I came across this interesting phrase on Friday when I was continuing my study of Christ’s Sermon on the Mount. Now, I’m not much into purses like some of you ladies might be. Sure, I have a cupboard in my bedroom closet with several purses in it, but most of them are impractical for my needs and one might see the light of day for a special occasion. But I tend to find an everyday purse I really like and use it until it starts falling apart. Case in point…
I remember back in the spring of 2008 when my husband and I were on a trip to Vienna. He had been searching almost a year for one of his favorite watches and had pretty much given up on ever finding it. When we arrived at our hotel, I was emptying my purse to reorganize it and was puzzled by an object hidden in the recesses of the purse. Suddenly, I realized there was a small hole in the lining of an inside pocket and you guessed it – out fell his watch! It had been there since another trip ten months before when I had put it in the zippered pocket for safekeeping. My, how we laughed and laughed – the other hotel guests must have wondered what was so hilarious!
The title phrase comes from Luke 12:33-34, “Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! 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. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will be also.” (NLT) A parallel passage is found in Matthew 6:19-21.
The idea behind Jesus’ teaching is for us to remember all that we have comes from Him. It all really belongs to Him; we are the trustees of what He has given us to provide for our needs and to enjoy. If I recognize this, my attitude should be one of sharing from what God has entrusted to me in order to help meet the needs of others. The material possessions I have here in this life are really temporary, easily break down or are destroyed. Why should I care so much about them anyhow? It really made me think about the things I own – my home, my car, my furniture, my clothes, my property, my library of books, my jewelry, my various collections…
So often I attach such personal or sentimental value on the things I have – not that it’s wrong to do so; it’s quite normal. However, I believe God wants me to think of these things in the light of eternal values – how can I use these possessions to bring glory to God? How can I ensure I don’t get so wrapped up in loving the things I have that they become lost or hidden in some pocket or cavity in the purse of my day-to-day life and serve no lasting purpose?
I guess it can be as simple as…opening our home every Thursday evening for a Bible study/prayer group…hosting our friends (and former pastor) last weekend while they enjoyed visiting with us and several other friends plus attending a wedding…offering rides to those who need transportation to church, appointments, the grocery store…bagging up clothes I no longer use and donating them to a local charity…becoming friends with our neighbors, trying to live a godly life before them, and lending a helpful hand whenever it is needed…giving away other items I really don’t need to someone who would really appreciate them. When I do these things willingly, allowing God to remove selfishness and greed, I discover such joy in the giving. Knowing it pleases God brings pleasure and satisfaction to my heart. It really is true – whatever I treasure will become the desire of my heart!
I was also thinking about what else I treasure that has lasting and eternal value – my marriage to my best friend, spending quality time with my family (such as the special time I had with my son the other day as I drove him home after his university classes – since he’s married now, I really treasure the times we do have together), my friendships, enjoying walks in our beautiful city and appreciating the nature that reminds me of God’s amazing handiwork and power, communing with God in such a personal and meaningful way and knowing He loves me unconditionally, serving God with the abilities and giftedness He has given to me, appreciating living in a country where I am free to believe as I do and share my beliefs with others, using my time to encourage someone else who is struggling in some way…
Lord Jesus, help me to be more conscious of what I treasure and why I treasure it!
Until next Sunday,