Don’t Forget the Benefits
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. (1 Corinthians 13:11) What
For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you according to the riches
A form of godliness, but denying the power thereof… (2 Tim 3:5) Paul predicts that perilous times will come when “men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud blasphemers, disobedient to parents,
Why would anyone have to be reminded not to forget all of the Lord’s benefits? Could it be that we have become so accustomed to them that we take them for granted? Or, that we have never been without them so we consider them as natural and normal. Or, that we accept them, rely on them, but have failed to see God as their source. Or, because we think that all we have and are is solely because of us. Either way, every now and then, we must be reminded to remember all of His benefits.
When we are called to serve. Virtually everyone in scripture ever called by God was reluctant to accept it at first. Moses said he was slow of speech. Jeremiah claimed to be too young. Mary considered herself unworthy. Isaiah confessed that he had unclean lips. Then, beyond each of their perceived inabilities was their understanding of what might be the personal costs of their serving. However, God was able to enlist each of them when He added the benefits. “Moses, you are slow of speech, but I will go with you.” “Jeremiah, you are young, but I am with you to deliver you.” “Mary, you may feel unworthy, but in my sight you are blessed and highly favored.” “Isaiah, your lips are indeed unclean, but I have consecrated them with fire from the altar.”
When we want to quit. Have you ever been offered a job which provides a higher salary than the job you currently have? You have been wanting to leave that job anyway. But, when you consider that it has more money, but less benefits, you choose to stay right where you are. Who is it among us who has been working for the Lord a long time and hasn’t considered quitting at least once? It seems like the pay in the world is higher. It looks like the life outside of the church is more luxurious. It appears that the people in the world are less judgmental. Why not leave the Lord? Because of all of His benefits. You can’t stand to lose His fellowship, His favor and the satisfaction of knowing that you are doing His will. So you stay! When the disciples were tempted to leave the Lord, Peter spoke up and said: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (Jn 6: 68)
When we are unaware of that to which we are entitled. The reason the disciples panicked during the storm on the Galilean Sea was because they were unaware of the benefit of having Jesus in the boat. The reason that the caterer in Cana was no nervous when they ran out of wine was because he was unaware of the benefit of inviting Jesus to the wedding party. The reason why the disciples sought to send away the hungry crowd of five thousand was because they were unaware of the benefit of traveling with the Bread of Life. Time and time again, when we get to out wits ends, we would do well to pull out our benefits package and see just how much more we are entitled to and can expect simply because we belong to the Lord.
When we look back over our life. You don’t have to be at the end of your life, in hospice, to reflect on the goodness of the Lord to you. Pause just about anywhere along the way and, if you are honest, you will have to confess that you got there because of all of His benefits. Yes, you may be talented and gifted. You may be popular and smart. Still, such benefits as His grace have brought you safe thus far and His grace will lead you on.