God's Benefits Program Is Better Than Your Employer's
Summary: Job seekers often focus on the quality of “the fringe benefits” offered by a prospective employer. Oddly, Christians tend to forget the awesome benefits that the Lord offers. Let’s take a look at God’s great benefits program. It far exceeds anything you'll find in corporate America.
• I’ll be a grandfather this coming February because of this benefit. Many years ago, after my wife and I had been married for six years, God healed her of a medically diagnosed infertility condition. She subsequently bore us four children. The wife of the oldest of those children is about to present us with our first grandchild! (Postscript: a boy named Isaac. Later postscript : Those miracle children have now provided us with eight grandchildren!)
•• Too often preachers stop at verse three after reading the two awesome benefits of (a) forgiveness and (b) healing. Don’t stop there! Keep reading!
vs. 4 who redeems your life from the PIT...
•• Don’t ever forget all that the Lord took you out of.
• Mary Magdalene loved Jesus very much. She was reputed to have been a very immoral woman. She remembered the “pit” from which Jesus had redeemed her.
vs. 4 who ... crowns you with LOVE and COMPASSION
•• A life-changing thought: God loves you!
vs. 5 who satisfies your desires with GOOD THINGS so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s...
•• Jesus spoke of our heavenly Father “giving good gifts to those who ask Him” (Matthew 7:11).
• To those who are faithful in their tithes and offerings, God says, “See if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it” (Malachi 3:10).
vs. 6 The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the OPPRESSED.
•• Lest we who are blessed forget!
• Don’t dismiss the “Social Gospel” completely. Yes, many of today’s ultraliberal churches focus on the “Social Gospel” (feeding the poor, visiting the needy, etc.) and ignore the spiritual aspects of the Gospel. But the Gospel does include reaching out to the poor, the needy, the sick, the distressed.
• James 2:5 ...Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith...?
vs. 7 He MADE KNOWN his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel.
•• Unlike pagan deities, God reveals Himself to His people in wonderful ways:
• In His written Word
• In the prophetic word
• In the Living Word, Jesus
• In His wondrous deeds.
•• John 16:13 “When...the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth.”
vs. 8 The Lord is COMPASSIONATE and GRACIOUS, SLOW TO ANGER, ABOUNDING IN LOVE.
•• What a contrast to the pagan gods. Our God is:
• full of compassion (think of Jesus!)
• full of grace — or we would be eternally damned!
• slow to anger — aren’t you glad?!
• abounding in love
vs. 9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his ANGER FOREVER.
•• When God forgives sins (vs. 3), they are forgotten.
• It’s the devil who continually tries to remind us of our past sins.
vs. 10 He does not treat us as our SINS DESERVE or repay us according to our iniquities.
•• This is grace at its most wonderful! We deserved judgment and punishment, but God wipes the slate clean!
vs. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has he REMOVED OUR TRANSGRESSIONS from us.
•• According to the Bible, He casts our sins behind His back (Isaiah 38:17) ... He throws them in the depths of the sea (Micah 7:19) ... He makes our scarlet sins white as snow (Isaiah 1:18) ... He remembers them no more (Hebrews 8:12).
vss. 17-18 But from EVERLASTING TO EVERLASTING the LORD’s LOVE is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children...
•• God’s love and all these benefits from Him are not fickle, not fleeting, not unpredictable.
• No! God will love you and be faithful to these promises “from everlasting to everlasting.”
• Even to our grandchildren!
What benefits! — Forgiveness of sins ... healing of diseases ... deliverance from troubles ... divine love and compassion towards us ... the giving of good things to us ... justice for the oppressed ... God’s willingness to reveal Himself to us ... divine compassion, grace, patience, and love to us ... forgetting our sins ... restraining His just anger ... the actual removal of our transgressions ... and a guarantee that He will be all these things to us “from everlasting to everlasting”.
God’s blessings for those who follow Him include the major elements of forgiveness of sin and healing of the sick. But, as we have seen, God’s “benefits” for His children are far more extensive than only these two things.