Heaven’s Benefit Package
Pastor Talbert W. Swan, II
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
A lot of people work a job only because they need the benefits. One of the hallmarks of the recent campaign for president was the cost of health insurance, which has gone out of the roof. There are a lot of people who are retiring from their normal jobs only to discover that they have to go back to work just to afford, or to qualify for a healthcare insurance. You don’t realize just how much that benefit is worth until you don’t have it anymore, or you are forced to pay for the full amount without the company kicking in on it.
Some have said, “You can’t eat benefits, and that’s true, but if you have benefits, then you can take some of the money you are able to save and go buy groceries, so you see, you can eat because of the benefits.
I had decent benefits most of the time that I worked a public job. But lately I’ve found a job that has the absolute greatest benefits of all time. Working for the Lord carries benefits that are literally out of this world!
King David realized the value of a good benefit package too. Even though David was the King of Israel, and had all wealth and power that man could ask for, he still knew that God’s benefits were greater than anything that man could afford.
Psalms 103:1 Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Oh if we could just learn to bless the Lord like David did. I can still hear David crying unto the Lord, “Create within me a clean heart and renew within me a right spirit. Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable, On Lord!”
David knew how to sing, to praise, to clap his hands, to worship and to dance before the Lord and he wasn’t ashamed or afraid of what others might say or think. He worshipped God because he never forgot the benefits of God’s Kingdom.
Psalms 103:2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
The benefit package of God’s servants is the best in the Universe. They are without number and we should ever be thankful and think of the good things that God has so freely given to us, both in this life and in the one to come.
By his mercy he supplies our needs. According to his great love for us, he provides our heart’s desires. We aren’t worthy of anything. We can’t earn enough to pay enough to get the benefits of God – but they are all free for the taking. All we have to do is appropriate them for ourselves.
What are a few of the benefits of serving the Lord? I say few, because we could never name them all, and neither could David.
But David did give us a good list of God’s benefits that he gives freely to all of his children and co-workers in the fields of harvest.
Psalms 103:3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
The greatest benefit of all is that God, through the blood of Jesus Christ, offers free forgiveness for sin. That’s a benefit that is more valuable than all others combined and it’s value is beyond description.
How can we place a value on one single soul that comes to Jesus? Is it too costly to reach the lost? Is there any price that is too high to pay? Heaven gave all that it had, the very Son of God, so that one soul, and then many souls could be saved.
God not only saves our soul, but he knows our weaknesses and how that we are prone to sickness because we are living in this earthly tabernacle, this body that is slowly dying because of the power of sin. Only God can heal. Doctors can give medicines and treat illnesses. Nurses can help you to do what’s necessary to get better. But only God has the power to heal and make their efforts worthwhile. God created within the body the mechanism for the body to repair itself and to heal itself. But the powers of sin block the ability of the body to do what it was designed to do. The process of growing old, getting weaker and allowing everything to degenerate are all by products of sin and it’s curse of death upon all of creation.
The next time you get tired, kick Adam. The next time you get a head cold, feel miserable, or get sick, just look up toward heaven and ask God to kick Adam one more time for you. Now don’t forget that after you kick Adam around, to get your neighbor to kick you around as well. After all, we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God, not just Adam. He was only the first one to get the chance to sin, but every one of us have followed in his footsteps.
Psalms 103:4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
This doesn’t mean that God will not allow us to die, but after we die, this soul will still live on into life eternal. God, through his great mercy, will not allow your eternal soul to be destroyed, killed and forever face death in the pits of Hell. God’s love and mercy will bring your soul home to enjoy eternal life with him. I praise God that when we leave here, we’ve got something waiting on the other side of death that is more glorious than we could ever imagine.
Psalms 103:5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
James tells us that every good and perfect gift in life comes down from our Father in Heaven. He gives good gifts to his children. He doesn’t give you gifts that will hurt you or turn you away from serving the Lord, but every thing God gives to us only points us to Jesus and makes us more like him.
God doesn’t provide for us a Fountain of Youth. Ponce De Leon came to the New World and is often credited with the establishment of the oldest city in America, St. Augustine, Florida while he was searching for that Fountain of Youth. But old Ponce died, never realizing that his source of strength and youth was nowhere on this planet, but in God alone.
This body of flesh will not be forever young. But praise God, when we get that new glorified body it will be young forever, never getting the first wrinkle, crow’s feet around the eyes, or varicose veins, or bunions on the feet. There won’t be any midriff bulge, love handles or receding hairlines. There won’t be any osteoporosis, halitosis or broken noses. There won’t be any aching feet, aching backs or aching heads. There won’t be any cancer, heart attacks or blocked arteries. No rheumatism, arthritis, high blood, low blood, no blood..We will be forever young. The eyes won’t grow dim. There won’t be any strokes, smokes or dirty jokes. The ears won’t become deaf, and the tongue will ever be ever to speak in praises to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. I’m going to be young, forever young, one day and we are going to have one more party in Heaven! It’s all a part of God’s great benefit package for those who work for him! One of my mother’s favorite songs goes like this….I have heard of a land, on a far away strand…tis a beautiful home of the soul…built by Jesus on high…where we never shall die, tis a land where we’ll never grow old….we’ll never… never….grow old.
Psalms 103:6 The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.
God is a just God and one day his justice will make all things right. Those who have cheated the poor, coerced the widows and stolen from the orphans will pay for their crimes in spades. Those who have dealt unjustly will be dealt with by the King of Justice in the courts of Heaven. They’ll have their day in court, and then be sentenced to eternal death as a just reward. Oh how I pray that many find salvation before that day! How awful it will be for those who shook their fist in the face of God in pride in arrogance, to see the face of God filled with wrath over the way they treated his Children and the people that God loved so much, whether sinner or saint. God loves all men and his justice will prevail. God help those who abuse other people for their own gain, or for any reason at all. There will be a reckoning day.
Psalms 103:7 He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.
Our wonderful Lord not only gives us mercy in grace through salvation and healing and perfect justice, but he goes to extreme means to see to it that we learn of him and his ways of righteousness.
God took the first step, and he continues to make the first step, in helping mankind to find the way home. He created the tree that his only Son was to die upon. He designed the plan of salvation long before man fell into sin. God’s mercy and grace were already at work on your behalf before you were born. God wants you to be in his Kingdom so much that he moved Heaven and Hell, and made a way for you to get home. What a great God we serve!
Psalms 103:8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
David pushed God’s mercy and gave God every opportunity to allow his anger to rise and bring death to David, but God’s mercy prevailed. I thank God every day that he is slow to anger when I fail him. I thank God every day for his wonderful mercy that reaches out, picks me up, dusts me off, gives me a swift slap on the back and says, “Walk on, my son. You’re going to make it. Just keep on going. The end is in sight so don’t give up now.” Over and over again I feel his mercy and grace reaching out to me, lifting me out of the miry pits of sin, and helping me along the way. We are going to make it my brothers and sisters, not because we choose to serve the Lord as much as because God chooses to bring us home as his own dear children.
Psalms 103:9 He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.
God is not a God that carries a grudge when we fail. He is quick to forgive and forget if we will only ask. He doesn’t stand there playing the blame game and ridiculing us for our faults. The Holy Spirit doesn’t come just to get on our case to messing up. He comes to gently lead us on in God. Thank God for his forgiveness for my ignorance.
Psalms 103:10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
Yes God deals with our sin, and he often has to send a chastening rod in the Spirit to teach us to behave. But God doesn’t give us what we really deserve. The wages of sin is still death, whether you are a sinner or a saint. Thank God that he doesn’t allow us to die for every sin, but makes a way of escaping death by going back to him every time to seek forgiveness.
Jesus bore the punishment for every sin that we can commit when he hung on the cross for us. Through his blood we now have the power given to us to obtain God’s mercy instead of God’s judgment, and through the power of the blood of the Lamb, all sin in us can be destroyed, wiped away, erased forever and we can commune with God again. It’s all a part of God’s benefit package!
Psalms 103:11, 12 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
In other words, God’s mercy towards us is infinite and knows no bounds. If we fear him, worship him, praise him and serve him, his mercy will always be there, removing our sin and bringing us home. Our sin will be cast away and never be remembered again.
Yes God has a great benefit package for those who serve him. Somebody might say…brother Swan, how much is this benefit package. In a day and age where the costs of benefits are sky hight…surely there’s an astronomical cost for all of this….Well I’ve got good news….It does have a high pricetag for such a package. It costs a heavy price. But thanks be unto God….it costs us nothing!
For Jesus paid it all….all to him I owe……He paid the price in blood….He took my bill to Golgotha’s hill and paid the price for me.
I thank God tody and will never forget what he paid for me. Jesus I’ll never forget what you’ve done for me…Jesus I’ll never forget how you set me free….Jesus I’ll never forget how you brought me out…Jesus I’ll never forget no never.
How can I forget….how you brought me…how you taught me …how you kept me….how you never left me….how you picked me up…turned me around…how you healed my body.
Let us, like David, sing out to the Lord, “Praise the Lord, Oh my soul, and forget not all of his benefits.” AMEN