Summary: How do we get out of a dire situation? Like Jabez, we get out of it the old, and most effective way. We cry out to the Lord.
May 25, 2002
A. Review of the previous sermon—The Jabez Factor
1. His circumstances
2. His name
3. His prayer life
4. His prayer requests
5. His answered prayer
B. Jabez’s solution to his circumstances—Prayer
A. Other options to resolve his circumstances—Satan’s solution
1. Material lack—covetousness
2. Cultural and social differences—segregation, racial discrimination, caste system, prejudice, isolation.
3. Physical challenges—trust on our own wisdom
4. Peace of mind—alcoholism, drugs, smoking, and other abuse
5. Social fellowship—nightclubs, etc.
6. Physical healing—food prohibited for us
7. Spiritual uplifting—we make our own idols that we can dictate and mold according to our choosing and needs.
8. Spiritual rest—we make our own sabbaths
B. The Right Thing To Do—Prayer
1. Other words used for prayer
a. Called on to the Lord—KJV
b. Cried out to the Lord—NIV
2. What do we have?
a. Circumstances is so bad
b. Our burdens heavy
c. Our heartaches bitter
d. Our dispositions negative
e. Our future blurry
f. Our surroundings bleak
g. We could not explain it, nor understand it
h. We are like being struck in a moving sand. The more we move, the more we sink.
i. The only thing that we can do is cry out
3. The right thing to do—cry out to the Lord
a. Don’t let the Devil offer you other solutions
b. Don’t wait for your last breath to cry out to the Lord
c. Don’t wait until you are on wheel chair to cry out to the Lord
d. Don’t wait until you think you have found solutions to your problems
e. Don’t wait until the sun shines its last ray
f. Cry out to the Lord
4. What makes prayer exciting?
a. Illustration—Pentecostal services
i. Dramatic healing
ii. Incredible answers to prayer
iii. Tremendous outpouring of emotions
iv. Conducive musical pieces
v. Energetic speakers
b. The nature of prayer itself
i. Answers to our prayers is an added bonus
ii. Illustration—Young people falling in love.
--On their first date, they may not remember what they ate
--They may not remember what they were wearing
--They may not remember all the places that they went to
--All that matter is that they are together.
iii. The priority in prayer is not so much whether God will agree to what I am asking, but just talking to Him.
iv. What is exciting about prayer is that we as human beings have been given the grant privilege of talking to the King of the universe.
v. True prayer transports us to the very presence, the throne room, of God.
--Illustration—Dwight Moody Visited one parishioner
--At a young age, this person had an accident that left him crippled
--Most of the time he just stayed in his bed.
--On his fortieth birthday, Moody visited him.
--Moody asked, “Are you not discouraged because of what you go through everyday?”
--The man said, “No! Why? Because everyday I pray. When I pray, I could only see the beauty of God. I could feel only the comfort of His presence. My pain, my handicap, they vanish away.”
C. Jabez’s Requests
1. Five fold
a. Bless me
b. Enlarge my territory
c. Let your presence be upon me
d. Let you wings protect me
e. Let me be a blessing to others
2. Bless me
a. To be blessed is a universal desire of each person.
i. Marriage blessing
ii. Home blessing
iii. Baby dedication
iv. Car blessing
v. Graduation blessing
b. We go to extremes to receive blessings
i. Jacob sought the blessing of his father by deception
ii. Jacob sought the blessing of an angel by wrestling with him.
iii. Rachel stole the idol of his father Laban thinking that it will protect them, and generally bless them.
iv. Hatred between Sarah and Hagar broke out because each one wanted a blessing for their respective son.
v. Today, millions of devout Hindus go to the Ganges River to receive a blessing.
vi. Muslims from all over the world would sacrifice everything to do a pilgrimage to Mecca in hope of receiving a blessing.
c. “Bless me,” is a universal desire and cry of a destitute world.
d. This blessing does not come from the same person who belongs to the same category as me. It comes from somebody higher than me.
e. Psalm 127:1 say, “Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.”
f. Whatever we do, whatever we have, whatever we plan, whatever we have accomplished, unless God had blessed, everything is in vain.
3. Enlarge my territory
a. Could be interpreted as a selfish prayer
b. But this one must be viewed in the proper context of stewardship
c. Jabez is mentioned as more honorable than his brothers