by Dr. Charles Stanley
Saturday October 9, 2004
How to Claim a Promise From God
2 Corinthians 1:20
The Bible contains thousands of promises, which are declarations of God's intention to graciously bestow blessing. They fall into several categories - understanding the difference will help us know how to claim the blessings our Father has in store for us.
Some biblical promises are general, but others are limited. This means certain pledges involved a specific person, time, or purpose, but do not apply to us. For instance, Genesis 18:13 assured Sarah a son. We cannot simply claim that promise and assume God will do likewise for us. God certainly can use such a passage to impress upon your spirit His desire to bless you in that way. But we must guard against grabbing promises here and there, expecting the Lord to fulfill them no matter what.
The Scriptures contain many unconditional promises - assurances whose fulfillment requires nothing on our part. For example, God has said He will bear our burdens daily (Psalm 55), He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5), and He will come again. (John 14:3) We also find many conditional promises, which are guarantees with a stipulation. Proverbs 3:5-6 and 1 John 1:9 present this type of "if...then" vow.
God delights in meeting His children's needs and desires; as a consequence, His promises are for their benefit. But He has also made one promise to unbelievers: the moment a lost person requests forgiveness of sins and receives Jesus as personal Savior, that individual will be saved. (John 3:16) Have you acted upon that first promise? If not, don’t wait - once you do, there are many more waiting for you to claim.
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