True riches and honor!
(James Smith, "Gleams of Grace" 1860)
"Godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come!" 1 Timothy 4:8
"Riches and honor are with Me. Yes, enduring wealth and righteousness!" Proverbs 8:18
Riches and honor fascinate worldly men — they will therefore risk anything and everything in the pursuit of them. Tell a poor man how he may get a fortune, or a rich man how he may rise to honor — and they are all attention, and are prepared to do your bidding. To meet this disposition in man, Wisdom presents itself as the source of riches and honor, saying, "Riches and honor are with Me. Yes, enduring wealth and righteousness!" Wisdom represents Christ. To possess Christ, is to possess unsearchable riches! (Ephesians 3:8)
THE WEALTH OF GODLINESS. "Riches are with Me." That is, all things necessary for life and godliness. The godly man is a truly wealthy man. A little of earth, with God's blessing, will go a long way with him. But the riches of godliness, are principally riches of grace — answering to that in nature, which procures food, clothing, medicine, residence, pleasure, and knowledge:
A godly man has bread to eat, which the world knows nothing of — even the bread of life, which came down from Heaven.
He is clothed with the best robe, even the Savior's righteousness; and wears the garments of salvation every day.
For his use, are the leaves of the tree of life, which heal the soul; and the famous balm of Gilead, which restores spiritual health, and preserves it.
To him, the Lord is a strong refuge, to which he may continually resort.
Of the divine rivers of pleasure he may drink.
He has an unction from the Holy One, and knows all things necessary for him to know.
The riches of grace, prepare for the riches of glory . . .
a glorious heavenly mansion,
a crown of righteousness, and
an unfading and incorruptible inheritance!
Godliness is true wealth. It puts a man in possession of all that he will need in life and in death — and all that he can enjoy throughout eternity! The godly man is always rich, and though he may appear to be poor — as there is much laid up for him in Heaven! These are desirable riches, they cannot be lost!
THE DIGNITY OF GODLINESS. "Honor is with Me." Not the honor of the world, which is like a fading flower — but "the honor which comes from God alone." Jesus, the King of Heaven, is the source and giver of all spiritual honor. All His people are raised to dignity. What honor can exceed this, to be . . .
the bride of the only begotten Son of God;
the children of the Most High God,
the brethren of the Lord of life and glory,
the joint heirs with Jesus, who is Heir of all things,
the forever friends of God, and
made eternal kings and priests!
O the dignity conferred on every believer in Jesus — the poorest, the weakest, the most despised of them!
A godly man is always honorable. He may be despised now, his sun may be obscured by some cloud at present — but it will soon burst forth in splendor and glory! The world knows him not — but then it knew not Jesus. He is like Jesus in his humiliation now — but he will be like Jesus in his glorification before long.