When a person goes to work for a corporation or any other company, they give you a list of benefits you receive. It can be a nice little package or more extensive but all in all they are limited.
BUT NOT SO WITH GOD! His benefits and blessings are endless because He is eternally loving, merciful, giving and so much more.
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
3 Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
4 Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
5 Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.
12 What shall I render to the Lord
For all His benefits toward me?
13 I shall lift up the cup of salvation
And call upon the name of the Lord.
14 I shall pay my vows to the Lord,
Oh may it be in the presence of all His people.
We do not think of God as a personal God. He compares Himself to a hen who protects her chicks.
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it!
Where is the disconnect when it comes to believing who God is?
For many years my life was about Jesus and His Holy Spirit. I felt God’s presence but my relationship with Him was more in the realm of knowledge rather than relationship. It was as if Jesus said I want you to get to know my Father. I knew He was speaking to me. We know Jesus said if we have seen Him, we have seen the Father but since they are three separate persons Jesus was leading me to His Father.
When we understand our worth in the eyes of God…our world changes.
How has your life changed since being born again with God’s Holy Spirit living inside you?
How have your desires changed?
Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.
The world says here are your benefits but they are temporal and will evaporate. It’s like buying a one time ticket to see the super bowl compared to a lifetime of free admission to any game you want to see. One costs you a lot and the other is free except you have to show up and consider the cost.
1 Corinthians 7:23 You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men.
There is a problem in our society and that is many are wanting the approval of men rather than of God. They equate temporal benefits as to gain approval of men.
Galatians 1:10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.
As a believer we should be reaping God’s benefits and favor so the world will look in and say hey, wait a minute what I have is counterfeit.
How can we tell a false diamond from a real one? What do you look for?
Why do we buy into what is false rather than staying with what is genuine and true?
15 And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves [a]in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.
We see rising stars in the media being highlighted from all sectors of life…the political, the powerful, the glamorous…it never ends. As soon as one pops up, another one gets booted off the front page. It is a very disposable world unless you reinvent yourself over and over again.
The world sees the underprivileged and poor as losers even though billions run through the hands of many. If you have a star next to your name, you are highly esteemed, even more so with dollar signs. But not so with God!
40 “He has blinded their eyes and He hardened their heart, so that they would not see with their eyes and perceive with their heart, and be converted and I heal them.” 41 These things Isaiah said because he saw His glory, and he spoke of Him. 42 Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.
How does a believer get into trouble if they are seeking after the approval of man?
25 But someone came and reported to them, “The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!” 26 Then the captain went along with the officers and proceeded to bring them back without violence (for they were afraid of the people, that they might be stoned).
27 When they had brought them, they stood them before the Council. The high priest questioned them, 28 saying, “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.
Does the world do what they do for the glory of God?
Luke 14:7-11 Parable of the Guests
7 And He began speaking a parable to the invited guests when He noticed how they had been picking out the places of honor at the table, saying to them, 8 “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by him, 9 and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place. 10 But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
2 “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
1 Thessalonians 2:4-7
4 but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts. 5 For we never came with flattering speech, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness— 6 nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, even though as apostles of Christ we might have asserted our authority. 7 But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother ]tenderly cares for her own children.
So we want to be genuine, not artificial or counterfeit in our love for others. One huge benefit from being a born again believer is being able to be a vessel of God’s love. We just need to make sure we get rid of the old nature that pops up once in a while.
What are some ways we stop the flow of God’s love into other people’s lives?
Romans 12:17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men.
I Peter 3:8-9
To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; 9 not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.
But be discerning…
6 “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
What a great benefit! When you feel like you’ve been sifted or put through the mill Jesus comes to heal you.
Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
David had some powerful prayers against his enemies. Before we take our injustice into our own hands, we need to seek the Lord and leave room for His wrath. He will instruct us when it comes to injustice. We do not ever want to retain a bitter heart because we will be trapped in our past.
Romans 12:19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.
Isaiah 59:19 (KJV) So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.
What is a standard? banner , distinguishing mark, sail , signal , standard , warning.
Who is the world going to turn to without Jesus?
We have our Commander of heaven’s army going after those who come against us like a flood.
It is all summed up in this one scripture…
Isaiah 55:1-2 “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And delight yourself in abundance.
The abundant blessings and benefits of God!