Lesson 231: “Is Your Treasure-Purse full of Holes”?
“You earn money but then you lose it all as if you had put it into a purse full of holes” (Hag. 1:6b). God makes it plain that you cannot serve two masters; God and worldly riches (Matt. 6:24). The first of the Ten Commandments states that He is the Lord your God and you must not have any other god but Him (Ex. 20:1-3). This is not to say that God has anything against money nor does He say you must live without it. “But remember the Lord your God! It is He who gives you the power to become rich” (Deut. 8:18). If and when He allows you to have an abundance of money, be careful not to put it into a purse with holes. The Pharisees, in their pursuit of material things, had never learned to live by faith. They believed the Lord materially blessed all that He loved. They had spiritually diseased eyes and coveted wealth and thus became slaves to the master of greed. Their desire for money was so great they were falling down in their service to the true Master, God (Matt. 6:19-24). Jesus taught that unless you seek first the Kingdom of Heaven that you are putting treasures in purses with holes and warned that your heart will be wherever your treasure is. Better to store your heart and treasures in a Holy purse where they cannot be destroyed (Matt. 6:19-21).
Not only cash money is considered wealth and kept in “holey” purses. James teaches that if you wish someone well but do nothing to meet their needs that you have let your treasure (blessing) slip through the holes (James 2:15-16). It was James who said the tongue could burn holes in treasure purses, tearing down others and spreading its evil throughout the whole body. Peter stabbed holes in his purse when he denied Jesus (Matt. 26:69-75) but quickly sewed them up with the threads of repentance. Judas, on the other hand did not have a sewing kit and the thirty pieces of silver that he “earned” by giving Jesus over to the enemies, dropped out onto the Temple floor and he hanged himself (Matt. 26:14-16, 27:3-5). A harsh reality is that some would rather “think” Jesus dead than have Him controlling their lives! Which of your purses have holes in them? Career? Family? Forgiveness? Giving? “Holy” habits will mend “holey” purses! Giving keeps your purse filled to the brim (Luke 6:38, Mark 4:24). Remember also that the cheerful giver God loves (2 Cor. 9:7) does not mean just money but giving of your time as well.
Jesus tells the story of the Good Samaritan who gave compassion, physical help, time and money (both in the present and the future) to the man who had been beaten and robbed and left on the side of the road to Jericho (Luke 10:25-37). After telling the story Jesus then said; “then go and do what he did”. Later in this same chapter, Jesus visited the home of two sisters. Martha’s purse was filled with “busy holes” but Mary’s was stuffed with worship blessings. “Mary has chosen the better thing and it will never be taken away from her: (Luke 10:38-42). The money changers in the Temple lost their profits because of “holey” greed and dishonest trading (Matt. 21:12-13). This works the same way today! “If you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you” (Luke 6:34)?
Jesus also told the story of a man with two sons. The younger son asked (demanded) his inheritance so that he could leave the life he knew and travel the world. His father gave in to his wishes, divided the property and his son went far away to another country. There he wasted his money on foolish living, fell into hunger and poverty. He was forced to work harder than he had ever worked for his father and was hungry enough to eat with the pigs he was tending. “So he got up and went to his father” (Luke 15:11-20). Don’t miss the part about “getting up”. You may have “holey” purses and you might squander all that you have been given, but all you need to do is “get up” and go to the FATHER and He will reinstate you. Through repentance and forgiveness you will find you have more blessings than you had before you went out on your own. “The Father will give you whatever you ask in my name” (John 15:16); “We have confidence before God and receive from Him anything we ask, because we obey His commands and do what pleases Him” (1 John 3:22); “Go! It will be done just as you believed it would” (Matt. 8:13).
There is another purse we all have and it holds our time here on earth. We need to be extra careful to keep the holes in this one mended. Be careful not to SPEND your time feasting, drinking or worrying about worldly things. Be ready all the time for Jesus’ Second Coming. “Pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:34-36). “Do not be deceived. God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows” (Gal. 6:7). I am assured that Jesus Christ is able to protect what He has trusted to me until that Day (2 Tim. 1:13) and until that Day we must protect the good deposit that we were given with the help of the Holy Spirit (2 Tim. 1:14). Do not put the truth of the gospel, your salvation or your faith in God in purses with holes. All of these things are just too precious to be lost through neglect. Especially since the holes are so easy to mend. “Fan into flame the gift of God” (2 Tim. 1:6); “Do not put out the Spirit’s fire” (1 Thess. 5:19); “Devote yourselves to prayer” (Col. 4:2); “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts” (Heb. 3:15). Love mends the holes and is well worth the effort; “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Cor. 2:9, Isa. 64:4)!