Summary: This is a sermon I delivered during the 2nd year Anniversary of our Church in Ajman City. This is one of the seven churches we planted in the Emirates as a result of our Vision 2013, the vision of planting churches in the key cities of UAE.
The Lord Will Bless and Enlarge Our Territory
A man had a problem finding a parking space. He finally parked in a no parking zone and left a note on his windshield that read: "I’ve circled the block for 20 minutes. I’m late for an appointment and if I don’t park here I’ll lose my job. Forgive us our trespasses." When he returned later that evening he found a parking ticket on his windshield and a note that read: "I’ve circled the block for 20 years and if I don’t give you a ticket, I’ll lose my job. Lead us not into temptation."
There is a possibility for Jabez to be tempted to complain because of the meaning of his name.
Jabez means pain. Why in all the world, his mother called him pain?
For some reason, his mother had a horrible pregnancy, or for some reason, either his father abandoned his mom after his birth or for some reason, maybe Jabez had a physical abnormality, or people called him pain just for fun.
Illustration: My brother Herald had given a name by other children in our hometown. ( Ilyong) That name was given to make fun of my brother and he hated that name up to the extent of even boxing them who called him by that name.
The meaning of the name affects individual.
Illustration: There was a graduating BSE student who spent much to change her family name. From Bakucang to Bakukan. Imagine when she became a teacher and greeted by her students. “ Good morning Miss Bakukang. ( Bakukang is a pussy swelling on the leg that would produce a scar when healed).
Another illustration: Bagonggahasa into Basa.
I heard from the TV commentator that there was a family with the family name, Bagonggahasa which was changed into Basa. (The meaning of Bagonggahasa is newly raped).
I searched in the internet about what the commentator had said and I saw a name Virginia Bagonggahasa. There was one comment in the internet which said, “Funny talaga , pero kawawa.” (It looks funny but I pity her).Virginia Bagonggahasa. It sounds funny because her name means a newly raped virgin.
Jabez means pain.
Jabez didn’t change his name. But he changed the meaning of his name from pain to Prayer. What do you remember when the name Jabez is mentioned? We can remember the “prayer of Jabez.” The reason for me I believe why he was more honorable than his brothers is, he honors God in living a prayerful life and God honored him in return.
The most remarkable person in this chapter is Jabez. We are not told upon what account Jabez was more honorable than his brethren; but we find that he was a praying man. The way to be truly great, is to seek to do God's will, and to pray earnestly.
Jabez is remembered for a prayer request rather than heroic act. In his prayer, he asked God to:
Help him in his work ( “ enlarge my territory)
Be with him in all he did and
Keep him from evil and harm.
Jabez acknowledged God as the true center of his life. When we ask of God’s blessing we should also pray that He will take a rightful position as Lord over our work, our family time, and our recreation. Obeying Him in daily responsibilities is heroic living.
The Lord will bless and enlarge our territory is a declarative statement.
Originally it was a prayer.
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.
Our theme is a declarative statement because we believe that the Lord will bless and enlarge our territory because we prayed for our FICC Vision 2013.
Don’t declare that the Lord will bless and expand our territory if you are not praying for our vision 2013 of planting churches to the 7 Emirates of UAE. In reality this prayer of Jabez is partially true to Filipino International Christian Church because we are now at the verge of accomplishing our border expansion business. We have already planted 7 churches in 6 Emirates and we have only one Emirate left to accomplish our goal, and that is the city of Fujeirah. By the help of God we are looking forward for the fulfillment of our vision 2013.
I urge you to prepare for growth and if there is one thing for you to remember above all else in this work, it would be your prayers.
We need Prayer- We tend to be sidetracked in our thinking to the point that we see the work as primary and prayer as secondary. Prayer is very important in our extending border business. Do what Jabez did 1 Chro. 4:10. He prayed and God granted his request.