Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— Psalms 103:2 NIV
For many years, I supported Human Resources (HR) organizations. Within HR, there was a department called Benefits, whose function was to study new trends in the job market and when it made sense to offer them as part of the employment package. Earlier in my career, the focus was primarily on competitive vacation plans and insurance programs for medical, dental, and life. Then, later came pet insurance, bringing your pet to work, backup care for children and seniors, flexible hours, and working from home, not necessarily in order or an exhaustive list. The objective was for the company to retain and attract the best people by offering a competitive salary and benefits package.
God offers a benefits package as well, an extension of his grace. Following verse 2 is a list of things included; forgiveness, healing, redemption, love, compassion, and good things. But, as wonderful as these things are, they are not why we follow God–it's not why we accept the job. Instead, we worship and praise him simply because it is the right thing to do. To obey his commandments leads to justice, righteousness and mercy. Following his precepts makes us better people, and together we create better communities and nations.
While the benefits are not the reason we serve Him, it is good to recall all his goodness. When we recount all the ways, He extends his grace; we realize how blessed we are. In return, God asks us to love him with everything we have–mind, heart, and soul- and to love each other.
Gracious God, we praise and worship you for who you are. There is none other like you, for you are the one true God. You are righteous, just, merciful, and Holy is your name. We give you thanks for your abundant grace. We confess that we often take these for granted. Forgive us and help us to pause and remember all your goodness. Through Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.