Scripture for Week of March 9-15

1 Chronicles 4:9-10 (NIV)

9 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” 10 Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.

 

8 replies
  1. Mark Matson
    Mark Matson says:

    The Power of a Profound Prayer
    Simple but Strategic
    Passionate and Purposeful
    Ask, Seek, and Knock
    Thank you Jabez for teaching us how to pray

  2. Tom Price
    Tom Price says:

    I am awed that God has answered this prayer through Christ by putting His Spirit in us. He has blessed us with His life. Our “territory” is now eternity! His hand is always with us keeping us from destruction. His joy and peace far outweigh any pain! (2 Cor. 4:6-18)

  3. Joey Rodgers
    Joey Rodgers says:

    A pregnant pause. There is always something to note in a pregnant pause. In 1 Chronicles 4:8-9, we find such a pause. In the midst of sharing the roll call of the family tree of Israel, God pauses to point out a person of significance. This is no small thing. After all, this isn’t God’s typical modus operandi – He is making an important point – a point we’d do well to consider.

    In Jabez we discover a man whose life journey began in pain. Pain was the banner written over his life from birth; but pain was not to be his destiny. For instead of accepting his plight in life, he determined to discover God’s plan. He didn’t settle for the ordinary when he could experience the power and blessing of an extraordinary God.

    As a result of his faith in God, Jabez surrendered his life and sought the heart and will of God for his life. He wanted God’s best instead of the least and leftovers. He was not willing to live contently with what he could achieve in his own ingenuity and ability – he wanted more. He wanted the God- more! So he did the only thing he could do to experience God’s best. He abandoned himself completely to the glory and will of God. We discover this in his short, yet amazing prayer. And as a result, he has been distinctly remembered in the pages of Scripture not for what he did but for what he prayed – and for how God responded to his earnest prayer. I wonder… would your prayer life be the distinction of your life or the extinction of your life? Is your life defined by your pursuit of God or your pursuits of gods?

    The prayer Jabez lifted to the Father was simple: (1) Will You BLESS me so that my life will count for eternity; (2) Will You ENLARGE me so that I can live outside my comfort zone for a greater reach for Your glory; (3) Will You WALK with me so that I might experience Your guidance, Your power, and Your provision; and (4) Will You PROTECT me so that my life can accomplish everything according to Your will.

    And God did! Thank God for those life lessons that occur in the midst of a pregnant pause. IT Matters!

  4. Marc McDermott
    Marc McDermott says:

    I have often wondered what it was about this prayer of Jabez that many people have found to be such a breakthrough to a blessed life. At first glance the prayer seemed to me to be somewhat self-centered , seeking not only to gain worldly prosperity and fortune but avoid any and all trouble, pain and suffering in the process of gaining it. That paradigm immediately went against nearly all the New Testament teachings from Christ and the Apostles I could recall. Weren’t we supposed to deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow Christ, and not seek the things of this world, since His Kingdom is not of it? Did not even Solomon, the wisest king/man possibly there ever was, confess that to seek worldly gain is nothing but vanity? Wouldn’t this prayer go along with the “name it and claim it” crowd?

    However upon looking closer and studying the prayer itself and applying scriptures regarding it, I found some positive and meaningful truths in it that would make it applicable to each of our lives.
    First, the prayer is a prayer of faith. All the hopes of Jabez rested upon his faith in God. The passage says that he was an honorable man, more than others. This must mean that not only was he one who was held in honor by other men, which shows his integrity, but that he honored God more than others. His confidence was in God alone. And faith is what honors God. And God in turn honors faith. Without faith, it is impossible to please Him. How many times did Jesus ask His disciples “where is your faith?”

    Second, the prayer was a plea for help. From pain and suffering of whatever kind it was that he had. While Christ made it perfectly clear that pain & suffering is part of every disciple’s lot in life (John 15:20-21; Phil. 1:29, Heb. 11:35-38)), God is pleased when we call on Him for help in times of trouble. He is a very present help. He is a master at fixing broken things. He encourages us to call on His Name. We see this all through the Bible. He is our great Provider and Helper. I also found that when Jabez asked for no pain or suffering, what he possible meant was no “evil”. This would coincide with what Jesus taught us to pray…”and deliver us from evil (from the evil one)”.

    Thirdly, Christ told us to “ask anything in His Name”…to ”ask that our joy may be full” (John 16;24). James tells us not only that “we have not because we ask not or ask amiss”, but that “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” And that we must not doubt when we ask. If we stagger at the promise, our faith is deficient (Rom. 4:20). “All things whatsoever you ask in prayer believing, ye shall receive” (Matt: 21:22). We all tend to believe God’s promises in general, but when it comes to particulars about our own private petitions regarding the hope of some good or avoidance of bad things coming our way, we stagger at that promise, thinking either we don’t deserve it or we are somehow asking amiss. And the answer doesn’t come. Apparently Jabez believed 100% in that prayer of faith, because God answered his prayer. That is an example we all should follow.

    I am looking forward to hearing our pastor’s complete message on this text

  5. Cindi Smith
    Cindi Smith says:

    Oh, that we could all believe with certainty the truth Jabez knew – that, because of the power of God, our beginning does not have to dictate our finishing, our past does not have to have the final word on our future, and most of all, our heredity does not have to determine our destiny,
    In Christ, our own prayers to be freed from the pain of our past and our “selves” have been answered once and for all. In unwavering faith and freedom, Jabez walked into the blessing of his God-given, God-designed future, and those of us who walk in Christ today are gloriously free to do the same.

  6. Doug Barclay
    Doug Barclay says:

    Jabez is described as “more honorable” than his brothers. We don’t know how honorable his brothers were, but Jabez was held in higher esteem by God. To be described as honorable would seem to give us a good indication of his character. We don’t know much of what Jabez did, but he likely was faithful with the small things which led to being faithful with larger things. If we are faithful with the small, seemingly insignificant and mundane aspects of life, God will be pleased. As quoted by Hudson Taylor, “A small thing is a small thing, but faithfulness with a small thing is a big thing.”

    On the surface, Jabez’s prayer seems to be for selfish gain. How many of my/our prayers fall into this category? But as we look deeper, he is really asking to be more impactful through increased responsibility. Who doesn’t want to be blessed by God? The problem comes when we want God’s blessings more than we want Him. In this prayer, Jabez pours out his heart and boldly asks God for blessing, responsibility (and favor to carry out that responsibility) and protection. And this comes following a life of being named for ‘pain’. What a burden to have to bear. Back in Jabez’s time, your name gave you a sense of identity. Jabez certainly had a strong relationship with God to know his true identity and to boldly ask for what was on his heart. He was granted that request because it fell in line with what was on God’s heart. Jabez was a man who was comfortable in his own skin. May we find that same comfort (boldness, desire, strength…) to approach God with our requests. Often we have not because we ask not.

  7. David Bearden
    David Bearden says:

    I’m truly enamored by God’s masterful weaving of His Holy Book. How such short bursts of words strung together echo through our history and experience to have such a profound and meaningful impact on us. Praise God for The revelation of His Truth amidst such a dark world.

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