ALL GRACE ABOUNDING

“God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8

What a treasure-trove is here for poverty-stricken souls! If our faith were but strong and eager enough to gather up the riches stored in this chest of blessing — what millionaires in grace we might become!

“But the chest is fast locked,” you say, “how can we grasp what we cannot see?” True, yet faith is the key which not only unlocks these treasures — but gives us the right to claim them as our own, and use them to the constant enrichment of our daily life.

I do not know how it is with you, my dear readers — but when I look upon such an exhibition of Divine possibilities as is contained in this and similar portions of God’s Word, I wonder, with a sore amazement, at my own spiritual condition, which, far too often, is reduced to one of indigence and distress. The grand assurance, here given by the apostle, of our God’s ability to supply all our need — is no new thing to us. We know that He “is able to make all grace abound toward us,” we fully recognize the blessedness of “always having all sufficiency in all things,” we desire intensely to “abound to every good work,” but few of us have joyfully entered upon this inheritance. We have not yet taken possession of the land; we may have cut a cluster or two of its fruit, and eaten a mouthful or so of its honey — but our faith has not yet dared to claim the fulfillment of that wonderful promise, “Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon — that have I given unto you.”

O come, all you longing souls, come, poor doubting reader, come, weak and trembling pilgrim — gird up the loins of your mind, and let your faith march boldly into this promised land, never again to leave it until it is exchanged for the heavenly Canaan!

Think for a moment how wealthy we would be, could we but thus believe in our God. What could we not be, and do, and suffer — if all grace abounded toward us? With what persistency and impressiveness, does the apostle repeat the word “all” — that little word with so vast a meaning! Can we imagine the bliss of possessing all grace — always, and having all sufficiency — in all things?

I lay down my pen for a moment to thank God for these riches of grace in Christ Jesus my Lord, and I take it up again with this thought in my heart —

“What more can He say, than to you He has said, You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?”

There is another sense in which the words of this text may come home to us. The apostle Paul, in previous verses, had been stirring up the Christians in Corinth to liberality of spirit, and zeal in ministering to the saints. It is noteworthy that he brings abounding grace and generous giving into very close connection, linking them together as cause and effect, even as the plentiful sowing of the seed ensures a bounteous harvest. He says, in effect, “Your God is so immensely rich, and so anxious to enrich you, not with grace alone — but with gifts of all things — that the more you give, the more you will have. And if you purpose in your heart to be bountiful, giving love, money, help, and kindness, to all around you — God, who loves a cheerful giver, will see to it that you have the means of carrying out your desire, for you shall have ‘all sufficiency of all things’ that you may abound to every good work!

I think this is a very grave and important view of the text, for may it not be that we, who complain of being impoverished for this very reason, that we have lacked zeal in enriching others? Perhaps we have forgotten that “the worldling prospers by laying up — but the Christian by laying out.” Beloved, if in this “our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.” Let us seek earnestly from Him the power to “abound in this grace also.”

“God is able,” dear friends, and He is as willing as He is able, “to make all grace abound toward you.” There is no need for any child of His to be destitute, or distressed in spiritual matters. Does this assertion startle you? Yet God’s Word bears it out; and the fact that there are so many half-starved Christians, poor in faith, penniless in comfort, leading unlovely and joyless lives — does not alter it in the least.

“He is able!” Say it over and over to yourself till you learn its blessed music; it will encourage your souls against every sort of despair. You are very sinful — yes — but, “He is able to save to the uttermost.” You are weakest of the weak — true — but, “He is able to keep you from falling.” You are subject to fierce temptations — but, “He is able to help those who are tempted.” You tremble lest you should not endure to the end — ah! but, “He is able to present you faultless before the presence of His glory, with exceeding joy.” Is not this enough?

Listen, dear soul, the Master Himself says to you, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” See to it that your heart answers, “Yes, Lord,” and then His sweet response will be, “According to your faith — be it unto you.”

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