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"This is a book about worshiping the true God and letting the true God act in us. It tells us as plainly as possible that the true God is a God who cannot stop giving and forgiving, and that our knowledge of this true God is utterly bound up with our willingness to receive from the hand of God the liberty to give and forgive."
Dr. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury
Why are people good? Why is it necessary to give?
The book is structured by a generosity hierarchy developed by a 12th century scholar, Rabbi Moses ben Maimon. The author interviews people and reflects on the insights shared by Maimonides.
The purpose of this book is "to offer a biblical vision for financial stewardship." The basic vision is "to find life - the life God wants us to have, in confidence that this will be the best life we could possibly have.
Part One: Belonging to God
Stewardship is a way of life. It is about "turning total control of our lives over to God."
Part Two: Our Duty and Delight
In this part, Powell lays out a program for "living and giving that most Christians will be able to embrace as both a duty and a delight."
When all is said and done, we own nothing because we are possessed wholly and completely by a "good and gracious God."
The invitation we receive to follow Jesus Christ implies our willingness to live as stewards. Some of us understand. Some do not. Jesus also cautions that the more human treasure and talents we possess, the more likely it is that it will be difficult for us to be good stewards.
Sometimes we need a crisis to set our priorities straight. Archbishop Thomas Murphy, the former Archbishop of Seattle, related an experience in his life during the 1970s when he was confronted with unexpected serious surgery. It was then that he received the grace to ask himself honestly, 'What do I own and what owns me?' Those are very important questions for any steward, especially a follower of Jesus Christ. It is a new way of seeing things, an insight which is not customary in our daily routine when we seem to be in control.
In The Treasure Principle Alcorn seeks to motivate believers to think "eternally" about every giving, saving and spending decisions. This is the heart of true stewardship.
The main principles of the book are:
1. God owns everything. I am His money manager.
2. My heart always goes where I put God's money.
3. Heaven, not Earth, is my home.
4. I should live for the line (eternity), not the dot(short life on earth).
5. Giving is the only antidote for materialism.
6. God prospers me not to raise my standard of living, but to raise my standard of giving.
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Adam Copeland serves as director of the Center for Stewardship Leaders.
Meet the new director