Sunday January 16, 2022
INTRODUCTION: In the Book of 1 Chronicles Israel has now returned to Jerusalem from 70 years of captivity. The whole city is in ruins and they are returning “with their tails tucked between their legs” you might say.
They had been promised by God that He would bless their socks off if they obeyed Him fully but they didn’t so they had been sent into captivity and experienced hardships and difficulties.
Now they’re returning to Jerusalem and Ezra decides to rewrite history in 1&2 Chronicles. Things you already read about in 1&2 Samuel and 1&2 Kings.
Ezra writes the Chronicles with a much more encouraging viewpoint.
The first nine chapters he’s reminding them of their rich heritage. It’s like having a family reunion and talking about history!
So the first nine chapters are genealogy with around 600 names. Over 3000 years of genealogy.
And stuck right in the middle there’s a break and Ezra comes to someone who is worth talking about! The Holy Spirit leads him to write these verses.
1Chronicles 4:9,10 – “Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying Because I bore him in pain. And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, Oh, that you would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain! So God granted him what he requested.”
Here’s a guy that had nothing going for him. He had been marked, labeled for pain. His destiny was pain.
His name literally meant “HE WILL CAUSE PAIN!”
We’ve all had defining moments in our lives that were painful that have “MARKED” us. They’ve put a label on us that has been painful!
Here’s the thing some of us have done trying to overcome it and it hasn’t worked. We’ve tried to solve it! We’ve tried to fix it! It doesn’t work!
We need to REPLACE IT! Some of you have labeled yourself. Every time you look in the mirror you see that label. PAIN!
JABEZ HAD THE AUDACITY TO PRAY SOMETHING DARING! HE WAS SAYING “I’M NOT PUTTING UP WITH THIS ANY LONGER, I’M NOT GOING TO BE LABELED THIS ALL MY LIFE!
Notice the end of his prayer. “…..that I will not cause pain.” God remove this label from me! By replacing it with Your blessing!
I’m going to cry out to God so I can be free from WHAT HAS MARKED ME!
FOUR THINGS JABEZ PRAYED
(“Oh that you would bless me indeed.” )
1. Pray for God’s Blessing in my Life
Jabez said “God, bless me and bless my socks off. Bless me indeed.”
God longs to bless people who desire a life that prospers with the fullness of God!
God is good and He is a Father who likes it when his kids are blessed.
God needs His kids to have the resources to make a difference on the planet.
a. Blessed to be a blessing! (Genesis 12:2)
b. With blessing comes responsibility. (Luke 12:48- “……When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.”
c. When we bless others God will take care of us. (Luke 18:29,30- “…and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the Kingdom of God, will be repaid many times over in
this life and will have eternal life in the world to come.” )
Pray for God’s blessing on your life! God bless me and bless me a lot!
(“Enlarge my territory)
2. Pray for God to Expand your Influence
God is ready to fulfill people with a vision for a life that extends beyond the status quo!
God now that you’ve blessed me, now help me to use that blessing to reach others. God enlarge my territory.
Psalm 2:8- “Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the whole earth as you possession.”
God increase our influence in this city and all over the world!
Heavenly Father give us a global footprint.
Isaiah 54:1-4- “Sing, O childless woman, you who have never given birth!
Break into loud and joyful song, O Jerusalem, you who have never been in labor.
For the desolate woman now has more children than the woman who lives with her husband,” says the Lord. Enlarge your house; build an addition. Spread out your home, and spare no expense! For you will soon be bursting at the seams.
Your descendants will occupy other nations and resettle the ruined cities. “Fear not; you will no longer live in shame. Don’t be afraid; there is no more disgrace for you.
You will no longer remember the shame of your youth and the sorrows of widowhood.”
God says “you’re going to forget the shame and reproach of your youth because I’m going to replace it with blessing! So much so you’re going to have to expand to the right and the left.”
(“That your hand will be upon me”)
3. Pray for God’s Presence and Power
God is ready to empower all who invite His works!
God I can’t do this without Your presence and power!
Exodus 33:14-17- “The Lord replied, “I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest—everything will be fine for you.” Then Moses said, “If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place. How will anyone know that you look favorably on me—on me and on your people—if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.” The Lord replied to Moses, “I will indeed do what you have asked, for I look favorably on you, and I know you by name.”
Psalm 48:10- “As your name deserves O God, you will be praised to the end of the earth. Your strong right hand is filled with victory.”
God I can’t do this, I won’t do this, without You! God I need Your Holy Spirit.
Acts 11:21- “And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.”
And if you pray that way then you’ll definitely need to pray this last thing.
(“Keep me from evil that I will not cause pain”)
4. Pray for Supernatural Protection
Ephesians 6:10-11- “A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.”
Matthew 6:13 – “And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.”
God will grant deliverance from physical and spiritual destruction to all who call on him!
Don’t allow us to be led into temptation!
God we pray for supernatural protection!
CONCLUSION: A very simple prayer by a guy whose life was marked with pain!
But after the prayer “God granted him what he requested!” WHAT HE ASKED!
Now his life was marked by God’s blessing! So much so it found it way into the middle of a genealogy that spanned almost 600 names in around 3000 years.
Psalm 67:1-2- “May God be merciful and bless us. May his face smile with favor on us.May your ways be known throughout the earth, Your saving power among people everywhere.”
Psalm 67:1,2 (MSG)- “God, mark us with grace and blessing! Smile! The whole country will see how you work, and the godless nations see how you save.”
WHAT IS THE HOLY SPIRIT SAYING TO YOU THROUGH THIS MESSAGE?
I want you to pray this over your life and family every day. I want you to pray this over our church every day!