Summary: Have you ever considered why some receive a blessing while others nearby don’t. This sermon speaks concerning the pre-requisites for receiving God’s blessings.
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Pastor James May
PROCURING THE BLESSINGS OF GOD
There isn’t a day that passes when someone will come to me and say, “Please pray for me that God will bless me.” The needs are varied with each one who asks. Some may need deliverance from sickness or disease, for either their own bodies or someone in their family. Others need financial blessings because of sudden expenses that are hard to plan for. Others need help with depression or a failing relationship. Many of them seek prayer for blessings that are spiritual in nature such as a greater faith, to know God’s Will for their lives, or for better understanding of the Word of God.
All of these requests are valid and these are the kinds of requests that Jesus expects us to seek answers for. God has promised us that he would meet our every need. He hears our every prayer, knows our concerns, feels our desperation and pain, and because of his loving mercy and grace, God’s greatest desire is for every one of those needs to be met. He will never forsake us. He will never allow us to go for very long without extending his tender hand of mercy to us.
The riches of his grace, the wealth of Heaven, and all of the power of creation are God’s and, because we are his children, they are ours also through our adoption into the family of God when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
Most of us would love to have the prayer of Jabez answered in our own lives. It is not my intention this morning to minister or teach concerning the prayer of Jabez. I think that messages on that prayer have been given in every pulpit in America since the book entitled, “The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life”, was written by BruceWilkinson. I simply want to read from the Bible what Jabez’ prayer was.
1 Chronicles 4:10, "And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested."
That simple prayer brought an answer from the Lord. It has also spawned countless articles, a number of sequels and multitudes of sermons. A vast number of those sermons have had to do with personal growth or self-improvement. When Jabez prayed that prayer and God answered him, there is no doubt that all of this was included in God’s blessing that was poured out upon Jabez. How many of us would like to hear God say yes to our prayer?
I believe that the key to Jabez receiving his answer from the Lord can be found in the verse before this one. Look with me at 1 Chronicles 4:9, "And Jabez was more honorable than his brethren…"
There is always a reason that God answers prayer quicker for some than he does for others. God’s answers are triggered by obedience to his Word. Jabez received his answer because he was more “honorable” than his brethren. In other words, he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord as much as was within him to do. He wasn’t perfect but he was striving to be perfect. He wasn’t without sin, but he was willing to obey God, to worship God, to serve God, and to be above reproach in his dealings with other men. It’s a testimony to Jabez’ character that God saw fit to comment through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, that Jabez was the most honorable of all of the Children of Israel.
When we finally get to the place where we are “honorable” to the Lord and to men; when we have finally given ourselves totally to be “up front” with God; when we cease to live in an attitude of disobedience; when we cease to pray for what we want and begin to pray for the will of God is; and when we start to give to God the honor that is due to him – that’s when we will begin to see God granting the blessings that we desire.