Sermons

Summary: Discussion of the second petition of Jabez’s prayer.

Note: some of the illustrations in this series are not acknowledged - this is due to loss of my notes, and not out of a desire to deny the sources. Thank you!

The Prayer of Jabez #3 –

“…Enlarge My Territory!”

1 Chronicles 4:9-10

(January 13, 2002)

Introduction

Today is our third session looking at the prayer of Jabez. We began two weeks ago by taking an overview of the person and prayer.

We mentioned that Jabez had to overcome his name and his circumstances, becoming a man of noble character.

Last week we looked at the first part of Jabez’s prayer, “Oh that You would bless me.”

I mentioned that to ask for blessing is to ask for nothing more and nothing less than all God has for us. And that the attitude needs to be that our blessings aren’t for us to hoard, they are meant to be used to benefit the body of Christ.

Today we are moving on to the second part of his prayer.

By the way, if you have missed one of the messages, you can obtain a copy of the tape. Just talk to Jim, and he get you one right away. The cost is $2.00, which is basically the cost of the tape plus a little extra to help with upkeep of the machine, etc.

Before we move on, I would like us to look read together the prayer. It is printed in your bulletin.

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.

I am excited about this prayer, but I am especially excited about this part of the prayer.

I. Living large for God.

Listen to what Dr. Wilkinson says about this part of the prayer of Jabez:

“From both the context and the results of Jabez’s prayer, we can see that there was more to his request than a simple desire for more real estate. He wanted more influence, more responsibility, and more opportunity to make a mark for the God of Israel.”

The idea here is to have a greater impact. He may allow your business, holdings, exposure, or whatever, to grow, but with the idea of using that growing influence to actually influence people for Christ.

One thing I learned while I was in the business world that if you don’t think big, you will always be small.

My bosses in Brookings were masters at finding new opportunities for growth. They weren’t satisfied with selling office equipment, supplies, and furniture. So they began to look for other opportunities.

They now have the only port-a-potty business in Brookings, and believe me, that’s a lot, when you consider that every construction site is required by OSHA to have a toilet available for every so many workers.

They rent party tents, tables, and chairs. And they buy commercial property and develop it, renting the buildings to tenants willing to pay good money for a good facility.

My point here is that they never thought small. And they have reaped the rewards.

If you start a business and want it to grow, you need to run that business in a fashion that allows for pro-active action geared for growth. Reacting is too late in most cases.

And that is also the case for churches. That’s why we have added signs pointing to the bathrooms and nursery and such. That’s why we are having greeter training in a couple weeks. That’s why we will be putting together a real live nursery schedule, so we will always be prepared when young children come here. That’s why we are constantly looking at ways to make our church more attractive to visitors, and I don’t just mean the looks of the place.

Small churches like ours don’t need to do these kinds of things if they don’t plan to impact people outside of who they are already impacting.

Bigger churches like ours will be need to do these things. And we need to have things in place before they become an issue.

I’m gonna be bragging a bit on your leadership this morning. And the first thing I want to say is that they recognized some of the areas needing improvement before I did. And that is very encouraging.

They are acting proactively rather than reactively. You have good leadership and I hope you are thankful for them.

As individuals we need to think beyond the boundaries we have been living in. If we think that all we can do for God is limited by what we can see in the mirror, than we will be limited in our impact.

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