Monday, December 12, 2011

The Prayer of Jabez

I have a wonderful wood carved Scripture of the Prayer of Jabez on my desk staring at me. I used it for my devotions this morning and decided this is the prayer of my heart for this year of ministry transitions.

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 (evil) so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request. – 1 Chronicles 4:10 NIV

What am I asking and believing God to do this year?

Oh that you would…
1. Bless me indeed (abundant provisions)
2. Enlarge my territory (new ministry opp, books published)
3. Let your hand be with me (anointing and His presence)
4. Keep me from evil (evil thoughts and temptations)
5. so that I may be free from pain (health & strength)

This is what I am asking and believing God for.

Here are my supporting verses and promises of God for each.

1. Provision – Phil. 4:19, Ps 37:25, 1 Kings 17:4, 14-16
2. Enlarge – Joshua 1:8, Is 54:2-3, Ps 37:3-7,
3. Anointing – Rev 1:19, Ex 33:15, Luke 1:35
4. Evil – Matt 6:13, Ps 19:14, Ps 19:13, Ps 91:1-7
5. Health – Deut 31:6-8, Deut 33:25, Josh 1:5, Is 53:5, Lk 5:17

My task is to BELIEVE the Lord and His promises. Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. I will memorize these promises and claim them daily.

Bless with Provision

Matthew 6:31-34
31 So do not worry, saying, `What shall we eat?' or `What shall we drink?' or `What shall we wear?' 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Phil. 4:19
And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Ps 37:25-26
25 I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. 26 They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed.

1 Kings 17:4-5
4 You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there." 5 So he did what the LORD had told him.

1 Kings 17:14-16
14 For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: `The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD gives rain on the land.'" 15 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. 16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah.

Enlarge my Territory

Joshua 1:7-8
7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.

Is 54:2-3,
2 "Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. 3 For you will spread out to the right and to the left;

Ps 37:3-7
3 Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. 4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: 6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. 7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;

Anointing my life

Rev 1:17
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One;

Ex 33:14-17
14 The LORD replied, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest." 15 Then Moses said to him, "If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?" 17 And the LORD said to Moses, "I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name."

Luke 1:35
The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

Deliverance From Evil

Matt 6:13
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil (one).

Ps 19:12-14
12 Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. 13 Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression. 14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Ps 91:1-7
1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."

3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.

Health & Strength

Deut 31:6-8
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."

Deut 33:25
The bolts of your gates will be iron and bronze, and your strength will equal your days.

Josh 1:5
No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.

Is 53:5-6
4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
I Pet 2:24-25
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Luke 5:17
One day as he was teaching… And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick.

1 Chronicles 4:10 NKJV

And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying,

Oh that you would bless me indeed,
and enlarge my territory,
and that your hand would be with me,

and that you would keep me from evil,

that it may not (cause grief) pain in me!

And God granted him that which he requested.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

One Thing

It is hard to get confused when you are focused on just one thing. Confusion almost always comes when we are double-minded, that is, thinking of more than one thing as being important. Confusion only ensues when more than one thing competes to be the top priority.
The Bible has a lot to say about one thing that can be helpful and even inspirational. Do a word search of the New Testament on "one thing" and see what you get. Now go through each of those eliminating ones that are not relevant to our search and voila you have a wonderful topic to study and think about.

I have found several significant references to ONE THING.

First Jesus answers the Pharisees with ONE question. "I will ask you ONE THING, which if you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I do these things." -- He boiled down the issues to really only ONE THING, one issue - their unwillingness to believe no matter what.

Second, is Jesus' answer to the rich young ruler whom Jesus loved but who had all the credentials for earning salvation, if it could be earned. Jesus said, ONE THING you lack. Go and sell all that you have and give to the poor and your will have true treasure in heaven." -- He wasn't willing to do it because ONE THING was more important to him that God - his stuff, his wealth, his earthly treasures.

Third, Jesus is at Lazarus's house for dinner. Martha is frazzled with her to-do list in getting everything perfect for Jesus while Mary sat at Jesus' feet loving and learning from him. Mary blew a fuse and had a hissy fit but Jesus responded piteously to Martha (Luke 10:41), "Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about MANY THINGS, but only ONE THING is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." --

Fourth, the man born blind in John 9 responds to his detractors who wanted to nullify or contradict his healing. He responded, "This ONE THING I know, once I was blind but now I see." -- Great answer!

Fifth, we hear the Apostle Paul setting eternal priorities in this life in Philippians 3:13-14. "Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But ONE THING I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." -- Way to go Paul! Way to set the standard for all of us.

Sixth, we hear Peter reminding believers of the importance of keeping our hearts expectantly waiting the coming of the Lord in 2 Peter 3:8-9 "But do not forget this ONE THING, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." -- HEY GUYS, KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE!"

Finally, we turn back to the Old Testament and listen to David in Psalm 27:4, "ONE THING have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD and inquire in his temple."

All of these Scriptures speak to us about PRIORITIES.

What ONE THING is Jesus speaking to you about today?