it contains.” God owns everything, and we are simply his money managers. It is a freeing thought to know that when we give, we are giving God’s money, not ours. Pastor Stewart gives three biblical guidelines for giving: (1) We should be joyful about giving (2 Corinthians 9:7). (2) Our giving should be in response to God’s generous grace (2 Corinthians 8:9). (3) In the end we will stand before Christ to give an account for our money-managing. Will we have practiced the treasure principle, not holding onto our treasure but sending it ahead? For an example, we can look to King David’s people, who practiced generosity in their gifts for the temple (1 Chronicles 29). They gave today’s equivalent of $5 million with joy, for they understood that the money already belonged to God. This was a true act of joyful worship.

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    The Treasure Principle
    David Michel. Sermon preached at Huntertown United Methodist, Huntertown, Ind., November 13, 2005.
    Some of us think of giving as a form of self-denial or self-sacrifice. However, the truth is that we gain much personally from giving. Pastor David Michel points out that Matthew 6:19 says, “Store up for yourselves treasure in heaven.” The main thing we gain from giving of our money and selves is a heart transformation. One way that Michel’s church has sought to live out this treasure principle is by building a church in Africa before beginning any new building of their own. Michel lays out some simple principles for financial stewardship: “Pay God first, pay yourself second (by getting out of consumer debt and saving for college, for emergencies, for retirement), then live on the rest.” This sermon is first in a two-part series based on Randy Alcorn’s book, The Treasure Principle.

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    Fear Factor
    Ray Pritchard. “The Treasure Principle” sermon series, no. 1. Sermon preached at Calvary Memorial Church, Oak Park, Ill. April 10, 2005.
    “Giving delivers us from ourselves.” It frees us from selfishness, materialism and dependence on money to make us happy. Preaching from Acts 20:35, Pastor Ray Pritchard offers this two-part sermon series on how one can give generously and be all the better for it. The material things of this world will own us if we are not careful. That new car, bike or television easily can become, rather than a tool, an end unto itself—then it will own us. We need to be ready to give to free ourselves from this bondage. When we trust God for our needs, we are truly free to live and give in a remarkable way. Overall, this message provides the hearer with a thorough understanding of the dangers of materialism and the freedom that generosity brings.

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    The Treasure Principle
    Ray Pritchard. “The Treasure Principle” sermon series, no. 2. Sermon preached at Calvary Memorial Church, Oak Park, Ill. April 17, 2005.
    This is the second part of a miniseries on God and money preached with the goal of getting Pastor Ray Pritchard’s congregation free of debt in order to embark on a new building campaign. Matthew 6 teaches, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” The way we spend our money reveals the condition of our heart. Also, if we obey Jesus and “seek first his kingdom and righteousness” (Matthew 6:33), that means we ought to serve him with our money. When we obey this command, we do not have to worry about how much we have, for the Lord will give us everything we need. Pritchard concludes, “If we want to ‘lay up treasures in heaven’ (Matthew 6:19), then we must serve God and not money (Matthew 6:24), we must seek first God’s kingdom (Matthew 6:33), and we must not worry about tomorrow (Matthew 6:34). When we live like this, God will take care of all the details of life.” As author and pastor Randy Alcorn writes in his book The Treasure Principle, “God prospers me not to raise my standard of living but to raise my standard of giving.”

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    Laying up Treasure in Heaven
    Jerry Falwell. Giving at a Higher Level, no. 1. Sermon preached at Thomas Road Baptist Church, Lynchburg, Va., March 2, 2003.
    In this sermon based on Randy Alcorn’s book The Treasure Principle: Discovering the Secret of Joyful Giving, Falwell preaches from Matthew 6:19-21, the text commanding us to lay up treasures in heaven. Because we know that Christ is returning, we should live our lives in light of this, committing our possessions to the Lord and giving to Him through tithes and offerings.

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    How to Determine a God Honoring Lifestyle
    Dan Haggar. “The Treasure Principles of the Bible” sermon series, no. 4. Sermon preached at First Reformed Church, Rock Rapids, Iowa, March 19, 2006.
    Pastor Dan Haggar preaches from Mark 8:34-37 on Randy Alcorn’s fourth key in The Treasure Principle: “I should live not for the dot but for the line.” As Christians we are called to live not merely for the “dot” of our own existence on earth, but for the “line” of eternal life in heaven. Haggar preaches on two general principles for application of money management in Scripture: (1) principles to live by and (2) prayer to discern by (Philippians 4:6). Haggar asks several difficult questions about how we should use our money and suggests biblical principles for thinking about these questions. All of these questions need to be asked in the context of prayer, asking the Holy Spirit for guidance.

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