King's Business - 1948-01

all the variety of God’s character in order to appreciate the riches which He can bring into life and experience. The sover­ eign God, who ordered the world, is great and majestic, but how much man would miss without the revelation of the God of Calvary and Pentecost! When God enters life, home, church or community, He does so in the fullness of His Person as the God of creation and Calvary and Pentecost. The spiritual leaders of ancient times invoked the enrichment of the Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. The Christian bene­ diction is also a Trinitarian blessing: “ The, grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all” (2 Cor. 13:14). Let us seek to accept the wealth of enrichment which God has provided for us. There is God the Father; and the enrichment which He gives is a Father’s love and benediction. We recall the familiar scenes of Burns’ Cotter’s Saturday Night. The plough is left at the end of the field, the horses are in the stable, and the hard-working farmer sits down to enjoy the comfort of home and family. The older children who are out at work, come home for the evening, and all partake of the evening meal. Then the priest-like father reads the sacred page, and kneeling down to Heaven’s Eternal King, the saint, the father and the husband prays: That He who stills the raven’s clam’rous nest, And decks the lily fair in flow’ry pride, Would in the way His wisdom sees the best, For them and for their little ones provide; But chiefly in their hearts with grace divine preside. If an earthly father can bestow such a wealth of love and benediction upon his children, how much more will |not the Heavenly Father pour out His love upon His own! There is God, the Son; and He is a Saviour. He enriches with His saving power, and the new life which He imparts. He brings all the wealth which Calvary could buy—deliverance from sin, fellowship with God, and life more abundant. Lives are enriched, not only with the love of God, but also with the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Nothing indicates more ade­ quately how-enriching that grace of Christ is than the stories in the fifteenth chapter of Luke’s Gospel. The people who oc­ casioned the altercation between Jesus and the scribes and Pharisees were lost, sinful, without God and without friends. The Pharisees wanted to know why Jesus associated with such worthless and sinful people. By way of answer, Jesus stated mat grace had come to seek and to save that which was lost ana was not satisfied, until it brought the lost sheep back to the fold, and the lost son home, his sins forgiven, and the new robe adorning him. As God the Father enriches by His love, so Christ the Saviour blesses with pardon and grace and peace and new life. Still the story is not complete, for there is also God the Holy Spirit, who is playing His enriching part in the believer’s life today. Jesus said: “ It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you” (John 16:71. The distinctive enrichment which the Holy Spirit gives is fellowship. The closing benediction in our church services in­ vokes the communion of the Holy Ghost.” He is the intimate and abiding Companion of the believer. To appreciate what this daily companionship means, it is necessary to contemplate the character of the Spirit, a lesson which Jesus imparted to the disciples when He was preparing them for the coming of the Comforter. These are aspects of His character. He is a Comforter, a Spirit of truth, holiness and power. It is impos­ sible that such a love can indwell the life of the believer and not enrich it. He imparts the filial consciousness whereby we cry “ Abba Father.” He sheds abroad the love of God; He illuminates the mind and heart; He purifies; He strengthens. By His power, weak disciples were made mighty after Pente­ cost. This fellowship is not only with Him, but with all who have fellowship with Him. He is the daily, unifying life of the church. The Psalmist’s feet well-nigh slipped until he went into the house of God; Joseph and Mary lost Jesus until they went to the temple; and many a backslider has been impover­ ished until he has sought again the company of believing people.

What then is this blessing which a fond mother might covet for all her children? What does the word blessed as found in the Bible mean? Some kind of answer is readily forthcoming. We are informed that it mgans happy, but that translation is not generally accepted. J. G. Tasker, in his article Beatitude in Hastings’ Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels, writes: “ In the Beatitudes, therefore, it is desirable to translate makarioi as ‘blessed’ rather than ‘happy’.” He also refers the readers to “ the saying of Carlyle that those who find blessedness can ‘do without happiness’.” There must be a universal feeling that this is the correct meaning of the word. Blessing means enrichment, enrichment which is not merely material, but spiritual. Laban said unto Jacob, “ I pray thee, if I have found favour in thine eyes, tarry: for I have learned by experience that the Lord hath blessed me for thy sake” (Gen. 30:27). Laban was thinking of the enrichment which had come with the advent of Jacob. How many lives and homes have been blessed by the presence of certain persons! On the other hand, how many can trace disasters to the day when certain persons walked into their lives, or homes, or communities! Let the visitor be a godly one, and he will be­ stow a benediction on the home. How often have husband and wife found life dull and full of friction, until a little babe ap­ peared to unite their hearts and enrich their lives! Such hap­ piness is not material; indeed, expenses really begin with the coming of little ones, but they bring an added wealth. “ The Lord hath blessed me for thy sake.” Labari asserted that it was the Lord’s doing. “ According to Jewish ideas, God is the sole source of all blessing, both material and spiritual,” wrote G. H. Box. Aaron may have invoked God’s blessing, but it was God Him­ self who blessed. The idea of blessing is always thought of in terms o f benediction and beatitude. Dr. Trench states that Cicero coined the word beatitude but that it scarcely found a place in the classical literature of Rome, for there was little in that godless world to call for its use. He asserts further that beatitude obtained a home, as it deserved to do, in the Christian church. Happiness; on the other hand, is quite at home in the secular world, and so cannot be thought to explain adequately the experience which comes to a life, or home, as the gift of God Almightv; that must needs be a blessing. “ The Lord bless thee and keep thee.” Was there anything significant in the fact that the Israelites wanted God to enrich their lives? Undoubtedly He would be able to help them as no other could, but was there not more in their minds? Would not the character of God determine the nature of the enrich­ ment which He would bestow? “ God cannot deny himself” wrote Paul to Timothy (2 Tim. 2:13). He cannot deny Him­ self, even in the matter of His gifts: and since God is good, His gifts will be good. How Jesus sought to emphasize this truth! “ What man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matt. 7:9-11). And the best of the good, in the mind of Jesus, is the spiritual. God alone can give spiritual things. “ Ye seek me,” said Jesus, “ not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto ever­ lasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you” (John 6:26, 27). There was nothing about the bread that was objec­ tionable, but others could provide that. But Jesus was there, and He alone could give the better bread, and, being of the nature of God, He sought to give His children the best. The enrichment-which God gives is good and godly: a truth which Paul seeks to impress upon the Ephesians when he writes: “ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” Since the enrichment is determined by the nature of God, it is good to appreciate the fact of God. The Christian b°lieves God to be a Trinity. The creed states: “ I believe in God, the Father Almighty . . . And in Jesus Christ. . . His only Son . . . And I believe in the Holy Ghost.” It is essential to remember

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