During a Sunday school class on the sacrifice of giving, I wrote down four words: home, anticipate, influence, reward. These Randy Alcorn covered in his lesson on the third key to the treasure principle: “Heaven, not earth, is our true home.” Since we cannot take it with us, how do we spend our money? We want to send it on to our true home.
In Alcorn’s novel, Safely Home, the setting is China and the persecution of Christians. One of the two main characters, Li Quan, is in prison being tortured. He concentrates his attention on his heavenly home and seizes opportunities to witness to other prisoners.
Anticipate is a view to the future, and often in my upbringing I was kept from appreciating this idea, knowing what could happen next. My mother did not allow us kids to anticipate a friend’s birthday until the day of the party. Then during an Emmaus Walk weekend our leaders told us, “Do not anticipate.” Why? They drilled in the benefit of the moment of now. Good, but what about looking ahead with hope?
For Pam Tebow’s message at the Life Center benefit dinner, she chose to share her life of purpose and influence. She instilled in her children the importance of developing good character with the purpose of influencing others. That’s the reason I’m working on getting Bill’s sermons in print – to continue his influence that began as a high school senior when God called him to preach. God developed his skills and tools while receiving a solid education and then he taught what he learned from lessons in Scripture and experience.
Too often we shun, in the guise of humility, the reward God has for His children. It’s our Father’s pleasure to reward us. And the greatest reward is Himself, His presence. God delights in His creation, for He made us in His own image. Jesus is our love gift from the Father. Rejoice!