Encourage0gram March 6, 2017
Dear fellow followers of our Lord Jesus Christ,
This Sunday we touched on the prayer of Jabez in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10
NIV 1 Chronicles 4:9-10
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.
The name Jabez sounds like the Hebrew word for pain or sorrow. We do not know his particular pain, sorrow or disability but we do know that he honored God. It is striking that his prayer and his story is placed in the middle of a long list of names. He stood out in his generation. We also want to make a difference and leave a godly legacy.
Nearly twenty years ago I preached on this prayer of Jabez. A very solid, sincere follower of our Lord wrote a note to thank me. She said she had never heard a sermon on this prayer but had recited it in her private prayers. Here is a poem she composed on the prayer.
“Jabez and Jesus”
By Mary O’Brien, December, 2000
There was a man who lived so long ago,
His very name did indicate his woe.
This son of sorrow – caused his mother pain,
She bore him saying, ‘Jabez is his name.’
The Scriptures tell the honor to, he had,
Unlike so many other who are sad.
He called on Israel’s God in great lament,
“Oh bless indeed and please enlarge my tent.’
‘And let your mighty hand be with me Lord,
To keep from sin and evil, please dear Lord.’
A deep and earnest prayer to God he pled,
‘God granted his request, ‘ the Scriptures said.
And then, Another lived so long ago,
He was a Man of sorrow and of woe.
His mother too, would feel much grief and pain,
She bore Him saying, ‘Jesus is His name.’
The Scriptures tell of what He said and did,
A record of the blessed life he lived.
How wicked hands upon a cross did place,
This Holy One . . . for all the human race.
‘Don’t charge them Father, ‘ thus he pled in prayer,
‘Forgive them please’ -- the sound heard in the air.
‘Into your hands I give myself, ‘ He cried,
Then bowed his head, gave up the Ghost, and died.
But this was not the end of Jesus’ life,
He rose again to vanquish sin and strife.
Most Honorable! He reigns in heaven above,
He conquered grief and pain, with grace and love.
If sin and sorrow seem to be your ‘name’
And heart and mind are filled with grief and shame,
Like Jabez call on God . . . He’s always there.
‘Oh save me please, Lord Jesus; hear my prayer.’
He’ll save your soul from sin, this Savior dear,
He’ll keep you in His hand from year to year,
Enlarge, and bless with power when you call
Upon the Son of Man and Lord of all.
As the Lord is enlarging our outreach at FCC, rejoice that we have many new members joining our church family. We also had five new families visit just this past Sunday. Please continue to pray with us for a contract for the sale of a five-acre parcel of our land. God is in control and He is honored by each step of faith that we take together!
I am eager to worship with you all again this Sunday! As we continue our journey with Peter and Jesus, be encouraged that God is working in us just as he did in the Apostle Peter.
As Paul reminds us this training process will continue until Jesus returns!
NIV Philippians 1:3-6 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Your fellow-servant of our Lord Jesus Christ,