Friday, January 10, 2020

Jabez (Ordinary Heroes of the Bible Series)


Jabez is the last Bible character we are covering in our Ordinary Heroes of the Bible series at my church.  This series is intended to show us that we don't have to be famous, rich, or powerful for God to use us.  Throughout the Bible, God used ordinary people to accomplish His purposes.  Billy Graham was admired by thousands as is his son, Franklin.  There are many well grounded pastors and teachers who have done a lot of wonderful things.  God has used and will continue to use them, but He has a purpose for you and me too.  He wants to use you and me, ordinary people, to bring others to Him.

The following are my Bible study notes based on my pastor's sermon on Jabez.  You are invited to watch, listen, and worship with us here.


Our Scripture text for today is 1 Chronicles 4:9-10.
Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother named him Jabez saying, “Because I bore him with pain.” Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!” And God granted him what he requested. - 1 Chronicles 4:9-10

Those verses are famously known as "The Prayer of Jabez."
  

God doesn't answer prayers that we don't pray.  God wants us to ask for our heart's desires.

Jabez means "pain."  Even so, Jabez was more honorable than his brothers.  He was a man of bold faith.  He lived about the time of the Exodus.

What can we learn from Jabez?


1.  Are you allowing your pain to define you or refine you? 

We all experience pain.  Jesus experienced pain.  Sometimes, life is painful.  Do we let it define us?  It's how we respond that is important.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. - James 1:2-4

Pain is part of our human existence.  Allow your pain to shape you into the person God wants you to be.  Allow your pain to act as a warning signal calling you to prayer.  Don't define yourself as a victim.  Don't blame others.  Own your situation.

2.  Are you asking for man's blessing or God's blessing?
Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. - 1 John 2:15

Jabez asked for God's blessing.

Jabez asked for more responsibility.  

As humans, we tend to want more blessings but not more responsibility.  Often the two are synonymous.  Jabez asked for more of God and less of himself.

3.  If you could pray for your future reality, what would you pray for?

Would you pray for more responsibility?  Would you pray for more of God and less of yourself?  A bigger home?  Nicer car?  Healthy children?  More money?  More opportunities to spread the gospel to others?
But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith. - Philippians 3:7-9

Jesus is the one who gives us hope.  He is the only one who can fill the void in your life.  

Do you need a relationship with Jesus?  

 
Find all posts in the Ordinary Heroes of the Bible Series here.

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