God Giveth the Increase

Generally speaking, increase implies accumulations of various sorts. Men are nearly always seeking more of something. As they advance in years the nature of the desired increase may change. With some it may take the form of looking for added worldly possessions; with others, it may be greater material learning that is sought; with still others, more personal pleasure may seem the desideratum. Always men are seeking, seeking,—always striving to get something humanly! They are looking for what they deem good, and are hoping their happiness and satisfaction will increase proportionately to their accumulation of that for which they are seeking.

In the Bible there is an entire book given to the subject of the futility of seeking increase from this ordinary human standpoint. It descants at length upon the foolishness of attempting to win reality from human methods, human labor, human riches, human learning, and even from the merely human sense of divine service. The one who wrote this book had discovered that all merely human effort to gain increase of any kind could only result in vanity,—nothingness. Notwithstanding, however, the age-long proclamation, "Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity," mankind as a whole has still gone steadily, persistently on, seeking in the same mistaken way for increase. While each one has hoped he would be more successful than all who had gone befoer him in winning an increase that would be substantial and of permanent calue, still his efforts have resulted in little else than final disappointment.

But there is an increase which God giveth! Jesus talked of it when he admonished his followers to seek righteousness if they would win the added things. Paul taught the same truth when he said to those who were disputing as to the superiority of one human teacher over another: "I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase." It seems strange that humanity has been so slow to learn that real increase is only from God; only that which is of His giving can ever be truly good. Then surely it is only such increase which should be sought.

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March 17, 1923

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