BLESSED OF THE FATHER
"You blessed of my Father." Matt. 25:34
This the Savior calls his disciples in the great day of their account. He invites them to himself; he assures them of his acceptance; he welcomes them to his glory. They are the blessed of his Father. In their original election of God--in their complete redemption--in their safe passage through all the trials of earth--in their individual preparation for the kingdom of God--in their triumphant entrance to glory. All these are the Father's gifts. They are the acts of his own grace--the accomplishment of his unchangeable purposes. Even now, in the prospect of that day, they may rejoice in this happy title. It is his gift. It is no presumption in them to receive it, and to enjoy it. Am I one of this happy number? If I am truly a disciple of Christ, I am. Then, as the blessed of the Father,
1. I will not regard the opinions of the world concerning me. It is a very light thing to be judged by man's judgment. On what insufficient grounds do they judge! By what an inferior and partial standard! With what prejudiced views and false opinions already made up! Why should I regard them? How transitory are the effects of their judgments! How unimportant upon the real interests of my being! I will cease from man, for wherein is he to be accounted of? He that judges me is the Lord. There every secret thing will be made known; and according to my real character, I shall have praise from God. No, even now, he judges me by his Spirit in my own breast. When man condemns, often he approves me there. I will strive to maintain a conscience void of offence toward him. I will look forward to the hour when he will judge according to truth; and then I will be happy and contented, even under the reproaches of men.
2. I will strive to do everything as in his sight. I will set him ever before me. In everything I will make it my object only to please him. He blesses me with his grace to aid me--with his approval to encourage me--with his providence to defend me--with his acceptance to reward me. If I strive to approve my actions in his sight, my course will be easy, secure, and happy. I shall have but one opinion to follow; but one Master to obey. But his eye reaches my inmost thoughts. My most secret moments are all open to his view. How elevating is the habit of thinking of him, and remembering him! How purifying the remembrance of his character in connection with my own! How tranquillizing the recollection of his presence never withdrawn! My Father, who has blessed me, is ever about me. Let me never, then, display to him a sinful, selfish, or unholy walk; let me seek him with a praying heart; let me praise him with a grateful spirit; let me trust him with a thankful confidence; let me exalt him ever as my only Judge.
3. I will be contented with my portion of earthly trials. No accidents can happen to me--no changes but by God's own appointment. The Father who has blessed me has provided for me. He has laid out the way which I am to pursue. Not a single sorrow can come unsent--not one can come useless. He means that I shall get good out of all. I will look forward to the glorious end. That will explain all. Whatever has been dark, or mysterious, or difficult; will then be understood and be perfectly satisfactory. The remembrance of this approaching hour shall make me daily satisfied with all the Lord's dealings me. How soon it may be here! My days are fast hastening to meet it. Oh let me be cheerful, happy, contented, rejoicing in the prospect of it. Happy, not only in what I now receive, but in the assurance that my Father has blessed me forever.
4. I will meet the hour of my departure with tranquillity and joy. Why should I not? Will it not take me to my Father's house and my Father's presence? Is it dark in itself? It is trying to my human infirmities doubtless; it is always a serious and solemn event; it ought to be the subject of serious consideration and concern. But why should it be the subject of fear? God has pardoned me--God has justified me--God has adopted me--God owns and guides me all through the perfect righteousness of his Son given to me, and by the power of his Spirit leading me--and what enemy have I to dread? Will he lose any of his adopted family? Will he prove unable or unwilling to bear me safely through? Oh let me cast all idle fears away. Let me look constantly to the remaining rest, and to the excelling glory which he has set before me. Let me habitually feel that it is not death, but life eternal. Then my trials, labors, cares, and sins, will all be ended, and I shall be welcomed to a home from whence I shall go no more out. The Savior says to me, in my hour of departure, "Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you." It is a joyful prospect! Well may I triumph in it, and look forward to it with hope and confidence, and without fear.
5. What can be more precious than such an influence upon my life as this? Above human reproach--setting the Lord ever before me--contented in every trial--tranquil in my prospect of departure. It is a heaven on earth, thus to live and feel. Oh let me attain and exercise this constant spirit. My Father will help, and keep, and bless me ever as his own.
See the haven full in view,
Love divine shall bear you through;
Trust to that propitious gale,
Weigh your anchor, spread your sail.
Saints in glory, perfect made,
Wait your passage through the shade;
Ardent for your coming o'er,
See, they throng the blissful shore.