The benefit package that keeps giving
By Teresa A. LeNeave
Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift.
I saw those words printed on a board at a store in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Whoever wrote that has a glimpse into what it takes to be happy in this troubled world.
Yesterday is history. Let it go. You can't change one thing about yesterday. Tomorrow is a mystery. We have no idea what will happen tomorrow, or if we will even be here to enjoy the day. Today is a gift. Use it and enjoy it. Even if today is full of trouble, quiet your mind by thinking about all the good things God promises to followers of Christ.
The benefits to serving God never ends. In Isaiah, I found some benefits that you may want to focus on today and every new day since each morning you are given a new gift. The gift? Today.
We all want our children to be blessed and to live safe, secure and happy lives. Isaiah 44:3 says, "I will pour my Spirit upon thy seed and my blessing upon thine offspring." What a comfort to know that God is watching over our children. He will pour his Spirit on them and he will bless them with HIS blessing. HIS blessing is better than any blessing you'll receive from anyone, anywhere.
Isaiah 54:13 tells us, "All our children will be taught of the Lord and great shall be the peace of our children".
As we age, we sometimes are concerned with continued health. Here's a verse that says no matter what our age is, God is carrying us. "... you who have been born by me from the belly (from your birth), who are carried from the womb, and even to your old age, I am he: (who carries you); and, even to gray hairs will I carry you. I have made, and I will bear, even I will CARRY, and will deliver you." What an amazing verse! There have been times when I've needed God to carry me. You have, too. In this verse, he is saying, "Don't worry. I've got this. I made you and I will bear ... even carry and deliver you". Love that promise.
Best of all, God offers his love and benefits for free. They are available to anyone who commits and follows him. And, they are free. Giving our offerings and our tithes are not charges God saddles us with so we receive his blessings. The offering and tithe is our gifts to him, and to his children, because we love. You've often heard, "You can give without loving but you can't love, without giving". How true. We give to people we love. It may not be much, but we offer what we can because we love them. God is the same way. Because he loves us he gives benefits.
Isaiah 55:1 promises the free benefits of serving God. "Ho (stop, listen, pay attention to this), everyone that thirsts, come to the waters, and he that has no money; come, buy and eat. Yeah, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price."
Everyone wants a job with great benefits. Why not serve God? He has the best "benefit package" available. And, salvation is free.
Psalm 103 describes God's benefits as clear as crystal. "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases; who redeems your life from destruction; who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies; who satisfies your mouth with good things: so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's." You can't get better than that!
The only requirement is that you love and serve him. Adding God to your life is not just an emotional thought that you need a change. It's a commitment. It's a promise to God. It's a commitment that changes your life. When we give our lives back to our Creator, we commit to turn around and go the opposite way. We now make time for God in our lives. Learn to be thankful and grateful for his many benefits. He is a "rewarder of them who diligently seek him" (Heb. 11:6). See him as your rewarder. Your friend.