Bags Ever New

J. D. Conley
December 22, 2013

At this time of year shoppers are bustling here and there with numerous bags in tow. Everywhere you look patrons are carrying bags, sacks, boxes and various packages filled with earthly treasures to wrap and put under the tree. But it won't be long until those festive bags are emptied, and discarded. Nor will it be that much longer until the contents of those bags will be discarded as well. The gifts that those bags now hold, will sooner or later be added to the ash heap of time and be long forgotten. Oh how we long for "bags ever new" filled with imperishable treasure! Are there such things? Indeed there are!

Jesus Himself speaks of such precious items, "Sell that ye have and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth" (Lk. 12:33). How paradoxical is the Lord's statement! In order to acquire we must divest! In order to purchase we must sell. The acquisition of heavenly treasure in ageless protective containers requires generosity, not stinginess, consideration of others, not selfishness.

Regardless of the quality of the gift you give or receive Wednesday morning, it will one day wear out, be lost, be stolen or become obsolete. I know a lady who is trying to sell her designer hand bags on e-bay because she has grown tired of them. She no doubt loved them when first bought, but now they have lost their appeal. Even though the bags are still in very good shape, they have "waxed old" in her estimation. That's the fate of every earthly treasure, sooner or later they "wax old" in age, or we grow tired of them first.

But heavenly treasure is far different! Jesus says it "faileth not." We will never grow tired or disenchanted with eternal life in heaven. Heaven will never disappoint us, bore us, or be taken away from us. It will never be diminished in any way. Once there we will never again be looking or hoping for something better, or different, or new. Why? Simply because nothing transcends eternal life. Nothing is better than heaven, its a perfect place (cf.Rev.21:3-7).

So instead of being consumed with filling earthly bags, earthly coffers, and earthly pockets, lets be concerned with emptying these by giving to those in need. Material security cannot be counted upon or enjoyed because it can be suddenly taken away. So why not really enjoy our material blessings by wielding a free hand, thus placing them into "bags ever new?" That is where they do the most good for you as well as others.