Monday, June 26, 2023

Your New Benefits Package


A big motivator for choosing to work at one company versus another is the benefits package being offered.  Good ones are worth thousands of dollars and over time, potentially much more.  In Psalm 103, we’re encouraged to reflect on the incredible benefits God provides to those who choose Him.


Psalm 103:2-5 - Praise the Lord, my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
    and crowns you with love and compassion, 

who satisfies your desires with good things
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.


Things to think about:

·       An attitude of gratitude

o   Praise the Lord O my soul

o   If you don’t know what to thank God for today, here’s a great starting point

·       Forget not all His benefits

o   An unused benefit can be a lost benefit.  In other cases, (like a 401k) just because you’re not thinking about it doesn’t mean it’s not working on your behalf

·       He forgives all your sins

o   Not just some of them, not just some of the time, not partially

o   We are guilty before a Holy God who has no obligation to forgive us except through His love for you and His mercy

o   Psalm 51:7 - Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

·       He heals all your diseases

o   New body

§  1 Corinthians 15:42-44 - So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable;  it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;  it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.

o   Sometimes the healing is now, sometimes later

·       He redeems your life from the pit

o   Like the prodigal son, we are wallowing in filth with the pigs

o   Sometimes when you’re in it, you don’t see it for what it is and it’s only when you can see the contrast you understand

·       He crowns you with love and compassion

o   Crowns – we’re children of the King

o   Love and compassion

§  He knows we are made from dust.  He doesn’t wag His finger at us saying we should know better.

§  We’re free from judgement and condemnation

·       He satisfies your desires with good things

o   Matthew 6:33 - But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 

o   Matthew 7:9-11 - “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 

o   You’re never too old!

§  Genesis 17:1-2 - When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.”

·       So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s

o   Life is hard and exhausting

o   Matthew 11: 28-30 - “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

o   Philippians 4:13 - I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Wow!  Any one of these would be enough to fall on your knees and give God thanks and “praise the Lord”.  All of these, in full measure are yours TODAY.  This is a passage worth committing to memory to remind yourself so when things don’t look so good that God has given you more than you could ever hope or imagine.

Monday, June 19, 2023

The Perpetrator


Recently, our new friend, Harold D’Souza, shared with us his harrowing tale of life as a victim of slave labor for several years.  He told us of his perpetrator who lured him into the US under false pretenses and then manipulated him into believing he was unwanted, of no value, and on the precipice of being deported as an illegal.  In similar ways, there is a Perpetrator who lures people in with enticing lies and then when they bite, he makes them a slave to his deception, keeping his victims from living in the freedom that is right before them.


1 Peter 5:8 - Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 


Things to think about:

·       The man responsible for Harold’s misery promised him a good job and the American Dream.  Instead, he stole his money and his identity.

o   Just like Harold’s perpetrator, the Devil is a liar and a thief. He promises the good life.  But when someone moves toward him to accept his proposal, he steals their very soul. 

·       The man coerced Harold into taking a loan and put him hopelessly into debt.

o   Satan creates a false sense of a debt that we have committed sins for which there is no recourse except shame and suffering.

·       The man forwarded the idea that the authority figures in the US hated immigrants and wanted to punish them with handcuffs, jail, and deportation.

o   Satan would have us believe that God doesn’t love us because we are unlovable.

o   The truth is God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

·       The man threatened Harold’s life many times and said there was no use in fighting him.

o   The Devil is a hateful adversary who uses his considerable power to make us cower in fear.

o   Isaiah 41:10-11 - So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced;
those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish.


·       Harold and his family found their freedom by risking their lives, and believed by faith, that a higher authority could save them.

·       They learned that all the years of being called “illegal” was a lie.  They were only undocumented, something that could be remedied.

·       Harold and his family are now citizens in a new country, with all the rights and privileges of natural born citizens.  They went through the prescribed process and now have a new identity, sons and daughters of America.

o   The same holds true in the spiritual realm.  When we come to God through His Son, Jesus Christ, we become citizens of His kingdom, with all the attendant rights and privileges. 

o   John 1:12 - Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God

·       Despite what the Devil may say, we have our documentation found in the new birth and sealed by the Holy Spirit.

o   Romans 8:1 - Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

o   Ephesians 1:13-14 - In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.