Athlete, Here is a Better Benefits Package
2 Corinthians 4:15 (NIV)
All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
Our modern world has conditioned us to believe that benefits are things employers are expected to provide for their employees, governments to provide for their citizens and teams to provide for their players (at least in the form of playing time). These have become our assumptions and entitlements.
But benefits should be seen differently, as unmerited, rich blessings.
Today’s good Scripture puts a better, biblical spin on benefits. Let’s take a closer look at this terrific benefits package:
BENEFITS DEFINED: 2 Corinthians 4 points us to notice the terrific benefits God gives.
LIGHT: (2 Corinthians 4:4,6) We really can’t live without this benefit. It’s so hard to operate in the dark. God gives us light to see ourselves, others, our world and Him as we ought. Through His light we live and are saved.
What confidence comes with the presence of light. What a benefit!
OTHERS SELFLESS SACRIFICE TO INSURE OUR WELFARE: (2 Corinthians 4:5) Their dying leads to our living. What a benefit!
JESUS: (2 Corinthians 4:4,6) Because of Christ we get to see what God is really like and to know our Father’s heart. What a gift!
INSPIRATION: (2 Corinthians 4:7-12,14) We are given great examples of toughness, of how to endure. O how vital a “this can be done” example can become to us!
THE BIG FOUR BUNDLE: (2 Corinthians 4:1,2,15-18) God our Father extends a rich bundle of truth/grace/mercy/hope to all without cost to us. His Son and Spirit see to it.
Where would we be in life without them? What added benefits this bundle becomes!
GRACE CAUSES: The Bible says that a proper understanding of grace (getting undeserved good, unmerited favor) opens the valve of thanksgiving. In fact, it opens it wide. What a sweet surge follows!
Grace makes thanksgiving overflow. It causes gratefulness to gush all over the place. It moves us past ourselves and focuses us on others. No understanding of grace, no great thanksgiving.
THANKSGIVING LIFTS: The Bible says that thanksgiving is not just designed to unlock us and lift us past ourselves and our circumstances. It is not meant to just get us to acknowledge others better. In the end, it’s meant to praise the God who is behind it all.
Praising Him is the true end game of thanksgiving. It’s not about me. And it’s really not just about others. It’s about Him. That’s the win beyond the win He wants us to get.
Reflect: Forget not all His benefits. (Psalm 103:2) Which one(s) need your personal highlighting today?
Appreciate grace. Recall some ways you’ve received it, and watch it flood you with thanksgiving. Turn thanksgiving to praise. Don’t forget to give God the glory due His name. You’ll both be blessed.
A prayer to consider: LORD, my heart is full of thanksgiving. I worship and praise You behind and above it all. Thanks so much for sending so many benefits to me all along the way.
I have been graced beyond measure. Help me to grace others too. I’m grateful for the benefit of You in my life too!