Sunday, June 5, 2011


"But the man of God was angry with him. “You should have struck the ground five or six times!” he exclaimed. “Then you would have beaten Aram until they were entirely destroyed. Now you will be victorious only three times.” (2 Kings 13:19),(2 Kings 13:10-25)


When Jehoash was told to strike the ground with the arrows, he did it only half-heartedly. As a result, Elisha told the king that his victory over Aram would not be complete. Receiving the full benefits of God’s plan for our life requires us to receive and obey God’s commands fully. If we don’t follow God’s complete instructions, we should not be surprised that his full benefits and blessings are not present.

Matthew 19:16-30 - Then Peter said to him, “We’ve given up everything to follow you. What will we get out of it?” (Matthew 19:27).

MOST OF GOD’S BENEFITS ARE NOT EXPERIENCED IN THIS LIFE: In the Bible, God rewards his people according to his justice. In the Old Testament, obedience often brought reward in this life (Deuteronomy 28), but obedience and immediate reward are not always linked. If they were, good people would always be rich, and suffering would always be a sign of sin. Our true reward, as believers, is God’s presence and power through the Holy Spirit. Later, in eternity, we will be rewarded for our faith and service. If material rewards in this life came to us for every faithful deed, we would be tempted to boast about our achievements and act out of wrong motivations.

Jesus assured the disciples that anyone who gives up something valuable for his sake will be repaid many times over in this life, although not necessarily in the same form. For example, a person may be rejected by his or her family for accepting Christ, but he or she will gain the larger family of believers (Acts 3:11-26). Now turn from your sins and turn to God, so you can be cleansed of your sins. (Acts 3:19).

WITHOUT REPENTANCE WE MISS GOD’S BENEFITS: John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus by preaching repentance. The apostles’ call to salvation also included repentance-acknowledging personal sin and turning away from it. Many people want the benefits of being identified with Christ without turning from sin and admitting their own disobedience. The key to forgiveness is confessing your sin and turning from it (see Acts 2:38).

When we repent, God promises not only to wipe away our sin, but to bring spiritual refreshment. Repentance may at first seem painful because it is hard to give up certain sins. But God will give you a better way. As Hosea promised, “Oh, that we might know the Lord! Then he will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring” (Hosea 6:3). Do you feel a need to be refreshed?

RECEIVING GOD’S BENEFITS: (Colossians 1:9-14). He has rescued us from the one who rules in the kingdom of darkness, and he has brought us into the Kingdom of his dear Son. (Colossians 1:13).

GOD’S MANY BENEFITS COME THROUGH CHRIST: Paul lists five benefits God gives all believers through Christ: (1) he made us qualified to share his inheritance (see also 2 Corinthians 5:21); (2) he rescued us from Satan’s dominion of darkness and made us his children (see also Colossians 2:15);(3) he brought us into his eternal kingdom (see also Ephesians 1:5-6); (4) he redeemed us-bought our freedom from sin and judgment (see also Hebrews 9:12); and (5) he forgave all our sins (see also Ephesians 1:7).

Thank God for what you have received in Christ.

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