SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 20111120: "God's Spiritual Benefits Package"

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          For ten years I hired and fired in a small business in Southern California. When a young person approached me for work, I was often asked two questions:

"How much will you pay me?"

"What is your "benefits package?"

I sometimes thought to myself,

"We will offer you the opportunity to come back each day and do it again, if you do well. If you don't do well, we can take care of that problem, too!"

I'd tell them,

There is a four months conditional, trial period, after which you will receive,

1) 2-weeks paid vacation after the first year from the end of the trial period;

2) Time and a half for infrequent overtime;

3) Six paid holidays per year; and

4) Major health insurance.

          In God's economy all believers get the same rate of pay and essentially the same benefits package: eternal life with Him. Benefits are NOT BASED on what you do, but on God's amazing grace. This Thanksgiving let's not so much rejoice in the things God has given us, but on the goodness of who He is.


Pastor Phil   <><<


November 20 2011

Sheepfold Ministries – Pastor Phil Roland



Psalm 103:1-5

"We have much to be thankful for, not just in this season, but year round. We are so forgetful of all that God has supplied us out of His goodness."                                                                                                                                  Pastor Phil

Today's text reminds of several of God's "Benefits" for Giving Thanks"


"A Psalm of David. Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits"
            A. Speaking out your Praise to God is Irresistible - Psalm 146:1,2

            "Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul! 2 While I live I will praise                   the LORD; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being."

                        1. The Joy of the Lord is our Strength - Neh. 8:10

                        2. Paul reminds us to Rejoice in the Lord Always - Phil 4:4

            B. Praising God is Pleasant and Beautiful - Psalm 147:1,2

            "Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is

             pleasant, and praise is beautiful."

                        1. We find Joy in spite of our Situation - Hab. 3:17-18

                        "Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines;                                Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food;                              Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd                             in the stalls--
                        18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation."

                        2. We Rejoice because He is our Strength - Hab. 3:16

                                "The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer's feet,

                         And He will make me walk on my high hills. To the Chief Musician.

                         With my stringed instruments."

            C. We Love and Praise Him, Body, Soul and Spirit - Matt. 22:36-40

            "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?" 37 Jesus said to                    him, "'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your                       soul, and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and great commandment.
            39 And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'

            40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."



   "Who forgives all your iniquities," v. 2b

            A. Forgiveness is the Purpose of the Cross of Jesus - Romans 5:8

            "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still

             sinners, Christ died for us."

                        1. His Cross is a bridge from our sinfulness

                        2. His Bridge extends to His Acceptance and Love

            B. God Forgives and Forgets - Jeremiah 31:34, esp. 34b




            "But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those             days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their      hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
            34 No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them         to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and         their sin I will remember no more."



". . .Who heals all your diseases. . ."

            A. We are healed from Physical Disease

                        1. Some are healed this side of the grave

                        2. All are healed in the Resurrection - John 11:25-26

                                "Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who

                         believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever

                         lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

            B. We are healed from Spiritual Thought Pollution - Psalm 147:3

            "He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds."

                        1. National Ingratitude

                        2. Corrupt, Diseased Thinking - Romans 1:20-21

                        "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are

                         clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even

                         His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,

                        21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God,

                         nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their

                         foolish hearts were darkened."

            C. We are healed from many of Sin's Consequences - 1 Peter 2:24

            "who Himself (Jesus) bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we,

             having died to sins, might live for righteousness--by whose stripes you

             were healed."

                        1. Not all Consequences are Healed - 1 Cor. 3:17

                         "If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the

                         temple of God is holy, which temple you are."

                                    a. Poor Life Choices

                                    b. Physically or Situationally

                        2. Attrition and Age are part of life's Temporal Consequences



". . .who redeems your life from the pit;. . .

            A. God Saves us from our Sin - Matthew 1:21

                "And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He

             will save His people from their sins."

                        1. Sin's Paycheck is Awful - Romans 6:23

                        "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in

                         Christ Jesus our Lord."

                        2. Falling Short of God's Mark

            B. God Saves us from Ourselves -

                        1. We become our own worse enemy



                        2. Self-Sabotaging / Self-Defeating



"Who crowns you with loving-kindness and compassion. . ."

          A. God's Loving-kindness is Ours - Grace and Favor

                        1. He loves us, even though we are unlovable -  Titus 3:3-5

                   "For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived,

                         serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy,

                         hateful and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and the

                         love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of

                         righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He

                         saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the

                         Holy Spirit,"

                        2. God's Grace is His Unearned Favor - Ephesians 2:8,9

                        "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of

                         yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should


            B. King James' says He "Crowns" us - "Favors" us

                        1. We are treated like Royalty

                        2. We are Daughters and Sons of His Kingdom



"Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle."

          A. Getting our Physical needs met is a natural result of God's Favor

                        1. Don't Praise God for what He does

                        2. Praise Him for who He is

            B. Our Life, Health and Strength is from Him - Psalm 150:6

              "Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD!"

                        1. David's Final Exultation and Admonition

                        2. God is our Healer and Sustainer, we are Thankful!




Psalm 103:1-5

Psalm 103:1-5 (NKJV)
1 A Psalm of David. Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits:
3 Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,
4 Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.



I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.

Psalm 9:1    


The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me;
to one who orders his way rightly
I will show the salvation of God!”

Psalm 50:23    


It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
to sing praises to your name, O Most High;

Psalm 92:1 


Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous,
and give thanks to his holy name!

Psalm 97:12    



Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!

Psalm 100:4    


Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works!

Psalm 105:1-2 


do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Philippians 4:6    


Oh give thank to the Lord, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples. -Psalms 105:1

Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name. -Psalms 100:4

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. -Philippians 4:6

It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Thy name, O Most High; to declare Thy loving-kindness in the morning, and Thy faithfulness by night... For Thou, O Lord, hast made me glad by what Thou hast done, I will sing for joy at the work of Thy hands. How great are Thy works, O Lord! -Psalm 92:1, 4-5

Speak to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father... -Ephesians 5:19-20


The Lost Art of Thankfulness

Thankfulness seems to be a lost art today. Warren Wiersbe illustrated this problem in his commentary on Colossians. He told about a ministerial student in Evanston, Illinois, who was part of a life-saving squad. In 1860, a ship went aground on the shore of Lake Michigan near Evanston, and Edward Spencer waded again and again into the frigid waters to rescue 17 passengers. In the process, his health was permanently damaged. Some years later at his funeral, it was noted that not one of the people he rescued ever thanked him.

Our Daily Bread, February 20th 1994


Pastor Phil Roland   <><<