How I Benefit From Following God

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How I Benefit From Following God

Psalm 103:1-22

How I Benefit From Following God (Psalm 103:1-22)

Do you realize that there are tremendous benefits that come from your relationship with God? Do you realize that when you follow God, it comes with fringe benefits? 

David the psalmist reminds me and you today that there are benefits to following God. There are tremendous benefits to allowing God to lead your life.

When you buy a club membership to the YMCA, you get certain benefits that other people don’t get. For example, you get free access and use of the gymnasium and pool. Other people have to pay more for the same benefit. 

When you buy a policy, like a health insurance, or car insurance, you get certain benefits that come with the policy.

When you become a Christian, you get certain benefits. These benefits are based upon the love (or mercy in the Old Testament) of God. 

In this psalm, David reminds himself of a variety of reasons to praise God or bring Him happiness.

My soul, bless the Lord, and all that is within me, bless his holy name. My soul, bless the Lord, and do not forget all his benefits.” (Psalm 103:1–2, CSB)

David praises God because of the benefits He provides. I want to share with you the top ten benefits of a relationship with God.

TOP TEN BENEFITS OF A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD

1. Spiritual Benefit – Forgiveness of sin (Psalm 103:3) 


He forgives all your iniquity; he heals all your diseases.” (Psalm 103:3, CSB)

The first benefit is spiritual is the most important benefit. God forgives your sin. This is extremely important considering that your relationship with God will last for eternity. 

Through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, our sin has not just been covered. It has been paid.

God presented him as an atoning sacrifice in his blood, received through faith, to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his restraint God passed over the sins previously committed.” (Romans 3:25, CSB)

One must come to follow Jesus Christ to receive this benefit. Turning from sin and turning to Jesus will allow you to receive the benefit of forgiveness. Yet, this forgiveness is not the only benefit one receives from follow God. God provides many more benefits when you decide to let Him lead your life.

2. Emotional Benefit – Healing of diseases (Psalm 103:3) 



He forgives all your iniquity; he heals all your diseases.” (Psalm 103:3, CSB)

There is the emotional benefit. It says here that God heals all of your diseases. That includes not just physical ones. The psalmist will visit physical benefits later in Psalm 103:5. However, I have come to know that when God heals all of your diseases, it is not jus physical but emotional as well. The link between forgiveness and healing is clear. In fact much of our physical and emotional illness is psychogenic, due to moral failure. The only relief is God’s forgiveness, which will result in healing.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.” (James 5:16, CSB)

Notice also that healing is part of the blessing of salvation. Jesus proclaimed the kingdom and cast out demons and healed diseases.1

Now Jesus began to go all over Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.” (Matthew 4:23, CSB)

3. Eternal Benefit – Eternal redemption from Hell (Psalm 103:4) 



He redeems your life from the Pit; he crowns you with faithful love and compassion.” (Psalm 103:4, CSB)

Another benefit is the fact that we have eternal redemption from Hell. God has redeemed our lives. He has delivered His children from Hell.

4. Authoritative Benefit – All-encompassing security (Psalm 103:4) 



He redeems your life from the Pit; he crowns you with faithful love and compassion.” (Psalm 103:4, CSB)

The next benefit is based on God’s authority. He is faithful in His love and compassion and he crowns me with that love and compassion. What does that mean? It means that He has complete authority and I can all-encompassing security. The crown represents the covering on the head. This covering is a symbol of security. God has all the authority to keep me secure. I can trust that once I follow God and His plan for my life, He will keep me secure. This is related to His eternal benefit. If He keeps me out of Hell, then He will provide for me to get to Heaven.

5. Physical Benefit – Complete satisfaction and renewal (Psalm 103:5) 



He satisfies you with good things; your youth is renewed like the eagle.” (Psalm 103:5, CSB)

There is not just a spiritual benefit, eternal benefit and authoritarian benefit. There is also a physical benefit. God provides complete satisfaction and renewal. What does that mean? God keeps me satisfied. He is my source of my satisfaction. I don’t have to look to other sources to renew myself.

Because of the Lords faithful love we do not perish, for his mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness!” (Lamentations 3:22–23, CSB)

6. Judicial Benefit – Help when I am hurt (Psalm 103:6) 



The Lord executes acts of righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.” (Psalm 103:6, CSB)

God provides more than just a physical benefit. He doesn’t just heal me. He also provides justice. There are times when I am mistreated or people hurt me emotionally. I learn that when I am hurt, and I go to God, He executes justice in my place. I don’t have to exact justice to someone else. I don’t have to use revenge. I can trust that God will handle that other person.

7. Relational Benefit – Personal revelation during prayer (Psalm 103:7) 


He revealed his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel.” (Psalm 103:7, CSB)

The way I find that out is through prayer. I spend time with God in prayer and He shows me answers. It happens in many different ways. For example, I may be going through a trial and God shows me something through the Bible that I never saw before. He answers my prayers. He reveals things personally to me. The most example is from Mark 5. I discovered that my situation as father was not in isolation. I saw that Jesus healed a man who was disturbed and was crying out and cutting. That verse slapped me in the face because it showed that God’s Word was personally relevant to me as a father.

8. Calming Benefit – Decreasing need for anger (Psalm 103:8-9) 



The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in faithful love. He will not always accuse us or be angry forever.” (Psalm 103:8–9, CSB)

God continues to provide a calming benefit. He shows that He is slow to anger. God also shows that I can slow my anger as well.

9. Gracious Benefit – He deals with me better than I deserve (Psalm 103:10)

He has not dealt with us as our sins deserve or repaid us according to our iniquities.” (Psalm 103:10, CSB)

Then I said to the congregation, “Justice is getting what you deserve: a spanking. Mercy is not getting a spanking. But grace is getting a peanut-butter and chocolate-chip cookie.” And that’s the way of the Lord because, although we’ve been conditioned to think that God is nervous and uptight, He’s actually just the opposite: slow to anger and full of inexhaustible mercy.2

Many times, God has dealt with me by grace, not just mercy. This leads me to the final benefit.

10. Continuous Benefit – Provides continual love and care (Psalm 103:11-22)

God provides continual love and care. The psalmist shares how God’s love is continuous. God’s care for me doesn’t stop. God doesn’t take a nap and stop caring and loving me. He shows how God’s love transcends time and space.

GOD’S LOVE TRANSCENDS TIME AND SPACE



First, there are dimensions to God’s love.

The dimensions of God’s love (Psalm 103:11-14)

God’s love is vertical

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his faithful love toward those who fear him.” (Psalm 103:11, CSB)

God’s love is as high as Heaven is to the Earth. God’s love is more faithful than that distance.

God’s love is horizontal

As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12, CSB)

God’s love is also eternally horizontal. When God forgives you, he sends the sins as far away from you as possible.

Tony Evans recalls:

One of the things I loved to do when I was in elementary school was to write on the blackboard. Whenever the teacher wanted a volunteer to write on the blackboard, I would regularly raise my hand. One of the beautiful things about the blackboard was if you made a mistake with the chalk, there was always the eraser to rid yourself of the error. Forgiveness works the same way. It is the cancellation of something. It is the deletion of an error. It is the ability to erase a mistake and start over again.3

God’s love is deep

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him. For he knows what we are made of, remembering that we are dust.” (Psalm 103:13–14, CSB)

God’s love is also deep. Here, the psalmist compares the deepness of God’s love to the compassion of a loving father. God’s love is rich and deep. Paul says something similar in Romans 8:
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38–39, CSB)

This psalm also shows that God’s love has a temporal dimension or a time period as well.

The time period of God’s love (Psalm 103:15-19)

I am temporary

As for man, his days are like grass— he blooms like a flower of the field; when the wind passes over it, it vanishes, and its place is no longer known.” (Psalm 103:15–16, CSB)

My days as a person on this Earth is very short. My time period is very temporary.

One Sunday morning, little Alex stared at the large plaque that hung in the foyer of the church. The seven-year-old had been staring at the plaque for some time, so Pastor McGhee walked up, stood beside the boy, and said quietly, “Good morning, Alex.”

“Good morning,” said the boy, still absorbed in the plaque. “Pastor McGhee, what is this?”

“Well, son, all of these people have died in the service,” the pastor said.

Soberly they stood together, staring at the large plaque.

Then little Alex asked quietly, “Which one, the 9:00 or the 10:30 service?”4

My time here is temporary. Yet, God’s love is eternal.

God’s love is eternal

But from eternity to eternity the Lords faithful love is toward those who fear him, and his righteousness toward the grandchildren of those who keep his covenant, who remember to observe his precepts. The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.” (Psalm 103:17–19, CSB)

What is the natural result of all of these benefits? How will it make me feel? It will make me want to praise God.

I can express my happiness to God because…



God’s angels praise Him (Psalm 103:20)

God’s armies praise Him (Psalm 103:21)

God’s creation praise Him (Psalm 103:22)

Therefore, I should praise God (Psalm 103:22)

Membership in God’s family comes with tremendous benefits. As Christians, we have to take advantage of them.

1 Donald Williams and Lloyd J. Ogilvie, Psalms 73–150, vol. 14, The Preacher’s Commentary Series (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc, 1989), 226.

2 Jon Courson, Jon Courson’s Application Commentary: Volume Two: Psalms-Malachi (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2006), 126.

3 Tony Evans, Tony Evans’ Book of Illustrations: Stories, Quotes, and Anecdotes from More than 30 Years of Preaching and Public Speaking (Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2009), 110.

4 Craig Brian Larson and Phyllis Ten Elshof, 1001 Illustrations That Connect (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 2008), 219.

Photo by Thomas Curryer on Unsplash

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