Class 9: How to Obtain the Blessings of God (Part 3)
In our last lesson, we continued talking about what you need to do to obtain God’s blessings in your life. We talked specifically about being obedient to God. Today, we are going to continue our study from Letters to Young Black Men titled, “How to Obtain the Blessings of God.”( Part 3)
As we begin this lesson, consider these words: “Every time I count my blessings, my love for God grows bigger; and every time I count my struggles, my faith in God grows stronger.”
Let’s begin by reading a portion from Letters to Young Black Men:
Third, we must spend quality time in prayer if we want God’s blessings upon our lives. Notice what Jesus Christ said on this matter of prayer in Matthew 7:7-11:
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For everyone that asketh receiveth, and He that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”
Prayer is where you will find great power for life and great blessings from God. May I kindly encourage you to pray often? God will hear and answer your prayers and bless you.
Now, please pull out your printed study guide or your digital study guide as we begin this lesson.
Read these verses and note what they say about the role of prayer in a believer’s life.
- Philippians 4:6: “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
This world is full of things to worry about: money, health, the future, and so on. When we pray we transform our spirit of fear into a spirit of confidence. For it is through prayer that we admit we are unable to overcome the forces of this world on our own. We allow God, the Creator and Sustainer of the entire universe to take control of our lives, for He is unchanging and reliable. God is not annoyed or put out by our requests. Rather, He claims to be the most perfect, loving Father who wants to meet your needs. But, how will He ever take care of you if you do not stop attempting to take care of yourself?
- Hebrews 4:16: “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
When Jesus died on the cross He did so knowing people just like you and I would enter into eternal life as a result of his sacrifice. Jesus knew we were sinners and incapable of living as purely righteous individuals. However, He still considered our lives as significant and willingly hung upon that cross. Jesus died for ALL of our sins, no matter how tiny or huge society labels them. Thus, you can pray to God, and speak directly to Jesus Christ without fear. Jesus already knows every sin you have ever committed, and, yet, He begs you to come to Him and make your requests known. Jesus clearly prefers intimacy over rejection.
- James 5:16: “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
If you really want to be powerful and positively impact this broken world in which you reside, you must be a prayer warrior. God is all-powerful, and He willingly chooses to allow us to tap into that power for His eternal purposes.
Now, Just Do It
Practice spending some time in prayer over the next few weeks. Find a quiet place and enjoy being alone with God. Spend some time praising Him for who He is — the Holy, perfect Creator of this world, the One who provides life, salvation, and purpose. Then, thank God for the many ways He has already blessed you. Too often we take God’s gifts for granted, thinking we deserve them.
Next, confess your sins to God. He wants to forgive you and make you clean, but will not until you are man enough to admit you are not perfect.
Finally, share the burdens of your heart with the Father. He loves you dearly and wants to share your deepest emotions with you. For many individuals, it is quite intimidating to be this open with anyone, especially with God. However, when we are weak, He is strong. Thus, when He is strong IN us, we have the Power that created the universe working with our seemingly insignificant, finite selves to impact this world in an unbelievable way!
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 the church people I grew up around 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.