There is a song, no longer popular, which is titled “Count Your Many Blessings.” It expresses the riches of grace in Jesus Christ, something often forgotten by Christians, who should ponder and give thanks for this blessed gift.
Some time during each year business firms take inventory. Let each Christian begin every day thinking of some of the blessings God has showered upon him, and thanking Him for them, and the entire day can be changed for good.
What are some of the fixed assets of the Christian, real but not always recognized? Constant but often not appropriated? Available but not used?
It is impossible to name these things in a fixed sequence for they are gems of many facets, composite entities consisting of, permeated by, and emanating from Christ, the author and finisher of our faith, the captain of our salvation, the One who is altogether lovely and to be loved.
Certainly we thank God first of all for his Son, the revealer of the Father. We are told that he is the “heir of all things, by whom also he [God] made the worlds; who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, … upholding all things by the word of his power.”
Through faith this Christ is ours, and by him we have become sons of God, members of the household of faith. Our family status has been changed for we are now heirs of God and joint heirs with his Son. Our destination has been changed for once we were without God and without hope but now we know that we have eternal life.
All of these are a part of the Christian’s assets and they are reason for praise to well up in our hearts for the One who has given us all things freely to enjoy. “All this and Heaven too” is more than a trite saying—it is a fact.
Not only do we know God through the revelation of His Son but we have this knowledge and appropriate its blessings through the presence and help of the Holy Spirit.
Our supreme asset therefore is God the Father; His Son, our Saviour; and the Holy Spirit, the Comforter who dwells in our hearts and interprets the things of Christ to us.
The inventory of God’s blessings is so great that it can never be understood in full, much less exhausted. But two assets, open and free to all, are the open Bible and the privilege and power of prayer.
It is through the Bible that we learn spiritual truths to be found in no other place. Only through the Scriptures do we know those intimate details of Christ, His Person and His work. In this connection we must carefully guard this revelation having to do with our Lord lest we be led to follow a false Christ, not the one revealed in His Word.
The Bible is an inexhaustible mine of knowledge, inspiration and blessing. Let it speak to us through its Author, the Holy Spirit, and it becomes a Living Book, relevant to our every need, a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.
The inexhaustible blessings of the Bible are ours to appropriate. Its truths are like gold to be mined, gems to be polished. True wisdom flows from its pages and only in this book is to be found the true perspective of life and death, this world and the next, sin and righteousness, Satan’s malignant work and God’s redemptive love.
Another asset of the Christian is security for now and for eternity. Many do not realize it but even economic security is promised to those who put the Kingdom of God and his righteousness first. Then there is the glorious security which the children of God enjoy—we have eternal life right now and all the demons of hell cannot take this blessed fact from us. We know whose we are, where we stand, and where we are going.
Too few of us have ever learned the grace of thanksgiving as we should. We leave it to some of our supposedly more emotional brethren to shout, “Hallelujah” or “Praise the Lord,” but such should be the attitude of all of our hearts, whether expressed vocally or not.
Companionship is an asset of the Christian, for the living Christ dwells in his heart and the attitude of constant communication should be practiced and enjoyed.
From this relationship there comes the untold privilege of guidance. It is not for nought that the writer of the Proverbs tells us that if we acknowledge God in all of our ways he will direct our paths. We who are Christians have as our Father the God of the past, the present and the future; the God of human history and the God of eternity. That we can turn with confidence to this One who is omnipotent and omniscient, and have Him take over and guide us, is an asset so precious that the very thought of it should thrill us.
Prayer. God has placed in the hands of his children a privilege and a power none of us fully realizes. The Christian can come into the presence of the Sovereign God in and through the name of His Son, and when praying in accordance with His holy will, move the mountains of difficulty, open up the floodgates of blessing and change the course of events in his own life and in the lives of those for whom he prays.
Prayer is probably the Christian’s most neglected asset, for by it we release the power of God himself. It is also a privilege which we may exercise at any time and under any circumstances. Often it is a request for immediate guidance, or it may be offered on behalf of the problems of others.
Proceeding from these assets are other blessings for which we should render thanks to God. The comfort of knowing we are His; the privilege of asking for the wisdom He is so anxious and willing to impart; these and many other things combine to bring us joy and peace.
Who but the Christian can thank God for trials, difficulties and adversities? These disciplines are filled with blessings for His children.
Let a Christian ponder his divinely provided assets and he stands amazed at the love and grace of God. This very love constrains him to pass on the good news to others. Witnessing becomes the imperative of a heart filled to overflowing with a knowledge of what God has done, and continues to do, for those who believe and love.
Only the Christian has salvation, peace in his heart, God’s presence now and assured hope for the future.
Only the Christian can understand the things of the Spirit, whether he speaks through the written Word or the multiplied circumstances of life.
Only the Christian can say to his neighbor, “Let me help you,” and do so with the love of Christ in his heart and the soul’s welfare in view.
Only the Christian can undertake to live for the glory of God and for the advancement of His Kingdom.
Assets? Yes, assets unlimited!
Front And Center
DANGER ON THE LEFT—The real danger to our country in these days of crisis does not come from the right side of the political spectrum, but from a direction more closely aligned with Communist objectives. It does not come from military commanders … who want to make sure their troops and the American people are informed of the true nature of our enemy, but from forces which would deny such instruction. It does not come from patriotic Americans who wish to remain vigilant to the threat of internal Communism and to socialist trends, but from people who would blunt that vigilance.—Senator BARRY GOLDWATER, in The Saturday Evening Post, Jan. 20, 1962.
THE TRUTH ABOUT COMMUNISM—Telling the stark truth about Communism is the best way to make our own citizenry and other peoples appreciate the blessings of liberty. We should encourage all individuals who are well informed on Communist tactics and strategy to expound freely and often on this subject.… Unless the Nation’s leaders move with wisdom and restraint the fanatics of both the right and left so belabor each other as almost to monopolize the issue, leading the Nation to preoccupy itself with the evils of extremists instead of the evils of communism.… In a half century of national service I have yet to meet the American military officer who viewed himself as a budding Napoleon, or even a Rasputin, and I suggest it is worthy of note that in recent world history the three major dictators, Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin, came from civil life.—Former President DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER.
THE FINAL ARBITER—We are tired of hearing prominent ecclestiastics talking like superannuated members of the French Foreign Legion; we are dismayed to find that in the minds of most Christians the State, and not the Church, has become the final arbiter of public morality.—RICHARD HOLLOWAY, in a letter to The Observer, London.
THE CHURCH AND COMMUNISM-If the Christian Church is not to fight communism, then who on earth is left to resist this evil which is determined to destroy all virtue, decency, thrift, love, friendship and the dignity of the individual?—Senator BARRY GOLDWATER, quoted in The Los Angeles Times.
THE DEEPENING DARKNESS—It would be a travesty of the truth to suggest that the darkness which broods over human life in this country of ours, the darkness which results from rejecting the light, is any less than the darkness of ignorance which broods over India and the other so-called non-Christian lands—The Right Rev. FALKNER ALLISON, after his recent enthronement as Bishop of Winchester, England.
WHAT A RESOLUTION CAN DO—New Delhi added a whole new dimension to the ecumenical movement-mission. This came with the integration of the International Missionary Conference and the World Council.…—President JAMES I. MCCORD of Princeton Seminary, in The Seminarian.
MINISTERS AND PRIME MINISTERS—Ministers, even Prime Ministers, are happily but transient figures, like phantoms they flit across the stage and, with few exceptions, are soon forgotten.—Prime Minister HAROLD MACMILLAN in a talk to Commonwealth Parliamentary delegates.
PROGRESSIVE REVELATION—The Church of England does not claim to be infallible, and it may err. But it does believe in progressive revelation under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.… We are prepared tentatively to express the opinion that there are circumstances in which an operation for sterilization may be legally employed.—Report of Church Assembly committee.
CHRISTIANITY IN GOA-Much has been said about Portugal remaining in Goa to protect Christianity. But Christians in India, Roman Catholics and Protestants alike, indignantly repudiate that claim. The government of India guarantees full religious liberty. The Portuguese regime allowed no liberty to non-Roman Catholic Christians to build churches or undertake missionary work.—Methodist Bishop J. WASKOM PICKETT, veteran missionary to India.
RED SPY PLANES—The crash of a Russian-built Communist Bulgarian spy plane in Italy after taking photographs of a secret North Atlantic Treaty Organization base should surprise no one. But it exposes for what it really is all the phony moralizing that has gone on both east and west of the Iron Curtain since the U-2 incident of May, 1960. Every nation of military substance spies on its real and potential enemies in war and in peace.… The U-2 incident was used by Khrushchev as a pretext for breaking up the 1960 Summit meting and was the focal point of worldwide criticism of the United States. The Red spy-in-the-sky incident is conclusive proof, if such proof is needed, that the only crime of the United States was the ineptitude with which the U-2 matter was handled after Francis Gary Powers was shot down in Russia.—The Telegram, Toronto, in an editorial titled, “You Too, Mr. K!”
RELIGION IN THE SCHOOLS—I don’t think you can separate goodness and badness from teaching and have it make sense. But if it is our intention to keep God out of the schools, then keep those atheist professors from promoting their godless religion too.—PAUL HARVEY, in the St. Petersburg (Florida) Evening Independent.
THE STATE AND GAMBLING—The only wise government attitude toward gambling is one of hostility. Licensed or unlicensed gambling exerts a corrupting influence upon everything it touches. It corrupts those engaged in it commercially. It corrupts those who are supposed to regulate it. It corrupts the public itself by spreading, like an infection, the passion to get something for nothing. Perhaps the State cannot stop it altogether; but at least it does not have to join the gamblers in a conspiracy to subvert citizens and government alike.—The Washington Post, January 16, 1962, in an editorial commenting on New York’s bingo law.
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