|“Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits…”|
My father told me that when he obtained his first job at the age of fifteen years old back in 1922, the only benefit his employer offered him was pay. And, he received that pay in cash in a pay envelope every week. My dad maintained that this was how he was compensated for his employment all the way up through the days of the mid-1950s.
It’s hard for us to imagine that today. From the time I first obtained a paying job in the early 1960s, I was always paid by check. When I became a staff member of Houghton College, while I was also a student there in 1965, I received payment by check and I also received some very limited, but helpful, benefits.
As I moved through the various phases of my working life up until my retirement in 2003, in addition to ever-increasing pay, I also received ever-increasing benefits.
I am told that young people starting out in the working world today pay as much, or in some cases more, attention to the benefits they will receive as they do to their pay. So, benefits have become ever more important.
In the Christian life, we have received one gigantic payment: the death of Jesus on the cross in our behalf that paid, once and for all, the penalty for our sins. That payment gives us such a tremendous value in our walk with Christ that nothing else need matter.
But, God doesn’t stop there. In fact, in some ways, the payment for our sins—though of vital, life-changing importance—is only the beginning.
The Psalmist has affirmed this great truth when he wrote these words recorded in Psalm 103:1-2:
Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits…
The Psalmist urges us to not forget the benefits of the relationship we have with God. His abiding love, His unending care, His complete protection, His unstoppable gift giving, His… Well, it just goes on and on. The benefits of belonging to God through Christ simply cannot be measured.
As this new day dawns, let’s be certain to praise God for all that He has done for us. And, let’s keep remembering all the benefits we have because we belong to Him.