Summary: A 4-point sermon explaining how and why we need to apply this short prayer to our lives, both as Christians and as the body of Christ.
Everybody wants to know what purpose they have. Does God really have a plan for each one of us? The Bible says God knew us even before we were born and that He has a unique and distinct plan for each one of us.
JEREMIAH 29:11 says,
‘I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you hope and a future.’
We want to find out what our unique plan is, but sometimes we try to find it without using the road map that God gave us. We get so caught up in daily activities that the only thing that suffers is our relation to God.
What if I were to tell you today how you can find out what your purpose is and also learn how to attain it – would you be interested? In a few minutes I will tell you what your purpose in life is, but until then I want you to think about it and await that answer with eager anticipation. And if you do what I talk about this morning, you will not only understand your purpose, your Godly vision will grow stronger and clearer, too. Speaking of vision, did you know that vision is a necessity for life? It is.
In PROVERBS 29:18 it tells us,
‘ … where there is no vision, the people perish.’
We have come together to start a new work for the Lord by planting CrossRoads Church. Each one of you have expressed excitement about doing so and we all believe that God is going to use this church, and use us, in new and exciting ways as we step out in faith for His glory.
Are you ready for the adventure of your life? Are you ready to leave the humdrum and step into the amazing? That is what happens when you discover your Godly purpose. And that is what I want to talk to you about this morning.
In the Old Testament, you will find the book of 1 CHRONICLES. The first nine chapters deal with genealogy. You know, the ‘who begot who’ list. Unless you are into genealogy, you would probably skim over this information, but I want to warn you to be very careful if you do. For right in the middle of this list in chapter four, are two small verses that have the power to shake your world!
In 1 CHRONICLES 4:9-10 reads,
‘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!” And God granted his request’
We are going to break this simple and short prayer down to find out just why it is so remarkable and how you can use it in your life to produce some extraordinary results.
Let’s begin by finding out who Jabez was. Today we name our children with names that are popular or after someone who has left an impression on us. In biblical times, however, a person’s name often described their character or some situation in their lives. Jabez meant ‘pain.’ How would you like for your mother to have named you ‘Pain’? Jabez grew up with a name anybody would love to hate. Pain.
All babies cause their mothers a certain amount of pain during childbirth, but it seems that Jabez may have caused his mother more than the ordinary. We don’t know if the pain was physical or emotional, but his mother decided to memorialize it by naming her son ‘Pain’. One would think that having to carry the name of a pain giver would have a very negative impact on his life, but you just can’t keep a good man down. God said Jabez was more honorable than his brothers.
Why was he considered more honorable than those around him? It was because of his prayer life. He not only had one, he was a true believer in answered prayer. But Jabez didn’t just say a prayer; the Bible says he cried out to God! When you cry out to somebody, you are being very bold about getting their attention, aren’t you?
1. JABEZ ASKED GOD TO BLESS HIM
There was once a king who noticed that a particular man in his kingdom that was always doing things for others, and everybody liked him. The king sent for him and said he was very impressed with the way he lived his life. For his reward, the man could take a full day and walk around any amount of land and the king would give it to him.