‘Come unto Me : and I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land. . . . Also regard not your stuff; for the good of all the land of Egypt is yours.’—Gen. xlv. 18, 20.
‘IF I become a Christian, I shall have to give up A so many things!” Spoken or unspoken, this is the invariable thought of every one who has not found Christ. The presence of this thought is an actual test as to whether you have come to Him or not; for the moment you have really come, you will know better!
‘Giving up ” this, that, and the other, is a downright unfair way of putting it; unless, indeed, the magnificent gain is distinctly set against the paltry loss. As well talk of an oak tree ‘giving up’ the withered leaves which have clung to the dry twigs all the winter, when the sap begins to rise fresh and strong, and the promise of all the splendour of summer foliage is near!
1 Matt. xix. 22. a Phil. iii. 7.
The sons of Jacob were called away from their famine-stricken fields by their brother, that they might be ‘nourished ‘1 by him, and share his prosperity, and dwell ‘in the best of the landreceiving from his hand a place and possessions far beyond what they had ‘given up.’ Of course they could not have all this till they had actually come to him! Before they came, they had only his bare word for it.3 But they considered his word enough, and they came; and he kept his word to the full.4
Not less, but infinitely more, does the Lord Jesus, our Lord and Brother, hold forth to you. Is His word worthy of less belief? Over and above :he unspeakable gift of eternal life,5 He promises to those who leave anything for His sake that they shall receive an hundred-fold now, in this time !’• Do you suppose He did not mean what He said?
Listen again to the twin promises, negative and positive, in their all-inclusive simplicity: ‘No good hing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly ;n and ‘ The Lord will give that which is ;ood.’8 And yet your secret feeling is, that if you come and give yourself up to Him, you will have o go without all sorts of things that you fancy are good and nice and pleasant, and that you will find yourself let in for all sorts of things which do not seem to you ‘ good’ at all!9 Is this fair, when he as said positively just the opposite?
1 Gen. xlv. n. 2 Gen. xlvii. ii, 27. 3 Gen. xlvi. 31.
* Gen. xlvii. ii, 12. 5 2 Cor. ix. 15. 6 Mark x. 30.
^ Ps. Ixxxiv. II. 8 Ps. Ixxxv. 12; Matt. vii. 11.
Listen again to what He says to those who have come, and who are His own: ‘Whether . . . the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours ! n What do you make of that? It is not figurative, but perfectly true and literal. Only you will never be able to understand it, until the next verse is true of you: ‘Ye are Christ’s.’2 Then another verse will be true of you: ‘Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things which are freely given to us of God.’3 Ask for that blessed Spirit of God, and you will receive it,* and then you will understand.5
Knowing what he was purposing to do for them as soon as they came, Joseph naturally said to his brethren, ‘Also regard not your stuff; for the good of all the land of Egypt is yours.’6 Take this advice, ‘regard not your stuff!’ However much you have or may have to give up for Christ, oh, do believe the words of His prophet: ‘The Lord is able to give thee much 7nore than this!”
Can you not instinctively feel what a thrill of deep triumphant joy there is in St. Paul’s words: ‘Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord ! ‘8 Did you ever feel anything like as glad as that? Christ Jesus my Lord is willing and waiting to give that same fulness of gladness and blessing to every one who will take Him at His word and come to Him.
1 1 Cor. iii. 22. 2 % Cor. iii. 23. 3 1 Cor. ii. 12.
* Lute xi. 13. 6 Prov. xxviii. 5. « Gen. xlv. 20.
1 2 Chron. xxv. 9. 8 Phil. iii. 8.
Yes, to you !
Oh, the happiness arising
From the life of grace within,
When the soul is realizing
Conquests over hell and sin!
Heavenly joys on earth begin.
On the Saviour’s fulness living,
All His saints obtain delight;
With the strength which He is giving,
They can wrestle, they can fight.
When King Jesus is in sight 1