I’ve seen some things in my life.
I’ve traveled in all fifty states, 19 foreign countries: England, Ireland, Scotland, Brazil, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Canada, Mexico, Israel, Egypt, Greece, Switzerland, The Bahamas, Japan, Hong King, Taiwan, South Vietnam and France.
I’ve ridden a camel to the Pyramids in Egypt.
I’ve climbed the Eiffel Tower.
I’ve viewed the Parthenon in Athens.
I’ve toured the Palace at Versailles.
I’ve been in the Tomb where Christ was raised from the dead.
I’ve watched the sun rise on the Sea of Galilee before crossing over in a boat.
I’ve prayed at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.
I’ve toured Hearst Castle, the Tower of London, the Louvre, most every monument and museum in Washington, D.C.
I’ve traveled the Alps in Switzerland.
I’ve been in a boat following whales off the coast of Maui, Hawaii.
I’ve spoken in 500 cities in 5 years.
I’ve met five Presidents of the United States (Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan and George W. Bush.)
I’ve attended two World’s Fairs (Osaka, Japan and New York City).
I sat three rows behind the bench during one of Michael Jordan’s last basketball games.
I’ve watched Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris of the New York Yankees play in the first Major League Baseball game I ever saw.
I’ve heard amazing stories of valor told by friends who are Congressional Medal of Honor recipients.
I’ve traveled with several heroes and a few zeroes.
I’ve served as Administrative Assistant to a United States Senator.
I’ve seen the Mona Lisa and other invaluable pieces of art.
I’ve seen a million dollars in cash and a $100,000 bill.
I’ve been to five different state fairs, eight different county fairs, three rodeos, more pig pickings that I can count and an oyster roast I’d like to forget.
This list would not be complete without mentioning my fine wife Bev of 47 years 6 months and 18 days who has seen the highs and forgiven me for the lows. Experiencing life with her is a joy beyond description.
In summation, I’ve been places, seen sites, heard things, met people and done some pretty amazing things.
However, as 1 Corinthians 2:9 says:
“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”
In spite of everything I’ve seen, all the things I’ve heard, the places I’ve been, the millions if not billions of dollars people have saved through the strategies of the Debt Free Army… the point is:
Nothing that I have seen, heard, experienced or even thought about can compare with the things that God has prepared for you and me!
The Classic Amplified Bible translation of 1 Corinthians 2:9 says:
“But, on the contrary, as the Scripture says, What eye has not seen and ear has not heard and has not entered into the heart of man, [all that] God has prepared (made and keeps ready) for those who love Him [who hold Him in affectionate reverence, promptly obeying Him and gratefully recognizing the benefits He has bestowed].”
Did you catch the last part of that scripture? We’re to “gratefully recognize the benefits that He has bestowed” on us.
The scripture doesn’t say. . .that He’s going to bestow on us. . .it says that He HAS already made available an abundance of bestowed benefits on us.
We’re not taking about benefits just in the sweet bye and bye. . . though they’re obvious. . .we’re taking about benefits in the nasty NOW.
Psalm 103:2 says:
“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.”
The Hebrew word for blessed is barak and it means: “bless, praise, salute.” The word is also defined as to bless oneself.
How do we bless ourselves. . .by accepting what it says in 1 Corinthians 2:9:
“. . . [all that] God has prepared (made and keeps ready) for those who love Him [who hold Him in affectionate reverence, promptly obeying Him and gratefully recognizing the benefits He has bestowed].”
Let’s take a moment and praise God for His benefits. Let’s start with the basics.
He woke you up this morning. . . huge start.
He clothed you in your right mind. . .the mind of Christ. . . what an incredible blessing!
He gave you air to breathe. . . food to eat . . . where would we be without it?
He either gave you a computer or access to one so you could watch our broadcast or read this blog.
That’s a pretty good start, wouldn’t you say?
I strongly recommend that you take the time to create a list of all the ways in which you have benefited from His goodness, grace, mercy and favor.
When I think about what He’s done for me . . . I’m pumped about the things He has prepared for me.
The Message Bible translation of 1 Corinthians 2:9 puts it this way:
“No one's ever seen or heard anything like this, Never so much as imagined anything quite like it—What God has arranged for those who love him.”
Before proceeding any further. . .I want to ask you a question about benefits.
Does your job have benefits?
Does your employer offer health care, 401K plans, paid-vacation days, sick days, holidays, flexible spending plans, childcare, continuing education or other such benefits?
The offer of health care will not benefit you unless you take advantage of it.
Your 401K will never provide retirement income for you . . .unless you put something into it.
The company childcare facilities will be of little benefit to your children. . .unless you bring them to the facility.
Your employer can have the best benefits package in the world but if you don’t activate or participate in what is available to you. . .then it will be of no real value to you. Basically, not using the benefits available. . . will have the same results as if they were not available to you at all.
Which brings us to a very important point:
As a child of God, we have the greatest benefit package ever put together. This generous package of benefits is not the result of labor negotiations but rather a loving Father who wants the very best for us.
Now let’s discuss seven things we should know about His benefit package for us.
1. Spiritual blessings prompt natural benefits.
The closet some people come to blessing anyone is by saying “bless you” in recognizing your kindness for acknowledging their sneeze.
That’s not the kind of spiritual blessing we’re talking about.
Ephesians 1:3 in the King James Version says:
“Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Through Christ, God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing that heaven has to offer.”
That’s a great phrase to personalize.
“God has blessed <<Your Name>> with every spiritual blessing that heaven has to offer.”
Can somebody say “Hallelujah!!!”
We love Psalm 103:1-2 in the Classic Amplified Bible says:
“Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul; and all that is [deepest] within me, bless His holy name! 2 Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul, and forget not [one of] all His benefits.”
We encourage you to read Psalm 103 in its entirety as it lists many of those benefits.
When we do what’s right in His sight. . .we will receive spiritual and material benefits.
1 Corinthians 9:11 in the Amplified Bible says:
“If we have sown [the seed of] spiritual good among you, [is it too] much if we reap from your material benefits?”
2. Words fitly spoken bring benefits.
Proverbs 16:24 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the mind and healing to the body.”
When we combine Proverbs 15:4 with Proverbs 16:24 they produce an amazing one-two healing combination.
“A gentle tongue [with its healing power] is a tree of life. . . Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the mind and healing to the body.”
The right words. . .words fitly spoken are a healing balm for those who are hurting and suffering. . .needing comfort.
Proverbs 25:11 in the Classic Amplified Bibles says:
“A word fitly spoken and in due season is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”
In our everyday life. . .we constantly have the opportunity to speak a comforting and empowering word to those who need mental healing and encouragement. For better or for worse. . .our words impact not only their day but our lives as well.
Here’s the promise and the benefit.
Proverbs 12:14 in the New Living Translation says:
“Wise words bring many benefits, and hard work brings rewards.”
3. Living a righteous life brings immediate benefits.
1 Timothy 4:8 in the New Living Translation says:
“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.”
Did you notice that . . .promising benefits in this life (right now) and the life to come and (eternity) too!
1 Timothy 4:8 in the Classic Amplified Bible says:
“For physical training is of some value (useful for a little), but godliness (spiritual training) is useful and of value in everything and in every way, for it holds promise for the present life and also for the life which is to come.”
The King James Version of 1 Timothy 4:8 says:
“For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”
Notice this verse says “. . .have the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”
Our Heavenly Father is concerned about the life that “now is.” That means what you’re facing today. . .right now.
The New Living Translation of 1 Timothy 4:8 says:
“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.”
Being broke is not a benefit.
Just getting by is not a benefit.
Not being able to give when God tells you to give is not a benefit.
When we reverence and respect the Lord, then He promises us benefits in this life and the life to come.
How are we to receive those benefits? 2 Peter 1:3 says:
“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.”
We’re going to receive our benefits through His divine power.
4. Recognize God's benefits are beyond our ability to repay.
Psalm 116:12 in the Amplified Bible says:
“What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me? [How can I repay Him for all His bountiful dealings?]”
Here are five benefits the Lord has rendered to us.
First, recognize the origin of your benefits.
1 Corinthians 1:3 in the Message Bible says:
“May all the gifts and benefits that come from God our Father, and the Master, Jesus Christ, be yours.”
Second, the Author of all benefits wants you to have them.
2 Corinthians 1:1 in the Message Bible says:
“I, Paul, have been sent on a special mission by the Messiah, Jesus, planned by God himself. I write this to God's congregation in Corinth, and to believers all over Achaia province. May all the gifts and benefits that come from God our Father and the Master, Jesus Christ, be yours! ….”
Third, your benefits are beyond natural description.
Remember, 1 Corinthians 2:9 in the Classic Amplified Bible says:
“But, on the contrary, as the Scripture says, What eye has not seen and ear has not heard and has not entered into the heart of man, [all that] God has prepared (made and keeps ready) for those who love Him [ who hold Him in affectionate reverence, promptly obeying Him and gratefully recognizing the benefits He has bestowed].”
Fourth, keep His benefits foremost in your mind so you can claim them.
Psalm 103:2 in the New International Version says:
“Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.
Fifth, obedience brings benefits (i.e., Right associations bring benefits).
John 4:38 in the New International Version says:
“I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor."
5. We must Praise God for His benefits.
Most every believer knows and loves Psalm 35:27 which says:
“Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the Lord be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.”
However, I’ve asked audiences and congregations around the world what does the next verse say. Sadly, one out of every 200 might know.
Psalm 35:28 in the Amplified Bible offers some pretty good advice:
“And my tongue shall talk of Your righteousness, rightness, and justice, and of [my reasons for] Your praise all the day long.”
If we continually honor and praise God for what He’s done for us then we will always keep our success in a proper and scriptural perspective.
The Word itself cautions us about what happens when we fail to remember the One who has blessed us with so many benefits.
Luke 11:28 says:
If you don’t praise Him for His blessings to us . . .then we are masquerading as Christians.
Why should we sing His praises. . .Psalm 13:6 in Young’s Literal Translation gives us the perfect answer:
“I do sing to Jehovah, For He hath conferred benefits upon me!”
6. Meditating and living the Word brings benefits.
Psalm 119:16-17 in Young’s Literal Translation says:
“In Thy statutes I delight myself, I do not forget Thy word. Confer benefits on Thy servant, I live, and I keep Thy word.”
It’s really simple. . .if you want to experience the benefits of God then you need to delight. . .and meditate on His Word.
Let’s briefly look at Joshua 1:8 which says:
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
As most of you know. . .in this verse the words “you” and “your” a total of six times. God wants you to be successful, but you’ve got a part to play.
First, continually read and study the Word of God.
The King James Versions says:
“This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth. . .”
The New Living Translation says:
“Study this Book of Instruction continually. . .”
The Message Bible says:
“And don't for a minute let this Book of The Revelation be out of mind. . .”
The Contemporary English Version says:
“Never stop reading the Book of the Law he gave you. . .”
No matter what translation you use. . .it’s clear that we’re to be in the Word of God . . . not just on Sundays. . . or when times get tough. . .or when there’s trouble.
Putting the Word to action within us is a continual process. It is to be an integral part of our talk and our walk.
Second, speak the Word day and night
The King James Version says:
“. . .thou shalt meditate therein day and night. . .”
The Hebrew word for meditate is hagah (H1897) and it means:
“utter, muse, mutter, meditate, speak.” It comes from a root word that means whisper.
The general impression of the word meditate is that you just think about something by pondering it in your mind. However, the Hebrew translation shows that we’re not to just ponder and think about the word but speak it out even in a whisper.
Meditating and living the Word will bring His benefits.
7. Giving increases your benefits.
Luke 6:38 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Give, and [gifts] will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will they pour into [the pouch formed by] the bosom [of your robe and used as a bag]. For with the measure you deal out [with the measure you use when you confer benefits on others], it will be measured back to you.”
There is one more scripture I want to share with you.
Psalm 68:19 says:
“Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.”
When does the Word of God says He wants to give us these benefits. . .DAILY. . .NOW.
It is an absolute fact that every day. . .God wants to give us benefits beyond what we can see, think and imagine. . .but you and I have to accept this benefit package and walk in it.
Every day I’m asking God to expand my imagination to grasp the reality of what He has prepared for manifestation in my life.
I’m asking that He remove and reveal any limitations or hindrances that would keep the free flow of His abundant provision in my life and that of my fine wife, family and ministry friends. . .yes, that includes you.
Praise the Lord and prepare to walk in His benefits.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS