“And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it.” (Luke 12:33, NLT)
I am always amazed at friends who can exist all day with just an itsy-bitsy purse hardly bigger than an envelope—a small envelope. I go prepared. Have a headache or upset stomach? I’ve got medicine. Break a nail? Here’s my nail file. Tissue? Here, have one of mine. You can imagine my shock when a friend recently needed a Band-Aid and I couldn’t find one in my purse. I also keep the real essentials in there as well—a little cash, driver’s license, credit cards, keys.
Purses eventually wear out. The lining gets tattered, the zipper breaks, or the shoulder strap becomes worn. It’s like losing an old friend when I eventually put a favorite in the trash.
The Bible only uses the word purse a few times, but it does not refer to the fashion accessory women carry today. It was more like a belt tied around the waist that also had an inner space to hold money. We would call it a waist pack or money belt. You can understand how easy it would be to lose one’s money if this belt developed a hole.
Haggai is a very small book near the end of the Old Testament. King Cyrus had allowed some of the Jews who had been in captivity to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple. But somehow the people soon lost focus. They became so caught up in improving their own lives that they ignored the purpose of their return. God’s house still lay in ruins.
“Then the LORD sent this message through the prophet Haggai: “Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins? This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: Look at what’s happening to you!” (Haggai 1:3-5, NLT)
Then God went on to explain the consequences of their wrong priorities.
“You have planted much but harvest little. You eat but are not satisfied. You drink but are still thirsty. You put on clothes but cannot keep warm. Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes!” (Verse 6)
In other words, their purse or wallet had a figurative hole, and they were losing what they thought was valuable. Fortunately, the people heeded the warning and regained their enthusiasm for the work of the Lord (verse 14).
It’s easy for our priorities to get skewed. It happened in Haggai’s time; it happens today. We get so caught up in day-to-day life and in trying to achieve more and more that we lose our sensitivity to spiritual things. In other words, our purses have holes in them and the things that really matter are being lost.
How can we tell if we are growing indifferent to spiritual things? It may be helpful to ask ourselves some probing questions. Here are just a few to get started.
- How much have I grown in my spiritual walk this year?
- Am I more interested in entertainment or time in the Word?
- Is it easier to skip church now than it once was?
- When I make important decisions, do I pray for God’s will?
- How many of my conversations are about God?
- When was the last time I told someone about the Lord?
Luke 12:33 tells us our treasures are safe when we choose the spiritual over the temporal. Those purses never fray, get holes, or wear out. Are you choosing eternal treasures over the things of this world that will rust and fade away. Remember, your heart follows wherever you place your treasures.
Lord, my desire is to make You first in my life. Convict me if I become distracted and indifferent to the things of the Spirit. Reveal any areas where my priorities are not in alignment with eternal values. I want to invest in eternal treasures that will never pass away.
(Additional scriptures to read: Matthew 6:19-21,33, Luke 12:22-34. Hebrews 2:1-3, Revelation 3:17.)