C. D. Plum
Parkersburg, West Virginia
Let us take a sober look at our fringe benefits. No, not a criticizing, complaining look, but a scriptural look, a heart searching look, a warning look.
What Fringe Benefits?
Well those "added things" which are over and above, and extra from the basic pay of industry, which I could wish all could receive and not just a favored few. Like, for instance, free hospitalization, which I am told is not a drop in the fringy bucket of benefits. But so much for the workers in industry.
All Christians, without favoritism, have equal access to fringe benefits in addition to our basic promise of "eternal life," a "crown of righteousness" at the end of our earth days. (I Jno. 5:11; 2 Tim. 4:6-8). As in industry, if we are not wasteful, the basic pay will get us by, so for the Christian, "eternal life" at the end of the earth day should be sufficient basically, but to sweeten the way, many "fringe benefits" have been added by the Lord, as, for instance:
1. Put God and his kingdom first, and do 66 our" part, something to eat, drink, and wear will be provided (Matt. 6:33; 2 Thess. 3:10).
2. "My God shall supply all your need." (Phil. 4:19) A nice fringe.
3. God's people of old were told, "Give me what is coming to me," and "I will open the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." (Mal. 3:8-10). Nice fringes there too, I'll say.
4. To Christians who live right, and "give" right (as prospered), the fringe benefit here is: "He shall reap bountifully." (2 Cor. 9:6-7).
5. To God's faithful children of all time, this soft, comforting, cushion is provided as a fringe benefit: "The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness." What a fringe! (Ps. 41:3). "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently." (Ps. 37:7). Thanks, dear Lord.
6. And when the faithful child of God comes to the valley (the valley of the shadow of death), and begins this "walk" through the valley, the fringe blessing here is: "There is no fear, For the Lord is near" (Ps. 23:4). As Stephen entered this valley Jesus saw him. Jesus stood up! But, thanks be to God, "Stephen saw Jesus" (Acts 7:54-56). God doesn't show partiality. Oh, brethren, what a God, what a Savior we have!
Short Changing The Lord
No! No! Surely we will not do it. How can we? Why should we? How can we just count our prosperity on our basic income and not on the fringe benefits too? How can we forget the Lord's share of our interest income on money, just because maybe every cent of it is added to the bankbook quarterly, semiannually, annually, or what not, and is not handled by us personally? And especially since Jesus has said, "Thou oughtest therefore to have put MY money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received my own with usury (interest)." (Matt. 25:27).
Do we short change the Lord on the use of our talents?
Do we short change the Lord in the use of our time, like staying away from Lord's Day night service, or Wednesday night services, when all we have to justify it is a flimsy excuse, which we have made so many times we almost believe it ourselves?
TRUTH MAGAZINE, XV: 13, pp. 11-12