We live in a day, especially in the United Kingdom, where the government has established a benefits system for those in need. “The welfare state is a system whereby the State undertakes to protect the health and well-being of its citizens, especially those in financial or social needs by means of grants, pensions etc,” (The Concise Oxford Dictionary.)
We often refer to the above as THE BENEFITS SYSTEM, but consider this: The Kingdom of God has the greatest benefit system this world has ever known! A life lived to the glory of God has tremendous benefits.
Psalm 103, a Psalm of David, exhorts us, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name.
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 loving kindness and tender mercies;
Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
God created us “for His good pleasure!” We must remind ourselves that we are of great value to Him. He refers to us as the “apple of His eye!”… Precious in His sight.
Zechariah 2:8 “…..for he that touches you, touches the apple of His eye.”
Deuteronomy 32:10 “He found him in a desert land, He led him about, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye.”
Psalm 17:8 ( A prayer of David) “Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of Your wings.”
An obedient child brings great pleasure to a parent. How much more then can we bring our loving Heavenly Father pleasure when we are obedient to Him? Out of our obedience to Him come the great incidental benefits of His provision, protection, correction and direction. God’s abundant love for me is unconditional and will never change, but as a Father, he delights when I respond to His love. He sent His beloved and only Son, our Lord Jesus, to redeem a sin sick world through His sacrificial, cruel death at Calvary. His substitutional death and resurrection opened the door to all who will receive Christ as Saviour, forgiveness for sin through His sacrificial death, to be reconciled to our Heavenly Father Who strongly desires to have an intimate, loving relationship with us, His children, the apple of His eye.
As we consider the wonderful benefits of being the apple of God’s eye, let us also remember that we share this privileged position with others, who God also calls the apple of His eye. If I judge another person, then I am poking my finger into the eye of God!! Judging my fellow men is not the duty of a child of God (Romans 2), that is the Lord’s portion. He is the only righteous judge, all my judgements are unrighteous and harden my heart. I lose the consciousness of His presence and need to quickly repent under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, Who will guide me into all truth, forgiveness and restoration to God’s mercy and benefits. Romans 2:4 “……the goodness of God leads you to repentance.” It is one of His BENEFITS!
Exodus 19:4-5 The Lord instructed Moses to tell the children of Israel, “You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then you shall be a peculiar treasure to Me above all people: for all the earth is mine.” The Lord treasures our obedience. He calls us His peculiar treasure – separated for His use.
Our Heavenly Father desires us to make ourselves vulnerable TO HIM – to trust Him. Trusting God is very liberating. When I walk in trust I discover the glorious provision of His benefits. A true son of God discovers His Father’s provision for him and his protection. He sees the hand of God at work in his life. 2 Thessalonians 1:6 “It is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you.” I do not have to protect myself, God will. He is my shield of protection.
What is the holy ground that I need to stand on? Truth. God seeks those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. Truth is a person, our Lord Jesus Christ. He declared He is the way, the truth and the life, the only way to the Father, (John 14:6). Truth is the glory of God and the Holy Spirit will guide me into all truth if I obey His promptings. Our Lord Jesus has made the way for me to walk in. The work is finished from His side. All provision for me to walk in God’s will is available to me. My responsibility is to trust Him and walk in it, following in the footsteps of my Saviour, Jesus Christ. As I walk in His ways, my life will glorify and please my Heavenly Father and incidentally, I will discover the great delights of kingdom benefits as I abide under the shadow of His wings of protection.