The Believer's Portion!

James Smith, 1860
 

"You are my portion, O Lord!" Psalm 119:57

Many people are proud of their possessions, and boast of their wealth; yet their possessions are very limited, and their wealth has wings, and may at any time flee away!

A Christian may not be proud but he must be thankful!

He can look over the whole earth, and say, "My wealth exceeds all this!"

He can look up and gaze on the starry heavens and say, "My property exceeds the vast expanse!"

He may try to conceive of the greatness and glory of the created universe, and then say, "I claim more than all this!"

Looking up to the author, owner, and disposer of all worlds he can say, "You are my portion, O Lord!"

What a privilege! A portion and such a portion.
God Himself in all His greatness, and in all His goodness.
God with all He is, and all He has is
my portion!

What kind of a portion is this? It is immense, for it comprehends all.

All the attributes of the Divine nature are for us.
All the perfections of God's character are on our side.
All the productions of the divine power are for our good.
Therefore the apostle says, "All things are yours!"
Nothing good is withheld from us!

What the father of the prodigal said to his eldest son, our heavenly Father says to every one of His children, "Son, you are ever with Me, and all that I have is yours!"

And we may adopt similar language in speaking to our heavenly Father, to that used by the angel to Abraham, "By this I know that You love me, because You have not withheld Your Son, Your only Son from me!" And from this fact, we may draw the same conclusion as Paul did, "He who spared not His own Son but delivered Him up for us all, how shall he not with Him also, freely give us all things!"

O beloved, God in all the glory of His nature and perfections, God with all His unsearchable riches is our portion!

What kind of a portion is this? It is immutable. It remains forever. Others may lose their property, or it may become deteriorated and comparatively valueless but our portion is forever the same.

Speaking of the finest, noblest, and most durable works of creation, the Psalmist says, "In the beginning You laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You remain the same; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing You will change them, and they will be discarded. But You remain the same, and Your years will never end!" Psalm 102:25-27

Our portion can never be forfeited, or alienated, or reduced in value, because it is the unchangeable God!

Blessed is the man that can say with Jeremiah, "The Lord is my portion, therefore will I hope in Him!" Or with David, "The Lord is the portion of my inheritance!"

HOW is this privilege acquired?

By the new birth, for being born of God, we are the children of God; "and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ."

By donation, or deed of gift, for God gives himself to his people, saying, "I will be your God, and you shall be to me a people."

By choice, for we make choice of the Most High for our God, and by the work and operation of the Holy Spirit, we are disposed to do so. Our relationship flows from the good-will of God alone, for we are "born, not of blood, nor of the will of man but of God." As another apostle testifies, "He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first-fruits of all he created." The gift is wholly of grace, and while it is unspeakably great and glorious, it comes to us free as air, without a work to merit it, or a disposition to deserve it. The choice is ours but our choice the effect of God's choosing for us.

But how did we come into possession of this portion? We were taught our need of it; for such is the nature, vastness, and profound aspirations of the human soul, that nothing but God can satisfy it. It was never intended to be satisfied with anything less than God himself, and with less it never can be satisfied, or be perfectly happy. This the Holy Spirit teaches us, and therefore we desire this inestimable blessing. The desire being kindled by the Spirit in the soul, we begin to seek for it, nor can we rest until we obtain it. At length comes the revelation that God is ours, and that we are the Lord's.

It is therefore needed, desired, sought, and finally obtained. Then we can say, "You are my portion, O Lord!"

What is the PROOF that the Lord our portion?

This may be sought for, an found in a variety of things.

It may found in our THOUGHTS, for if God is our portion, we shall think of him, and think of him with pleasure. A man who loves wealth is sure to think of his gold and gains, of his houses and lands. And just so will our thoughts gather around the Lord, and center in him, if he is our portion.

It may be found in our AFFECTIONS, for our Lord reminds us that where our treasure is, there will our heart be also. If God is our portion, we shall love him, prize him, and find our heart centering in him.

It may be found in our PURSUITS, for whatever has the thoughts and the heart will regulate the pursuits, whether be earthly or heavenly, human or divine.

Therefore our thoughts are much taken up with God if they are feasted while exercised on God; if our affections ascend to God, an are delighted with God; and if in our pursuits we seek to know more of God, to enjoy more of God, and to be more conformed to God then there is no doubt that God is our portion.

If God is my portion, then I ought to be content without any other portion. He is . . .
enough in poverty,
enough in persecution,
enough in life,
enough in death,
enough for evermore!

If God gives me Himself then it is more than as if He had given me the whole world, or ten thousand worlds like this! O how happy was the apostle, who knowing God to be his portion could say, "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in need!" Philippians 4:11-12

If God is my portion, I ought to be thankful. It is enough. There is no losing it. What dignity, what honor is conferred on the man who has God for his portion! I deserved to be stripped of everything, and to be turned out of God's presence eternally penniless, wretched, and miserable. But instead of this, God in His free grace, in His infinite mercy gives me . . .
a mansion,
a city with eternal foundations,
a kingdom, more,
He gives me Himself!

God in all His glory, in all His grace is mine!

If God is my portion, I ought to be living upon Him. If I live upon anything out of God then I live upon what is finite, and will change. But if I live upon God, I live upon the infinite, and upon what is unchangeable. As a believer, I should live befitting the dignity of my lofty character, position, and prospects. The man of fortune ought not to live like the pauper. Just so, the Christian ought not to live like other men.

If God is my portion, I ought to be making a proper use of it. I should set my portion over and against . . .
  all my pains and privations,
  all my griefs and grievances,
  all my sadnesses and sorrows.
I should look above all my trials and troubles and rejoice that throughout eternity, I shall have . . .
  eternal ease instead of pain,
  eternal plenty instead of privation,
  eternal joy instead of grief,
  eternal gladness instead of sadness,
  and eternal bliss instead of sorrow!

Beloved, is the Lord your portion? Are you living upon Him as such?

But if God is not your portion then what is?

Where are your thoughts most?

Where do your affections center?

After what do you pursue?

David could say to the Lord, "My soul follows hard after you." He wanted to . . .
enjoy God's presence,
taste His love, and
glory in His holy name.

But if God is not your portion then what is?
Where are your thoughts most?
Where do your affections center?
After what do you pursue?
The world? It is a poor, perishing, unsatisfying portion! It will be found insufficient, unsatisfactory, and perishing! Unless God is your portion, you will be . . .
  unsatisfied in life,
  wretched in death, and
  indescribably miserable to all eternity!

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever!" Psalm 73:26