“WISDOM OF LIVING (34) BENEFITS”                       By Pastor YAU

Text: Psalm 103:1-14                                                       August 28, 2005

 

INTRODUCTION: 

1)   Benefits from a generous employer:  One of the important things people look at a job offer is “benefits” besides salary. Benefits are things employers provide for employees on top of salary. Common elements in benefits include insurance coverage, retirement plans, vacation and days off, profit sharing, pension and others. Good companies provide most of the benefits people are looking for. A company that provides generous benefits shows that the employer values the importance of the employees. A good package of benefits provides security and peace of mind for those who work for the company and therefore boosts the morale and productivity of the employees in return to benefit the employer.

2)   Benefits from an abundant God:  Even though most people accept Jesus as Lord and Savior did not look for benefits beyond salvation and eternal life, God does provide many of benefits to go along with salvation in eternity. Having a personal relationship with Jesus and God means more than just have a seat in heaven at the end of our lives. God has promised us benefits in this life while we are still here on earth. The benefits “package” of salvation begins at the moment of new life given by God when we accept Jesus. It will last each and everyday all the way until we depart for heaven.

3)   Benefits enjoyed by real people:  The promise of benefits by God is more than words. It is a life experience enjoyed by all who have accepted God and kept a close relationship with Him. King David described his joy and gratitude in receiving the benefits God had bestowed on him. Through these verses in Psalm 103, we can see and count many of the benefits David had received.

 

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF GOD? No one can ever count all the benefits God has ever given to His people. God gives to each of us a different package of benefits suitable to our needs. David had received a long list of benefits which many of us continue to receive.

1)   He forgives our sins.

2)   He heals our sickness.

3)   He rescues our lives from danger

4)   He gives us His love and compassion

5)   He provides us with good things.

6)   He renews power in our lives in our weakness

7)   He brings justice when we are oppressed

8)   He reveals His ways to us in time of confusion

9)   He pours out His love and compassion on us.

10)  He holds back His anger on our iniquities.

11)  He shows us His abundant love

12)  He covers our sins with His love,

13)  He removes our transgressions

14)  He treats us as a loving Father.

These were the benefits David had experienced. We all have our unique needs and experience. Each one of us can easily add a dozen or more into the above list. No need is too big for God to meet. No sin is too bad that God cannot forgive. No pit is too deep God cannot reach. As long as we keep our life lines open to God, He is always there to answer our calls.

 

WHY IS GOD’S BENEFIT BETTER? The benefits God provides are far better than all benefits any employer could provide.

1)   God’s benefits are personal: This is so important I list it as number 1. Almost all employers provide benefits for their employees, no matter how good it may be, on an “all the same” method. This may be good in treating all employees equal, it certainly does not put individual needs and conditions into account. God doesn’t work that way. God knows each one of us, our needs and conditions. He customizes each package to meet just exactly what we need.

2)   God’s benefits are compassionate: This is also very important. All employers provide benefits because either it is required by law or intended to boost productivity which in turn will directly benefit the company. But God provides benefits for us only because of His love. David used the word “compassion” many times in this short passage. It is His love and inner feeling in His heart, God pours out His goodness on us. He doesn’t have to nor doest it benefit Him in return. The word translated compassion means “intestine”, the most inner soft part of a body. God is touched with feelings on our needs when He pours out His benefits on us.

3)   God’s benefits are comprehensive: No business may provide a benefits package that may meet all the possible needs of all individuals at all times. No employer will ever be able to imagine all the possible needs of all his employees nor is he able to provide them. But that is not the case with God. With His all-knowing and power, God can and will be able to know, to adjust and to provide all the possible needs of all the people at all times who call Him Father. God has our best interests in His heart. He will always give us the best beyond our understanding.

4)   God’s benefits never run dry: Benefits provided by business is on a get-as-you-go basis. There is NO guarantee on benefits. It depends on the condition of the business and that in turn depends on many unknown factors of the economy. But that is not the case with God either. God is always independent and all resourceful. He never depends on anyone or anything to provide all the benefits He is so gracious to give us. Any and all benefits God may give us are all guaranteed by His power and love. When God makes a promise, He will never change.

 

WHY ARE WE FORGETFUL ON GOD’S BENEFITS?  A story tells like this: “Long, long ago, there was a day when the sun didn’t rise in the morning. At 6:00 o’clock it was dark. At 7:00 it was still night. Noon came and it was like midnight. By 4:00 in the afternoon, people flocked to churches to beg God for the sun.

       The next morning, huge crowds of people gathered outdoors to face the eastern sky. When the first rays of sunlight pushed open the door of the morning, the people burst into cheers and tears and praised God.”

1)   We are unable to see how God works: Just as little children are unable to see or understand how parents do things for them many Christians are not mature enough or capable to see or understand how God provides all the benefits for them and all the people in the world. Therefore these people are unable to acknowledge benefits from God.

2)   We take God’s grace for granted:  Too often, until they are taken away we take God and His benefits for granted. There are so many things that are given to us way beyond our own ability to create or provide we take them for granted and are numb to acknowledge that they are benefits of God. Our health, opportunities, circle of loved ones, a job that is both satisfying and gainful, peace and safety in our community, just to name a few. We have all of these because they are given by God. Don’t take any of these for granted.

3)   We are too used to His many benefits: In economics, there is a simple principle called: The principle of marginal utility. If you have 5 glasses of water offered to a man who is very thirsty. The utility, or value, of the first glass is the highest and the utility of each subsequent glass is reduced according to his need of water. The last glass may be the least or marginal utility. Many of us   treat God’s benefits the same way. When God has given or provided us so many benefits, we become too used to them and therefore are not as thankful as we should.

4)   We live as we no longer need God: Some do not give credits to God for benefits they receive because they have hard time to recognize that it is God who gives them all the benefits instead of the results of their own efforts. Pride blinds many people from seeing the source of their success. If God doesn’t provide the elements or venues, there is little we can do to make things happen. Taking credits from God as yours is as bad as stealing from God.

 

HOW NOT TO FORGET GOD’S BENEFITS?  Most people recognize benefits come from God but many will forget them after a little while or when problems come along. What does it mean not to forget? What can we do to show that we do not forget the benefits God has given us? Here are some suggestions:

1)   Count and recount the blessings of God: This is the best ways to help us not to forget the benefits or blessings from God. Remember and talk about them often so you won’t forget them. Forgetting the good things people do to us but remembering the bad things they do is a human defect. We need to remember good things done to us by God and others so our heart will be filled with gratitude and joy. People who remember only the wrong and the bad things are more likely to be bitter and sorrowful.

2)   Be humble to see and acknowledge God’s benefits:  Things we are grateful of will register deep in our hearts and mind for long time. If we can be humble, we will see more of God’s work than our own pursuit in the things we have and enjoy. We will see more of God than ourselves in our success. Each time when   we see and acknowledge God’s blessing we draw closer to His presence and improve our relationship with Him. Never allow pride to stop you from giving credit to God.

3)   Do not allow shadows to erase blessings: Some people forget God’s benefits in the past because of present day problems and shadows. No one ever lives a life that is trouble free. Your present day trouble should not stop you from remembering and counting past benefits from God. They should be vehicles to bring you back to God and seek His love and power. Do not forget His benefits just because you have problems now.

4)   Be grateful to God and His benefits: Some people can’t or won’t remember God’s benefits because they never have enough. They are never satisfied with the benefits God has given them. They will either discount or forget past benefits because they have not seen new ones coming. A grateful heart is a joyful heart. Be grateful to all the benefits God has bestowed on you and you will always remember how sweet they are.

 

COMCLUSION:

1)   Benefits are import parts of life: Be it with a job or with God, we all need benefits. Seeking benefits is a legitimate pursuit. But we need to seek the best and the most secured benefits and that can only come from God.

2)   We should not forget benefits: Either they are from God or people we are to remember and be grateful of all the benefits we received. If there are things we need to forget, forget the unfair, the bitter and the wrongs other did to you. This will keep your heart joyful and make your life happier.

3)   Don’t forget the most important benefit: Eternal life through Jesus Christ is the highest benefit God ever gives to man. None of the benefits we may receive will be brought to heaven at the end of your earthly journey. Seek to find this important benefit from God by accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior.