Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1 Tim. 6:17-18)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Living for the line, not the dot

A few days ago, I was listening to an audio lesson by Randy Alcorn from a Generous Giving conference. In Randy's session of the conference, he made an interesting analogy about life: the dot and the line.

Randy said that we as Christians need to "live for the line, not the dot." Unfortunately, though, most believers have life backwards. We live for the dot and not for the line.

The dot represents your life here on earth. The line represents eternity in heaven.

We are consumed with the cares of this world: how big of a house we can mortgage, how nice a car we can drive, what the latest fashion trends in clothing are, and how big we can build our retirement account.

In His Word, God gives us a much better investment plan than our 401(k), 403(b), Roth IRA, or Keogh plans. He wants us to think beyond the end of the dot and on to the line.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal (Matthew 6:19-20, NIV).

And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward (Matthew 10:42, NIV).

Whatever money and possessions we have here on earth will stay here. We really can't take it with us when we pass from this world on to the next. The cool thing is that we CAN send our wealth on ahead of us by investing in God's Kingdom here on earth. God wants us to live with a sense of "enlightened self interest." American Christians are among the wealthiest people on earth, and we can use the wealth God has given us to invest in God's retirement plan - treasure and rewards in heaven that will last for eternity.

Unfortunately, living for the line is hard because we live in the bubble of the dot. All we can see is this life and the cares of this world. It's difficult to see beyond this life and into the next. This is when faith comes into play for the believer.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see... By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king's anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible (Hebrews 11:1, 24-27, NIV).

So, let me ask you this: Are you living for the dot or for the line, today?


  1. Awesome post!
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Wow, so true, although I had never had that picture before of the dot and the line. Perhaps seeing such an image in our heads, will help us to turn our hearts toward eternity and away from the fleetingness of this life.

    Thanks for the post,