Thursday, September 22, 2016

Fringe Benefits - Martin Wiles

To open their eyes so they may turn from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in me. Acts 26:18 NLT

For a middle school aged boy, it was the job of a lifetime—regardless of the pay. 

My paternal grandfather was an ice cream delivery man. Not the kind who drove through neighborhoods and sold ice cream novelties to eager children, but the type who drove a large truck and delivered bulk items to restaurants and businesses. Exactly when I began helping him during the summer, I’m not sure, but by the time I was of middle school age, I was spending the entire summer with my grandparents and working on the truck with him every day. 

For a young boy, the benefits of working on an ice cream truck during the hot summer months were exciting. Each day when we loaded the truck for the next day’s delivery, I got to get up in the refrigerated truck and stack the ice cream my grandfather handed me. But the most tantalizing benefits were that my grandfather paid me $20 per week, told me I could eat as much ice cream as I wanted free of charge, and bought my lunch every day. 

As the apostle Paul made his defense before King Agrippa, he recounted how God had given him a new mission in life. He was to take the gospel to the Gentiles, who, if they accepted it, would receive many fringe benefits. 

As God’s child, my eyes have been opened to the light. Prior to accepting Christ as my Savior, they were shaded by the scales of darkness. Sin blinded me and held me securely in its chains. I could only do what my sinful nature dictated. I thought I was free, but I was actually a slave. Satan, the god of this world, was my blinder. God, however, removed the blinders.

Forgiveness is another fringe benefit. Christ paid for all my sins on Calvary’s cross. No longer will God charge me with them. They were placed on His account. 

Becoming a member of God’s family is a further fringe benefit. I’ve been sanctified—set apart. The righteousness of Christ has been given to me and all members of God’s family. His family is large and eternal. I can enjoy their fellowship now and forever. 

Are you experiencing the fringe benefits of being God’s child? 

Prayer: Father, thank You for the benefits that come with being Your child. 

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