The Benefits Package

Psalm 1:1-3, 6 NIV
Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the LORD,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

The Benefits Package
Seeking new employment can be just as time consuming as having an actual job, however once employed it can be rewarding. Prior to obtaining employment there is some work the job seeker has to do. The job seeker has to seek out employment opportunities, interview for the job, and perform well on the interview. If the employer is satisfied then the job offer is extended. The job seeker accepts the new salary and the benefits package. The beauty with some jobs is there are added perks that come along with working for that company that you can only enjoy after you are hired. Likewise with God there are a few things we must do to enjoy some of the added perks of being in the kingdom of God.

First, be careful at the water cooler. The water cooler is another term for “the place where everyone hangs out and gossips.” It is so easy to get caught up at the water cooler. In the morning most individuals go to get their morning beverage and possibly heat their breakfast. One individual says “Good Morning”, and that one gesture can easily lead to “did you hear?” The next thing you know you are side tracked and talking about meaningless subjects. As Christians we have to be extremely careful with who we talk to and who we keep company with. It’s OK for us to engage with all individuals, because God wants us to be salt and light. However, we have to be careful not to hang around those who could easily draw us to a place we don’t need to go. I think of some of my friends who are educators. Some of them can’t be seen with their school paraphernalia on if they are at happy hour because they are representing the school. We have to be careful with our words, thoughts, and actions because someone is always watching how we are representing Christ. We have to be careful where we seek advice from. God has given us an amazing gift, the Holy Spirit, to help us discern if the advice we receive can help us go the direction God would have us to go or not. Ultimately God’s word is the best counsel, but when seeking advice it’s best to ask God to lead you to the right person to talk to. When we seek godly counsel from a friend, mentor or family member we position ourselves to receive godly advice in a manner we may not have seen on our own.

Second, we have to maintain our continuing education. For individuals with certain certifications and licenses continuing education is required to maintain that certification or license. In the Kingdom of God He instructs us to delight in His word and to meditate on it day and night. (verse 2) To delight in something means you have to have a pleasure in doing it. When we spend time with people we like we get to know them and look forward to other opportunities to spend with them. God wants you to enjoy reading His word. When you are reading God’s word you are spending time with Him and getting to know more about Him and His character. If you have a hunger for God, then you will delight in spending time with Him.

As you spend time with God He wants you to meditate on His word. This simply means you ponder on what you read. You think about it. You let it marinate in your soul and determine what it is God is speaking to you. Have you ever had a wise conversation with someone and they said something powerful that stuck with you all day? It may have been life transforming or as Oprah would call it, an “ah-ha moment.” Every chance you get you find yourself thinking about what that person said and how it hit home with your situation. This is exactly what meditating on God’s word is. “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” (Hebrews 4:12) If you dwell on the word long enough something about it should speak life into your soul.

Once we accomplish the water cooler and continuing education we are now ready for the added perks in the kingdom of God. Psalm 1 teaches us three benefits of righteous living.

First, you can experience Employee Day at the Beach. “That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season.” (Psalm 1:3a) Every year I try my best to have a beach vacation. This year was the first one where I actually did nothing but sit out at the beach for four to six hours a day every day of my trip. I just sat there and observed God’s creation. There were no cares in the world. No matter what was going on the ocean was still a beautiful blue ocean, the sky was still a beautiful blue sky, the sand was still a tan colored sand. If a hurricane comes nothing about these things will change and when the storm is over they will still be the ocean, the sky, and the sand settled where they are supposed to be. Likewise this is how we are as a tree planted by a stream of water. A tree in water is connected to it’s source that is constantly feeding it what it needs. No matter what happens to the tree it will still be a tree and it is connected to the source. As long as you are meditating on God’s word as verse 2 instructed you, then you are always connected to the source. No matter what happens to you in life you have your source, the word of God, to stand on. As you stand on the word and meditate on it your inner man is being renewed each day and you should be bearing fruit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Secondly, there is a return on your investments. Psalm 1:3b says “and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.” Everyone in my family has a green thumb except for me. I manage to kill even the plants that are not supposed to die as they go long periods of time without water. I am so busy I just forget to water them until I see a brown leaf on my floor. We are like the plants. We have to constantly stay watered by the word of God. As Hebrews 4:12 told us earlier it brings life. When you spend time in the word, and you are becoming more like God and learning about him. You stay fresh just like a watered plant. As a result of your investment, time in God’s word, great things should prosper in your life. Even when things aren’t looking bright “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

Finally, there are security benefits. “For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.” (Psalm 1:6) In all that you do and in all that you go through the Lord is watching over you. Psalm 91:1 reminds us “whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” I think about celebrities and their large security entourage that follow them wherever they go. There should be no excuse for a fan or any person to harm the celebrity because of the team they have surrounding them. When a fan attempts to come at the celebrity the security personnel quickly jumps in front of the celebrity and blocks the attack that was about to take place. Likewise when we delight in God we are resting in God and His presence. He is a place of safety. He has everything under control. You have no reason to worry when evil people come at you with their schemes and lies. Their attempts will not prosper (Isaiah 54:17) and in time their ways will lead to their own destruction so leave those individuals to God to do what he does best, protect you.

You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.” (James 2:24) These are just a few of the amazing perks to being in the kingdom of God. However, to enjoy them and live the abundant life there are some actions we must take as we walk our Christian journey. Be Blessed and encouraged on today!

Heavenly Father, we thank you for your blessings and promises of Psalm 1. Give us wisdom on how to create time in our daily schedules to seek you more in prayer and the study of Your word. We thank you for your promise that if we seek Your kingdom and righteousness first that all these things will be given to us. In Jesus Name. Amen

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