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Craving the Best Things
A SERMON PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10, 1908.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT UPTON CHAPEL, LAMBETH ROAD, ON TUESDAY, MARCH 20, 1866.
"And David said, There is none like that; give it to me." 1 Samuel 21:9.
PERHAPS you remember the circumstances under which these words were spoken. David had been warned by Jonathan that Saul sought his life and, therefore, he left the court in a hurry and fled. He appears to have gone in such haste that he did not take proper provision with him—he did not even take his sword. Coming to Nob, where the priests dwelt, he received the sacred bread which had been offered to God as the showbread and he and the men with him ate thereof. And when he asked Ahimelech if he could furnish him with a weapon, he said there was no sword there save one, "the sword of Goliath, the Philistine, whom you slew in the valley of Elah. Behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod: if you will take that, take it: for there is no other save that here." And David said, "There is none like that; give it to me."
I am not going to spiritualize my text. I want to do nothing unfair. Let me use it as a slogan. You will all allow that apt words may be employed at sundry times and in divers manners. I will simply say that as a general principle, the conviction of excellence leads us to desire possession. "There is none like that," is the conviction of excellence. "Give it to me"—there is the desire to possess. I shall illustrate this Truth of God in spiritual things upon some six or seven matters.
I. Speak of "the sword of the Spirit, which is THE WORD OF GOD," and you may well say, "there is none like that."
It is incomparable in its Authorship. We are persuaded that He who Inspired the Scriptures is none other than He who made the heavens and the earth, the God who cannot lie. All other books are but human at the best—let the authors be ever so refined—they cannot pretend to write as God writes. "There is none like that" for Authorship.
Nor is there any like it for style. You may read the Word of God through a hundred times, but you will like it best the hundredth time, for its stores are inexhaustible and its variety is charming. The style of any one man wearies you with its monotony till you need a change, but the spiritual mind never was and never could be wearied with the style of the Scriptures. It is sometimes simple, at other times majestic—here you have profound mystery and there the homeliest proverbs. It is all through, however, so full of holiness and of Divinity, that there is none like it for style.
And certainly there is none like it for matter. What other book contains such a Revelation as this concerning Christ, God, time, life, death, eternity, Heaven, Hell? There is more matter, often, in a single page of Scripture than there is in a whole volume of human writing! And that matter is so true, so necessary for us to know and withal so comfortable, so rich, so blessed, that when we have searched the Word and gained a knowledge of God's testimonies, we can say with regard to the matter of it, "There is none like that."
As for the effect of God's Word in quickening the soul, in fetching back the wanderer, in giving peace to the troubled conscience, in cheering the Christian, in anchoring his spirit in time of storm, "there is none like that." Whether you consider the Author, the style, the matter, or the effect—in all points the Word of God stands first and foremost.
The conclusion, therefore, that I draw is, "Give it to me." Oh, give it to me that I may read it constantly night and day! Give it to me, that I may understand it, prying into its secrets! Give it to me! O Holy Spirit, re-write your Book upon the fleshy tablets of my heart! Give it to me, that I may call it mine, grasping it with the hands of faith! Give it to me, that I may feed upon it with the lips of love, that I may receive it into my experience! Give it to me, that I may carry it out with faith in the actions of my life! There are some who are bent on taking away the Word of God. Well, if they
discard it, "Give it to me." There are some who want to put it up on the shelf, as a thing that has seen its best days. They suppose the old sword is rusty and worn out, but we can say, "There is none like that; give it to me!"
II. I shall have no time to enlarge upon this subject, so I must give you much in little. Therefore I pass on to another instance of the conviction of excellence with regard to THE SALVATION WHICH IS PROVIDED IN CHRIST JESUS.
All of you who are acquainted with the salvation that is in Christ will confess that "there is none like that." Beginning with that which always must lie at the root of all Gospel, the precious blood of Jesus—where can there be found anything like that? The blood of the Son of God, shed in so remarkable a manner, with sufferings so extraordinary, having about it a voice so loud which "speaks better things than that of Abel." The blood which, when sprinkled upon us, enables us to boldly enter into that which is within the veil. The blood which, when sprinkled upon our door posts, preserves us from the destroying angel. The blood in which, if we are washed, leaves us whiter than snow, so that "neither spot nor wrinkle" can remain on those who have received the Atonement of our Lord—there is no blood like that! Search the world round and you will find that there is no truth so consolatory as the Truth of God of the Substitution of Christ and His suffering, "the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God."
Then, as for His righteousness, which is as much concerned in our salvation as His blood, "there is none like that " The righteousness of Adam i n the Garden, with all its perfection, was still liable to come to an end, but the righteousness of Christ can never be altered. The former was only human righteousness at the best, but ours is Divine Righteousness, "the Lord our righteousness," Jehovah-Tsidkenu. Oh, the beauties of that! Saints in Heaven sparkle like the sun when they put on this glorious array. Not Christ, Himself, on Tabor's mountain shone more lustrously than will poor sinners shine when they are covered with the righteousness of Jesus Christ! "There is none like that."
And then, where the blood of Christ has washed, and where the righteousness of Christ is imputed, there comes as a matter of necessity, "the peace of God, which passes all understanding." Those who are in the enjoyment of this peace will tell you that "there is none like that." The peace which comes from carelessness is without foundation. The peace that comes from ceremonies soon departs in the day of trouble. The peace that rests upon self-righteousness is based upon the sand. But the peace that rests upon the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ will outlast all time, endure the shock of trouble and land us in Heaven to enjoy peace forever!
Sometimes this peace breaks forth into joy and I may say especially of the joy of new converts, "there is none like that." If you ever walk down the streets of Mansoul on the day when the King Emmanuel is coming out, you will see the banners waving from every window and the bells in every steeple making the spires to rock. You will see the people with gladness in their faces wearing "beauty for ashes, and the oil of joy for mourning," and then will you say, as you hear them clap their hands and shout together, "The King is coming." "There is no joy like that." But always in "the love of our espousals," we thank God that we find it joyous. There is no joy out of Heaven that is like the joy of pardoned sin, the joy of finding Christ, the joy of having our feet upon a rock. Then do you not say directly, "Give it to me"? Some of you have got it and I know your prayer is still, "Give it to me, give it to me to know more of it. Give it to me to enjoy it more. Give it to me every day—let me have it like the manna from Heaven every morning. Give it to me in all its fullness. Lord, there is none like that, give it to me!"
And are there not some of you who have never had it? Do you not agree with me that to be covered with Christ's perfect righteousness, to have peace with God and to rejoice in our Lord Jesus Christ is a most precious thing? Do you not say, "Now, give it to me"? Well, then whisper it in the Master's ear—say to Him, "Lord, give it to me! Here is an empty hand waiting for it, fill it. Here I am, Lord, sinful and black, but You have precious blood—give it to me and make me white. I am naked, I have nothing to cover myself with—but You have a perfect robe, give it to me. Cover me with it. Here I am, Lord, heavy-laden, bowed down with grief, but You have peace to give—Lord, give it to me. Here is my heavy heart, like a broken lily, withered and dying—Lord, You can freshen it up and give me joy instead of sorrow! Lord, give it to me!" You see, this is not a prayer for a number of people—it is a personal prayer for each one to pray— and I hope each one of you will pray it now.
III. But we must pass on to a third illustration of the principle of the conviction of excellence which leads us to desire to possess. The third illustration shall be found in UNSTAGGERING FAITH.
Those of you who have enjoyed this will know that there is nothing like it in all the world. For, first, unstaggering faith grasps the promises. Ah, how often have I wished I could do so! I have seen some Christians taking hold of God's
Word just as they found it, being, as the saying is, "as happy as the birds in the air," and never troubled about its Providential arrangements. Now, unstaggering faith, when it gets a promise, treats it as a winepresser does the grape when he treads upon it till the sweet juice comes forth.
This mighty faith, when it comes to prayer, takes a promise with it and makes a step in advance—it gets the petition which it desires. Unstaggering faith comes down from the closet crying, like Luther, "Vici, vici. I have overcome, I have conquered!" God grants the desire of unstaggering faith. It delights itself in the Lord, so the Lord grants it the desire of its heart. There is nothing like faith to pray with—it handles the promise in a masterly manner and gets its desire.
The consequence is that unstaggering faith, in daily life, practically removes every difficulty. ' 'Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain." Where Little-Faith is stumbling over every straw, Great-Faith is not afraid to go through the river, since Christ is with it, nor afraid to climb the mountain, since God beats the mountain as small as chaff when faith uses the flail.
And, certainly, as difficulties are removed, this unstaggering faith preserves a perpetual serenity. Let—
"Earth be all in arms abroad, Faith dwells in perfect peace." It leans upon its God with a sense of His unfailing goodness when the desert around is dry, while the parched souls that lean upon an arm of flesh become like the heath of the wilderness!
I think, if I had mentioned only these four things concerning unstaggering faith, you would say, "There is none like that." It grasps promises, wins positions, overcomes difficulties and lives in perpetual peace. What then? Why, "give it to me." O Little-Faith, do you not say, "Give it to me"? Perhaps you have been in Giant Despair's castle and you have thought he would surely devour you. But if you could get hold of this Goliath's sword, you might soon have the giant's head in your hand! If you keep better company, if your spiritual lungs take in more of the air of Heaven, there is no reason why that little trembling faith of yours should not grow into strong faith, for the promise is as true to you as to any other. You are as much a child of God as any other. God is as willing to answer your prayer as the prayer of any of His people. He is as true to you as He is to others. He "waits to be gracious." I hope before you go home you will say of this strong faith, "There is none like that; give it to me."
IV. The fourth thing is one which I think equally as precious as any I have spoken of, and that is A LIFE OF NEAR AND DEAR COMMUNION WITH CHRIST.
There may not be many here who have enjoyed it, for it is not given to all God's people to live in this center of true religion. The higher life is neither known nor possessed by all the saints, but those who do know and possess it will tell you that "there is none like that." A man who gets into close communion with Christ is sure that his soul is saved. He does not sing—
"'Tis a point I long to know."
He used to sing that once, but now he knows better. He knows he is beyond that and now he can sing—
"Now rest, my long-divided heart— Fixed on this blissful center, rest."
He no longer has to question whether he has repented or whether he has believed. He has brought forth "fruits meet for repentance," and his belief is proved by his works. He has attained to the full assurance, not of hope, though that is a good thing, nor of belief, though that is also a good thing—but the full assurance of understanding—and there he stands, enjoying the confidence of his union with Christ.
Next to this assurance of his soul's safety, there comes the enjoyment of Christ's love. He not only knows that Christ loves him, but he feels i t. The love of God is not now like "precious ointment" within the case, but it is "shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Spirit." It is like the ointment from Mary's alabaster box when it was broken. He can feel the love of God in his heart. He has no more doubt now of the love of God to him than of his own love for his child! At times it seems to weave itself into his very consciousness and he can say, "I sat down under His shadow with great delight, and His fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house and his banner over me was love." He has tasted and known, and felt the dearest communion of the Savior's love—and he can truly say, "There is none like that." Some of you have—perhaps, read the life of Madame Guyon and have said, "Ah, there is none like that." You may have read the spiritual letters of Rutherford and said, "There is no life like that," or the works of George Herbert and felt inclined to
say, "There is no spirit like that; give it to me." Your spirit has often said, "Give it to me." Oh, that I might get it! I would rather lie sick upon a bed of pain from now till my Master's appearance than be employed in the preaching of God's Word if I cannot have my Master's Presence with me! I can hardly look upon some hours that I have spent upon earth as being a part of my mortal life at all. They seem to have been fragments of my immortal existence, cropping up of the new life, little pieces of Heaven, stray notes from angelic harps allowed to wander here below as earnests of the "rest which remains for the people of God." Let us each one pray, "Savior, give it to me! There is none like that; give it to
V. But I must pass on. The bee is in a field that has many flowers in bloom and must fly from one to another. THE
POSSESSION OF SPIRITUAL POWER—THE POWER AND INDWELLING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT—is another
most precious thing concerning which, I trust, we have a conviction of excellence which will lead us to desire its possession.
Do you know persons who possess this spiritual power? If you do not, I will tell you where you will observe it. There is a secret, mysterious power about their private lives. Not that they expose their private lives to observation, for they have a hidden life which they know cannot be seen and which they desire to be hid with their Master. Still, in their families, in their most private actions, there is a shadow which you can see. And if that shadow, like the shadow of Peter, has healing influence about it when it falls upon you, you will observe it and wish your influence were like it. You perceive by it that they have "been with Jesus," and have learnt of Him.
This power shows itself in their public work They may he preachers and if God has given them spiritual power, their ministry is very fruitful in conversions and generally blessed in edification. When you listen to them as they speak upon a point of Doctrine, you feel that they are dealing with a thing which they have handled and tasted, and felt. They have seen the evidence of these things in the Holy Word and they speak what they know, and testify what they have seen. If they happen to be Sunday school teachers, if they happen to be missionaries, or whatever is their occupation, you see that while others are using little hammers, tapping the nail on the head and failing to drive it home, these have energy and might and drive the nail home almost with a single stroke, and clinch it with the second! While others are talking of what they would like to do, these men do the thing! God is with them. They are "workers together with God," and you can see the result of their work because there is power—such power as God gave to the Apostles at Jerusalem—resting upon them.
This power often shows itself in a Church. I want to get you to pray for a public blessing, for a whole Church may get this spiritual power. Look at the Prayer Meetings, how well they are attended. Look at the various societies, how earnestly they are conducted. Look how the young men and women are seeking to bring in others; how the matrons are mothers in Israel; how the old men are fathers in Christ. Oh, it is a blessed thing when a whole Church is alive! One may blow the coals so well that they may touch a Prophet's lips, but a whole mass of coals together—what a conflagration of Divine Grace may this cause throughout the world! Oh, that all our Churches had power from on high! Then would come revival seasons, true revivals, when everything would be full of holy joy and vigor and the Kingdom of Christ would grow and His arm revealed! You are sure to see the effect of this power in the Church in the blessing of the world, for the Church that is revived soon tells upon the neighborhood! If there is a great fire, you may see the blaze of it a long way off, and so if there is a fire in the Church of God, the blaze of it must be seen by the world! You bless the neighborhood where you are blessed in yourselves. With regard to this spiritual power, "there is none like that." We may preach new doctrines, or use fine music, or try to build our edifices so as to make them attractive, but oh, when we come to spiritual power, "there is none like that." I think I can hear all the members of this Church and members of other Churches who are here, say, "Give it to us, Lord, give it to us now." I am persuaded that we might exercise this power more, but we sometimes think that this sword of Goliath is laid up before the Lord and is never to be used—that this shaking of the dry bones, this fire from Heaven running along upon the ground, is a thing to be read about and dreamt of, but not to be possessed and seen! O God, show that You have not changed Your ancient prowess! O arm of the Lord, be You made bare again! Let this be our constant prayer, "There is none like that; give it to me."
VI. I want to speak so as to touch some who are not yet converted and I think I must use another illustration of the principle which leads wise men to desire possession, namely, The PRIVILEGE OF THE CHRISTIAN.
Every Christian who possesses this privilege will tell you that there is nothing like it in all the world. What is a Christian? Well, first, he is a son of God, an heir of Heaven, a prince of the blood imperial, one of God's aristocrats soaring right above the common level! He is as much above other men as other men are above brutes. He is a man of a new race—he does not belong to this world—he is an alien, a stranger! His citizenship is in Heaven! He can look up to God and say, "My Father." The Spirit of adoption is in his heart.
The Christian knows that he is "accepted in the Beloved. "He knows that whatever he does that is right, God accepts through Jesus Christ. He knows that his prayers are accepted, that his vows are accepted, that his good works are accepted, that his very sighs, groans, tears, wishes and heartbroken desires are all accepted. God accepts them all as men accept love tokens from dear friends. He takes our poor withered forget-me-nots and treasures them up. We are accepted, altogether accepted, in the Beloved! The Christians is a man who is quite secure. There is no fear of his ever sinking into Hell. A jewel of the Redeemer's crown shall never be cast to the swine, that they may tread it under foot. Christ's blood-bought one is safe forever. Therefore he is not afraid. He believes that he has entered into the heavens with Christ and taken his seat at the right hand of Christ, his Covenant Head with whom he is in personal union. There is no life in the world like a Christian's—there is no standing like his—there is no position like his. There is no person in the world that you can imagine who has such a life as his—watched over by angels, provided for by the bounty, and guarded by the Omnipotence of Heaven—what more can he want? "There is none like that."
And now, Sinner, does not your heart say, "Give it to me. Let me be treated as You treat the rest of the family. Do unto me as You use to do unto them that fear Your name"? There is a gate to God's heart and that gate is not shut! And by the way we came into that heart, dear Sinner, you may also come! "I am the Way," says Christ. If you look to Him bleeding, suffering, bearing the guilt of man, you are accepted, for looking to Jesus is a token off your being "accepted in the Beloved." But never be satisfied with merely knowing what is the privilege of a Christian, try to get it! "There is none like that; give it to me."
VII. Only once more on this point. Mark THE CHRISTIAN'S HOPE and may we not justly say, "There is none like
What is the Christian hoping for? He is hoping for the Lord's coming. He is hoping that the Master will reign upon the earth right gloriously. And sometimes he thinks that perhaps he may never see death, for he knows that there are those who will remain on the earth at the coming of the Lord and who shall not fall asleep. But if he anticipates death, yet he has a good hope that they also who sleep in Jesus will the Lord bring with Him. His hope is that his disembodied spirit will see the Savior before his body shall rise from the dead and that in the intermediate state between now and the resurrection, his soul will be in Paradise. As to his body, he has a hope that the Judge will come and the trumpet sound and he even says within himself, "I know that my Redeemer lives, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin, worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God." He has a hope of return for his soul, and of resurrection for his body—and after death and after resurrection comes the judgment But he has a good hope even concerning that, for he hopes to hear the Master say, "Come, you blessed!" He hopes to stand at the right hand of the Judge, and to sit with Christ upon His Throne, to dwell forever with the Lord! And his soul often sings—
"Amen, so let it be, Life from the dead is in that word, 'Tis immortality."
And I know that everyone, saint or sinner, even though he is as base as the wicked Prophet Balaam, will say, "There is none like that; give it to me." But you cannot die the death of the righteous unless you live the life of the righteous! Nor must you expect your last end to be like his unless you begin where he began—with Christ. I would to God we had half as much desire for this best of all things as we have for the things of this world. If there was an advertisement in the newspapers saying that there were guineas to be given away at a certain chapel tomorrow morning, what a crowd we would have! But now, when information has been spread abroad that salvation is to be had, though it is admitted on all hands, "that there is none like that," yet how few say, "Give it to me! Give it to me!" But oh, if you do say so from the heart, you shall hear God's answer, "I have given it—take it and go your way!"
And now, dear Friends, will you follow me a little further while I point out that as the conviction of excellence leads us to desire possession, so SPECIAL SEASONS INTENSIFY THIS DESIRE?
David particularly wished for Goliath's sword on this occasion because he had not any other. He was quite willing to take this sword because the priest very significantly said, "There is no other save that here." Therefore David was the more ready to appreciate the excellence of the sword because it was the only one there was, and to say at once, since he needed it so badly, "Give it to me."
In times of conviction of sin. In times, too, of a sense of ignorance, a man says of God's Word, "Give it to me." As long as you think you are very wise, you will do without this Book. When you begin to be wise and find out that you are a fool, then you will say, "There is none like that; give it to me." You will be satisfied with other men's books till you find out that they are false. And when you have found that out, you will turn with love towards this volume and say of this Gospel Truth of God, "There is none like that; give it to me." In times of conviction of sin, you will feel regard for the Revelation of Jesus Christ. That man who does not value Christ can never know his own condition. I say, Sirs, if God would strip you. If He would lay the terror of the Law upon you. If He would tie you up to the Halberts and beat you with the ten-thonged whip of the Law, and then scrub you with the brine of conviction of sin and make your flesh tingle with anguish, cast you into prison and break your back with Giant Despair's crab tree cudgel, it would bring you to know your own condition and you would say, "There is none like that." A naked man prizes a good suit of clothes and a hungry man has a keen appetite for a good feast. And so, when a soul gets a sense of sin, oh, how he prizes the Savior! He then says, "Christ for me!" "There is none like that! O God, give it to me!"
In times of trial, t oo, the Christian knows the value of the faith of which I spoke to you. A man without trials may live without faith. With a good fixed income coming in, a prosperous business, the children all healthy and everything going on as you could wish it, you can put faith by in its scabbard and let it rust a bit. But when business declines, a child dies, you are sickly, troubles gather around your head and you know not where you may soon have to fly, you say, "Ah, now I must seize faith." You are glad of your umbrella when it rains—and times of trial make us cling to our faith.
If ever you get into spiritual darkness, dear Friends, it is then that you begin to prize communion with Christ. When the Lord hides His face from you, then, like the spouse, you begin to seek Him through the streets and to say, "My Beloved, where is He?" While in the enjoyment of Christ's Presence, you grow secure and when He comes knocking at the door, you say, "I have taken off my clothes," and you let Him stand outside till His locks are wet with dew. But when your Beloved withdraws Himself and goes away, then you seek Him, beating your bosom and crying, "Oh that I knew where I might find Him!" Ah saints, if we once get into the darkness, then we know the value of the Sun of Righteousness! And when the night is dreary and grim, it is then that the Star of Bethlehem becomes "our life, our light, our all," and "conducts us to the port of peace."
I think it is also in the times of labor that the Christian knows the value of spiritual power. If he has much to do and but little strength to do it with. If he does not see success attending his efforts, then he begins to cry out for the power he sees in others. "O Master," he says, "I have been sowing seed, but it never comes up." And then it is that he cries for spiritual power. He then seems to have Baxter's disease and would like to have Baxter's power—and he would take Calvin's 70 sicknesses at once if he might have Calvin's 70 times powerful heart! He feels that he would give up all pleasures if he might but be endowed with spiritual energy. "There is nothing like that," he says—"give it to me."
And it is also in times when the soul is impressed as to the vanity of mortal things that it rejoices in Christian privileges—and those times are growing with some of us. I am young compared with many of you, but I feel old to what I was a little while ago. I have a sense of death about me every day. I do not think there have been five minutes during the past year that I have been without a sense of mortality. Then I have begun to look at everybody who goes by as a wonder that he is alive and to look upon all the world as not being worth anybody's caring for. I would not live here always. I have a strong appetite for Heaven and I think many of God's saints, as they grow in age, find it so. They care less and less for this world because they recognize that there is nothing here worth caring for! At such a time I am sure you can say of Christian privileges, adoption, acceptance, and union with Christ, "There are none like these; give them to me." There, dogs, you may have the world if you like, and snarl over that dry bone, but as for me, give me Christ! Give me to know true union with the Lord Jesus Christ! "There is none like that; give it to me." I rejoice more in the Lord my God than in all the corn, wine and oil which make the rich so glad, and the proud so happy. There is nothing like spiritual privilege! Give it to me!
It is also in the time of death, or sickness supposed to be fatal, that we begin to see the value of the Christian's hope, and to say—
"When the death-dew lies cold on my brow, If ever I loved You, my Jesus, 'tis now!"
You cannot look forward to dying in itself without a shiver. Death is not, and never can be, congenial to our nature. We are—
"Fond of our prison and our clay."
I have heard of one of whom a minister said, "She died full of life." That is the way to die—full of life and immortality—having so much of life that it swallows up death! "Death is swallowed up in victory." One of our grand old Puritan divines, when he was close upon dying, was busy working at his book and his friends said, "You are dying," and advised him to rest. But he said, "No, I will not slip to bed to die. I will die in my chair." And he sat up and sang to the last. Haliburton seemed to be anticipating the time of his death when he exclaimed, "Have at you, Death, have at you! I have no fear of you!" It is then when we shall feel, concerning the Christian's hope, "There is none like that; give it
Well, dear Friends, many of you endorse the prayer, "Give it to me," but some of you ask the question, "Shall we get it?" Let me, therefore, put before you a few of the many ENCOURAGEMENTS THAT SUPPORT US IN THE BELIEF THAT THE DESIRE WILL BE GRANTED.
Why is it that we believe our desire will be granted? Let every Christian and every unconverted person who is seeking the Lord listen to these few remarks. Other saints have received that which you are desiring. They have received salvation, strong faith, communion with Christ and spiritual power. When another receives those blessings, that should be an argument and encouragement for you to press your suit. A man who never gives anything is the worst person in the world to beg from, but he who has given in the past will probably continue to give. There is no heart so generous as the heart that has already given—it will still give. God has blessed millions of others—hosts beyond all counting! Then why should He not bless you? Lord, You gave to others, give to me also!
Evidently the gifts we are seeking are supplied in the Covenant of Grace. There is provision made of all the matters I have been talking about. It pleased the Father that in Christ should all fullness dwell—so that there are in Christ, not only the common gifts, but the special gifts of which I spoke just now—and they are all in Him in full measure! Then why should they not be given to you? Since they are all provided, doubtless they are not provided in vain. It is just what common sense would teach us—if a man provided a large quantity of soup in his kitchen, anybody would imagine he intended to give it away! And if a lady like Dorcas was busy making a large number of garments, you would at once infer that she did not need them for herself, but intended to give them away! Now, since there is a provision made of all these good and precious things of which I have spoken, it is to be concluded that they were made to be given to those who need them! Surely, when I pray, "Give it to me," He will give it to me, for He has provided it in order to give it! He has made a fountain and water in the fountain. What is it for? The light that is in the sun is not there for the sun's sake, but for somebody's use. And so the treasures hid in Christ must be there for those who need them! They must be there for you and me! There is provision made for as many as will receive it.
Then it is for God's Glory to give me what I ask. If I am a sinner, it is God's Glory to forgive my sins—
"This is His great prerogative." If He gives us great faith, He will get the Glory of it. It is God's Glory to make us live near to Christ. "Herein is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit." Do you not think that He will give you these great blessings? His actions, ever since He first revealed Himself to man have always been for His own Glory, and surely you have a mighty argument to encourage your confidence in this fact that to bless you with this wondrous blessing will be to His Glory!
Then, again, He has promised to do this, and that is the best of all encouragements. "Whatever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive." "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." "The desire of the righteous shall be granted." Delight yourself also in the Lord; and He shall give you the desires of your heart."
And as for you, Sinner, He has told you to come to Him. I spoke of rest just now as being enjoyed by those who find Him. He says, "Come unto Me, and I will give you rest." Whatever it is that your soul desires, is there not a promise for it? And if there is, there is a faithful God at the back of every promise who will make that promise good!
But we have even more than that. We have a living Savior to plead the promise on our behalf. ' 'Therefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever lives to make intercession for them." We have the promise of God and then we have the plea of Christ to make that promise effective! I remind you Believers who are asking for more Grace—and you sinners who are asking for pardon—that God has made a great supply and that supply must be intended to be used! It is to God's Glory that it should be used. He gives a promise that He will hear your prayer. Jesus Christ stands up to plead that promise! "Let us therefore come boldly unto the Throne of Grace, that we may obtain mercy and find Grace to help in time of need." "There is none like that, give it to me." Give it to me now! Give it to me now, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.
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