Claiming Blessings

Most people come to Christ something like this. The recognise they are sinners in need of forgiveness and they learn that God provides forgiveness when we put our faith in Christ. So they pray and ask for the salvation that is available to them through Christ.

By that simple process they have claimed a blessing from God. God has already provided the blessing, through Christ’s death. So it already exists. But sinners don’t have it, despite its existence, because they have not asked for it. They have not ‘claimed’ it.

So it should not be hard for Christians to understand the process of Claiming Blessings.

First we discover that the blessing is available to us from God. We might read about it in the Bible or have it explained to us such as in a sermon or by a testimony from someone.

Then we simply ask for it, believing God will give it to us.

It’s not particularly complicated.

The Bible explains this process in various ways. Jesus told us to ‘ask and keep on asking’.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7,8

Greek students tell us that the tense used in these verses means to ask and keep on asking, seek and keep on seeking, knock and keep on knocking.

The idea of being persistent in prayer was also explained by Jesus, in a story about a widow who persisted in asking for justice.

“There was a judge who did not fear God or regard man. A widow came to him saying, Give me justice. At first he refused, but afterward said to himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; yet because this widow pesters me, I will avenge her, lest she wear me out with her persistence.” Luke 18:2-5

Another key is that of asking in faith. God’s gifts to us are grace, undeserved, and we receive God’s grace by having faith in God.

“By grace you have been saved through faith” Ephesians 2:8

So Jesus explained that we are to ask in faith.

“Whatever you ask for in prayer, believing, you will receive.” Matthew 21:22.

Believing is having faith. Being confident that God is listening and will answer.

So the process is to ask God for things in faith, believing God will answer.

The next question might be, “What are we allowed to ask for?”

Jesus gave us clues to this when He gave us the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), including “give us today’s needs – our daily bread”, “forgive our sins”, “lead us not into trouble but deliver us from evil”.

We could also look at prayers others prayed that God happily answered, such as the Prayer of Jabez. 

“Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, and cause your hand to be with me, and keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted his request.” 1Chronicles 4:10

Some Christians think it is wrong to pray for things we want, but we see in both the Lord’s Prayer and Jabez’s prayer that we are to ask for things for ourselves.

However, we also see that it is wrong to ask for things so we just satisfy our greed and lusts.

“You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, for things to indulge your selfish interests.” James 4:3

You can safely ask for anything God provided for you through the sacrifice of Jesus. That means forgiveness, peace, rescue, salvation, protection, health and blessing.

Jesus died for our sins and his physical wounds bring us healing.

Jesus “bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live to righteousness: by his whipping (stripes) you were healed.” 1Peter 2:24

When Jesus died God created a huge store of Grace for us. These are miraculous things we don’t deserve which come from the victory of Christ over sin, death and the devil.

The Apostle Paul, who had been taken to heaven, described a virtual storehouse of God’s grace that is so full it will take all of eternity to show us what God has achieved for us in Christ’s death and resurrection.

“God raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: So that in the ages to come he might display the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:6,7

The way I understand Paul’s statement is that in heaven we will have a constant revelation of the abundant things God provided for us through Christ. Those things are already in God’s storehouse.

Let me give you some background to what Paul is saying, firstly from the words of King David

“You show me the path of life; in your presence there is complete joy; at your right hand are eternal pleasures – pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11

Note that these pleasures, or delights, are at God’s right hand. Link that to what Paul says about Jesus.

“If you have been raised with Christ, seek things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” Colossians 3:1

This is just one of many verses describing Jesus as God’s right hand.

“looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 1:3

Stephen saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God, Acts 7:55,56. See also Romans 8:34; Ephesians 1:20; Hebrews 8:1; Hebrews 10:12; Hebrews 12:2; 1Peter 3:22; Matthew 22:44; Acts 2:33.

So there are eternal blessings for us at God’s right hand. Jesus achieved eternal blessings for us through His death and resurrection. Jesus is seated at God’s right hand. God has abundant grace for us achieved through Christ. God’s blessings for us are ‘in Christ’.

So I like the picture of God having a storehouse of grace at His right hand, grace of amazing and miraculous things achieved for us through Christ, which we access by having faith and asking God for those things.

“By grace (out of God’s storehouse of grace) you are saved (blessed with all of God’s blessings) through faith”.

What is included in that storehouse of grace? Apostle Peter gives us an insight.

“According as God’s divine power gave us all things relating to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to glory and virtue: By whom we are given exceedingly great and precious promises: by which you might partake of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2Peter 1:3,4

All things pertaining to life – means all the things you need in normal human existence, while all things pertaining to godliness – means all the things you need to be a Son of God for eternity.

That summarises a huge raft of things God has for you in His storehouse of grace, at His right hand, that is ‘in Christ’, achieved for you already. You can access those things by asking in faith. For you receive grace by faith (Ephesians 2:8).

Think again about claiming God’s blessings.

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