Class 8: How to Obtain the Blessings of God (Part 2)
In our last lesson, we began talking about what you need to do to obtain God’s blessings in your life. One of the things you ought to do is obey your parents. God will bless you as a young person if you love, respect, and obey your parents. Today, we are going to continue our study from Letters to Young Black Men titled, “How to Obtain the Blessings of God.”
As we begin this lesson, consider these words: “The way each day will look to you all starts with who you’re looking to.”
Let’s begin by reading a portion from Letters to Young Black Men:
Second, in order to receive God’s blessings upon your life, you must choose to live a life that is obedient to God’s Word. This does not mean that you will be perfect, and it does not mean you will never sin again. It means that you will strive, with God’s help, to be obedient to Him and when you sin, or make a mistake, you will quickly confess your sin and forsake it. Probably the most important lesson that I have learned since I have become a Christian is that GOD BLESSES OBEDIENCE, AND HE DOES NOT BLESS DISOBEDIENCE. HE NEVER HAS AND HE NEVER WILL! I have learned this from the Holy Scriptures as well as from painful personal experience. Hear God’s Word on it:
Deuteronomy 11: 26-28 says, “Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day. And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.”
Now, please pull out your printed book study guide or your digital study guide as we begin this lesson.
Read the following verses and note what they say about obedience.
- Luke 6:46-49: “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.”
The Lord immediately distinguishes between mere words and true heartfelt admiration. Just because you have grown up in the church and know how to say all the right things means absolutely nothing to the Father. He is interested in obedience, and obedience is displayed through purposeful action. Simply talking about love and purity is completely meaningless if your life does not reflect these convictions. The good news is that the individual whose life truly reflects obedience will never be shaken. The more you put the Words of the Lord into action, the more He will reveal the meaning of His commands to you. Thus, obedience leads to a deeper knowledge of and relationship with Jesus Christ. So, whatever happens during our temporary, finite existence on this earth will be incapable of effecting our eternal, intimate relationship with the Father.
- John 14:15: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
When an individual disobeys the Lord’s commands, he may as well be telling God that he considers his own purposes better, wiser, and more worthy of his time and effort than the Father’s purposes for him. When we choose to follow our own way and disregard the truths of the Bible we are not simply disrespecting God, which is a travesty in and of itself, but, even more, we are showing that we do not love Jesus. If we do not love Jesus, then we are not only sealing our eternity in Hell, but even worse, we are making the cross insignificant. Thus, obedience is at the very core of allowing the loving sacrifice of Christ to fulfill its purposes. God forbid that His Son’s death would ever be in vain!
- 1 John 2:3-6: “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”
If we claim to have the salvation that only comes through Jesus Christ then we must walk as Jesus walked. In other words, we must be obedient to the commands Jesus gave, for he never told us to do something he did not exemplify himself. So, how did Jesus walk? He possessed love, humility, selflessness, purity, confidence, and a determination to see as many souls as possible come to know the Father. Are these characteristics descriptive of your life as well? If not, record some specific ways you are living in disobedience to the Father. Then pray for forgiveness and consciously attempt to turn these areas back to God.
Obedience basically boils down to who you are going to live for. If you choose to live for yourself, you will inevitably pursue interests that lead to instant gratification and eternal insignificance. If you choose to live for God, you will inherently desire to obey His commands, for His mercy endures forever. If you make no conscious choice considering who will receive your devotion, then you have chosen to live for yourself. Following God does not happen by accident. It is a choice you must make today, tomorrow, and every single day you are alive. In the end, it is the only decision that will affect you for eternity.
That concludes our study for this class. We will pick up here in our next lesson.
In closing, Tony Dungy, the first black coach to win the Super Bowl and the host of NBC’s Sunday Night Football said, “You are never going to get anywhere in sports or in life until you become convinced of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. You may become a professional athlete or have fame and nice cars and nice houses and a lot of money, but what you’ll find is that all of that stuff goes away pretty quickly. You have to understand that Christ died for our sins, and that He died not just to be our Savior but so that He could be the center of our lives.”
Now, like many of you, I grew up in a very religious and church-going family, and during that time, I often heard the phrase “Being Saved.” Now, much of what church people said “being saved” was back then especially, in my community, is wrong according to the Bible. I wrote an article about it titled “On ‘Being Saved’ in Black America” which is available for you to read free of charge on our website, gospellightsociety.com. Right now, I want to share with you very briefly what the Bible says “being saved” really is.
First, understand that you need to be saved because you are a sinner. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, understand that a horrible punishment — eternal Hell — awaits those who are not saved. In Matthew 25:41, Jesus Christ said that God will say to those who are not saved, “depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”
Third, realize that God loves you very much and wants to save you from Hell. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
If you want to be saved from Hell and be guaranteed a home in Heaven, simply believe in Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose from the dead for your sins, and then call upon Him in prayer and ask Him to save your soul. And believe me, He will.
Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” That is the most important decision you will ever make.
If the Lord tarries His coming and we live, I’ll see you for our next class.