Monday, 18 June 2012

What's In a Name?

1 Chronicles 4:9-10 Jabez was more honourable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” 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.
When Jabez grew up, he had a choice: live with the negative effects of the name given by his mother, or decide to remake his life in God’s power. It seems easier to leave things the way they are, to blame others for our circumstances, and to believe that things will never change. However, as difficult as it is to change someone else, when we ask for God’s help to change ourselves, change happens!
Jabez was desperate enough to cry out to God, and God, knowing the desires of our heart, answers that type of prayer. God’s will is good, and he desires good things for us – and, promises never to leave us or forsake us. Do we really believe that? Are we ever asking with that same type of expectancy.
Here’s what we learn from Jabez:
1                     Have a Passion for God’s Blessing. Stop asking for more things, and ask for more of God. When his power starts to be more effective in us, people will notice, and he will be glorified.
2                     Pursue God’s Purpose. Ask God for more influence and impact in this world. It reminds me of that Sunday School song, This Little Light of Mine. “Hide it under a bushel? No! I’m gonna let it shine.” Expect that there will be opportunities to talk about Jesus. Ask God for more influence, and realize that you are able to inspire others for the Gospel.
3                     Plead for God’s Presence. Don’t be so unwise as to think you can go it alone. We can accomplish nothing of significance without the power of the Holy Spirit, but we can do all things through him who gives us strength.
4                     Petition for God’s Protection. God will protect us from evil, and when we face temptation, there is always a way out. Our bad choices are not God’s fault, but they are our own. Pastor Kenny Baldwin said, “Sin will take you further than you want to go. Sin will keep you longer than you want to stay. Sin will cost you more than you want to pay.”
5                     Believe God will Provide for Our Prayer. The reason we do not pray, is that we think we’re doing okay without God. The reason we do pray, is that we believe it matters and will make a difference in our lives. Jabez’ prayer was not long, but it was heart-felt and full of faith. He was desperate for a change and knew where to turn for help.
Somewhere along the way someone might have told you that you were a “nobody” and that you wouldn’t amount to much. With God you are a “somebody” and your life can count for almighty God. Consider saying your own prayer to God for a life-change in you this week.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice. I especially like the last paragraph.