The Prayer Of Jabez – A Hidden Treasure

“And Jabez was more honorable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bore him with sorrow.” (1 Chronicles 4:9)

The name “Jabez” means “sorrow”. In the Jewish culture, the mother would name the child at birth and in this case, something very sorrowful had happened to cause her to name him this way. Growing up with a name that suggested the grievous circumstances of his birth; Jabez could have turned against the Lord. This is the case with many today that feel unloved and have encountered adverse and hurtful circumstances in their lives. But this was not the case with Jabez, for the verse says, “Jabez was more honorable than his brethren”. What made the Lord address him this way? Why did the Lord consider him more honorable than his kin? The next verse gives us the reason.

“And Jabez called on the God of Israel…”

His adverse circumstances did not discourage him from seeking the Lord. Our trials in this life will either harden our hearts against the Lord, or we will seek Him all the more and cling to Him as He sees us through our difficulties. Jabez chose the later and prayed to the Lord for deliverance from the difficulties that welcomed him into this life. To call upon the Lord means to trust Him completely, to place our circumstances in the hands of the Lord, and trust Him for the answer. We can turn to Him in our difficulties and trust that He will answer. The first thing Jabez asked of the Lord was for the Lord to bless him as the following verse states.

“..Oh that You would bless me indeed.”

The Lord seeks to bless us as we come to Him in faith believing that He loves us and wants to bless us. Jabez, in spite of his terrible circumstances, believed this and sought the Lord for a blessing. True blessing comes only from the Lord and brings us not only material things to enrich our lives but also spiritual blessings that will give us peace and joy. Unlike the world, where what seems like a blessing at the time can turn out to be anything but; when the Lord blesses us it will be lasting and will bring us continued joy. Jabez goes on to ask:

“And enlarge my coasts…”

The word “coast” actually means “border”. Jabez is asking the Lord to get him out of the difficulties he was born into. Many are born into terrible circumstances or come into them in their lifetime. It is the few who seek the Lord for deliverance from these and trust that He will answer. Jabez knew that the Lord was the One he needed to go to for help. We can seek the Lord no matter what our circumstances are knowing that help awaits us there and only there. Jabez goes on with his request;

“That your hand might be with me..”

Jabez knew that he would encounter difficulties in his life and there would be those that might opose him for who he was and for his stand for the Lord. Here, he is seeking the Lord’s hand of strength in his life. If we place our faith in the Lord and trust Him to bring us through; the Lord will honor this. As the word says, He is no respecter of persons. Whosoever seeks the Lord will find Him and partake of His goodness. Jabez ends his prayer with the following:

“That You would keep me from evil, that it would not grieve me.”

Jabez knew that the blessings he sought were dependant on him being kept from evil. As we seek the Lord, He will keep us from the evil that seeks to destroy our lives. We place our faith in the Lord and His great work at the cross and we are kept by His power from evil. Jabez realized that he could not do this in his own strength. By faith, he knew the Lord would answer his prayer and he also knew that blessings in his life could result in him being lifted up in pride and could cause him to sin against the Lord. So he asked the Lord to bless him and to keep him. This is our answer as well. The Lord will bless us and keep us as we believe Him and trust Him. And what was the conclusion of the matter regarding Jabez? The Lord answered as follows:

“God granted him that which he requested.”

Jabez believed the Lord and the Lord blessed him for it. He will do the same for us. This beautiful prayer of faith was not placed in the Bible where you might think the Holy Spirit would place it. Instead, we find the prayer of Jabez in the middle of a long list of genealogies to be found by those diligent enough to seek out this treasure buried in the Word of God. We must seek out the Lord and His blessings. We will be rewarded for it. Our greatest reward is the Lord Himself. How wonderful it is to know that we can know the Lord and trust Him to bless us as we walk through this life together. This prayer is a testimony to the goodness of God and a reminder of the blessings that await us as we seek the Lord in our lives.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in the Lord.” (Jeremiah 17:7)

Scroll down to read additional articles at tqministries.com

Watch! Stand Fast! Be Brave! Be Strong!

“Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.” (1 Corinthians 16:13)

The four admonitions in our title above might be something a general would require of his soldiers going out to battle. A soldier needs to watch and be alert to the constant danger war brings. He must stand fast in his duty to defend his position. Soldiers are constantly referred to as brave; as they must face the uncertainty and the danger of war. They also must be strong mentally and physically to endure the trials and horrors of war.

Our Christian walk is similar in many ways to that of a soldier going off to battle. We must be constantly aware that we are in enemy territory. Our enemies are the world, the flesh, and the devil. Regarding our enemy, the devil, 1 Peter 5:8 tells us of this danger, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goes about, seeking whom he may devour.” In other words, be aware and watch out for this enemy. We are to be vigilant at all times.

We are to “stand fast in the faith”, but what does that actually mean? Second Corinthians 11:14 tells, “… For Satan, himself is transformed into an angel of light.” We are to stay in the Word and know what it says. Satan will come to us with false doctrine through his emissaries to lead us astray if we do not know the Bible.

We are to be brave, for Ephesians 6:12 tells us that: “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers the darkness of the world, against spiritual wickedness in places.” It exhorts us to put on “the whole armor of God”.

We are to be strong! We are in a battle to the death with the world and its ways, the flesh (our inner battle against sin ), and the devil. We are to be “strong in Lord and power of His might. ” But how are we to do that? We are up against strong enemies! Just how do we access, and stay in “the power of His might”.

A soldier must trust and have confidence in his commanding general. The soldier’s life depends on it. He must believe the general will bring him through the battle with victory being the end result. Jesus is our general and we must place our faith in Him, believing that He will bring us through to victory. Victory over the schemes of the devil, a world opposed to the Lord and the Gospel message, and our inner battle over the sin in our lives.

The answer for victory in every area of our lives is found at the cross. Jesus paid the price at Calvary. We are saved by placing our faith in His great work at the cross, and we are kept “by the power of His might” in the same manner. In our own strength, we are no match for our enemies. The following verse shows us the way to victory in our daily lives:

“For the Law (a Law of God) of the Spirit (Holy Spirit – the way He works) of life (newness of life) in Christ Jesus (what He did at the cross) has made me free (given me total victory) from the Law of Sin and Death (a powerful law we cannot overcome in our own strength).” (Romans 8:2)

Again, we cannot live a victorious life in our own strength and by our own means. We must place our total faith in Jesus, our general, and His victory at the cross. The Holy Spirit works exclusively in our lives through the finished work of Christ. Placing our faith in our great savior will ensure the victory we seek over the world, the flesh, and the devil. We are saved by faith in Christ crucified and we live a victorious life in the same manner. Jesus told us as much when he said the following:

“If any man will come after me (what it takes to be a disciple), let him deny himself (our own ability, strength, willpower) and take up his cross (what Christ accomplished there which will meet our every need) daily (renew our faith in what Jesus has done for us each day), and follow Me (can only be done by constant faith in Christ and him crucified).” (Luke 9:23)

So our victory comes by faith in Jesus and what He accomplished at the cross. We fight the good fight of (the) faith by keeping our faith in His great work. This gives us the victory we seek over the world the flesh and the devil. As Romans 8:2 explains: our faith in the cross allows the Holy Spirit to come and work mightily in our lives. What a savior. As Jesus exclaimed on the cross before dying; “It is finished”. Peter speaks of the benefits Christ provided us at the cross:

“According to His divine power has given us all things pertaining unto life and godliness (everything we need) through the knowledge of Him Who has called us to glory and virtue (the divine nature in us due to what Christ did at the cross is the source of our new life and victory).” (2 Peter 1:3)

Scroll down to read additional articles tqministries.com

Just What’s Going On In Our World?

“…The Day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, ‘Peace and Safety’; then sudden destruction comes on them, as with travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (1 Thess. 5:2,3).

The Lord has sought to draw mankind to Himself throughout all history. He loves His creation and desires that all of us come to Him in faith. He has shown mankind His mercy and grace in many ways throughout the centuries. The greatest display of His mercy and grace is the giving of His Son as our savior.

We are saved by placing our faith in Christ and His sacrifice at the cross. As the sinless sin offering, He paid the sin debt owed to God by man. We come to God by repentance and faith in this great work. We are born again, or born from above, by this simple act of faith in the Lord’s great work. In other words, we are forgiven of our sin and we pass from death to life.

Man’s salvation is all of God. Our part is to accept it by faith.

The Lord has set a time of judgment for this world when all sin and evil will be dealt with. It’s called the “Day of the Lord” and will come upon all those that dwell on the earth. Throughout all of man’s time here on the earth, God has called out to him in mercy, offering him forgiveness through his grace. He has asked only that we turn from our sinful ways and come to him in faith. Our faith in Him saves us from the wrath to come.

It has been nearly two thousand years since Jesus came the first time. He came as our savior then and submitted Himself to death on a cruel cross. When He returns He will come as a judge, judging the world for its sin and its refusal to come to Him in repentance. This could happen in the very near future. He said there would be signs prior to His return; those signs are beginning to occur, and occur in greater frequency (read my article As The Day Approaches ). The Lord is preparing the world for, and warning the world of His soon return.

This is the day of salvation. We must see that all that is coming about in the world today is a sign of His soon return. We can ignore it and go on with our lives believing all things will continue as they have from the beginning, or we can fall on our knees and asked the Lord’s forgiveness, believing that he will forgive us our sin and save us from His day of judgment. It’s hard to believe that anyone living today cannot discern that we are living in unusual times. When we see what’s happening today, we can sense that things are just not right. The world around us is changing rapidly, and it seems it’s not for the good. Won’t you consider the mercy and grace of the Lord and come into the safety of His presence. He has promised that He will give all those who come to Him in faith life eternal in His presence.

“Surely I (Jesus) come quickly (suddenly). Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20).

SINNER’S PRAYER

Dear God in Heaven,

I come to You in the Name of Jesus. I’m sorry for my sins, the way I’ve lived, the things I’ve done. Please forgive me. Cleanse me with Your precious Blood from all unrighteousness. With my mouth, I confess Jesus Christ. In my heart, I believe that He died for my sins and that God raised Jesus from the dead and that He is alive. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as the savior of my soul and make Him the lord of my life. And according to His Word which cannot lie, I am washed, I am cleansed, I am forgiven. I am saved.

” For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

If you prayed the above prayer you have been born from above (born again) according to the promise of God and have passed from death to life. We can know that we have eternal life and will be with Him forever.

“These things have I written unto you who believe on the Name of the Son of God (Jesus); that you may know that you have eternal life..” (1 John 5:13).

Scroll down to read additional articles at tqministries.com

Beholding Your Face

“As for me, I will behold Your face in righteousness: I will be satisfied, when I awake, with your likeness” (Psalm 17:15).

In Psalm 105 we are exhorted to “Seek His face (presence) continually”. The only way we can seek Him or “behold His face” is in righteousness as the above verse proclaims. As Christians, we know that we seek Him not in our own righteousness, but the righteousness that comes from the Lord through faith in His great sacrifice at Calvary. We know that this is what Jesus meant when He told Nicodemus that “except a man be born again (born from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ We are alive spiritually to the Lord in this way only.

“And being in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith” (Philippians 3:9).

We not only come to the Lord in this manner, but we are kept by the Lord in this manner alone. Our continued faith in the cross (Christ crucified) allows the Holy Spirit to work in our lives drawing us closer to the Lord (His Face) and providing the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives. This is the only way that we are to walk out our lives.

“Who are kept by the power of God through faith” (1 Peter 1:5).

We are kept by the Lord by faith in His great sacrifice at Calvary. We are not only to believe this for our salvation, but also for our daily walk with the Lord. Of course, we should pray, read the Word each day, attend church, and fast as we seek the Lord, but we are not to have our faith in these things to overcome the sin and failures in our lives. This is not the way the Lord intended for us to live out our Christian life, and these things, although good and beneficial, will not bring us the victory we seek. We are called to walk by faith and when we do, the Holy Spirit will bring the victory we seek.

“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these you might be partakers of the Divine Nature” (2 Peter 1:4).

We are to be partakers of the divine nature, this is accomplished by the Holy Spirit in us as we deny our own ability to walk out this life and place our faith totally in the Lord. I know in my own life when I first came to the Lord and was born again; it was wonderful. I had been forgiven and knew my savior had paid the price for me to be free. My faith was totally in the One that loved me and died for me. But then, in reading the Word or hearing it preached, I realized that I did not measure up to the Word in many areas of my life. I could see what my life should be like as a Christian, but I didn’t know how to accomplish it. I found myself failing in my walk with Lord and unable to get victory. The Apostle Paul also experienced this:

” I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do (obedience to the Lord) I do not do but what I hate I do (fails in his own strength)” (Romans 7:15 NIV).

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh dwells no good thing (our own ability)” (Romans 7:18).

I thought if I prayed more and read more of the Word, then I would find victory. But that was not to be. What I had done without realizing it was I had transferred the faith I initially had in the Lord for everything, to faith in the things I was doing for victory. All these things (i.e. prayer, Bible reading, etc) we’re very good things and something we should do every day, but they will not bring victory in our life. The only way to walk a victorious Christian life is by faith in The One that died to provide the way. Paul learned this when he realized that the answer for victory over sin was not in himself but in a Person. When he came to this realization, he boldly proclaimed the following:

“O wretched man that I am (attempting to live for the Lord outside of faith in Christ crucified alone)! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death (he now realizes in himself there is no victory)? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord (the only way to victory in our lives through faith in Christ and Christ alone)” (Romans 7:24,25).

The only way to walk with the Lord in victory is to place and keep our faith in Jesus and Him crucified. We will have trials and battles in this life, but with our faith firmly placed in the Lord and His great work, we have found the anchor for our soul. If we move our faith from the Lord to other things, no matter how good they are, we will drift and could even lose our way.

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoices; and with my song will I praise Him” (Psalm 28:7).

Praise the Lord for He has accomplished it all. He has provided a way, and that way is Jesus and the cross. Don’t be tempted to leave the way, it is our only path to victory.

“You (the Lord) have said, ‘Seek My face.’ My heart says to You, ‘Your face, Lord, do I seek.’ Hide not your face (presence) from me” (Psalm 27:8).

The Lord said, “Come unto me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”. We, even as Christians, can labor outside of the Lord’s prescribed order of victory if our faith is not in His great work on the cross continually. The rest the Lord speaks of is both for salvation and our daily walk (sanctification) and is found in faith in His finished work. He will never turn us away or hide His face or His presence from us if we walk His way – and what a glorious way it is that He has provided. Let us behold His face and the wonderful salvation and victory He has provided for us. The following verse says it all, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image (likeness) from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” As we behold his face (presence) through His righteousness (by continued faith in Christ and him crucified) we are changed into His Image (by the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives). Glory!

Scroll down to read additional articles at TQMINISTRIES.COM

The Ziklag Blessing – God’s Grace In Our Time Of Need.

” …….But David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.” (1 Samuel 30:6)

David left Israel and went to Gath, the land of the Philistines, to escape King Saul’s continued attempts to kill him. Saul, the first king of Israel, was the people’s choice and not God’s choice. He did not walk in faith in the Lord and tried to kill David on numerous occasions. David was the man God had intended to be the first king of Israel. The prophet Samuel had anointed him as the Lord’s choice to be king when he was still a boy.

David, leaving Israel and going to Gath was not out of faith, but out of his fear that Saul would kill him. He did not seek the Lord’s will before making the decision and went to the land of the Philistines, an enemy of Israel. He dwelt in the land of the Philistines a year and four months. As we will see, it did not turn out well for him. Achish, the king of Gath, gave David and all those men with him and their families the town of Ziklag.

” And David and his men went up, and invaded the Geshurites, and the Gezrites, and the Amalekites..”

While in the land of the Philistines, David invaded the surrounding nations and killed all the inhabitants of the villages he attacked. He may have felt justified in these actions as they were enemies of Israel. However, he was out of God’s will in leaving Israel and killing all those he came across was for the purpose of deceiving Achisch as to his whereabouts. He lied and told Achish that he was invading the land of Israel. And Achish believed him and said:

He (David) has made his people Israel abhor him; therefore he shall be my servant forever.”

In the course of time, the Philistines planned to invade Israel and Achish came to David and said that he, David, and his men, would go out with them against Israel. David agreed and responded in this way to Achish:

“And David said to Achish, surely you will know what your servant can do. And Achish said to David, therefore will I make you keeper of my head (bodyguard) forever.”

David, out of the will of God, had killed men, women, and children to cover up his escapades from Achish, and now agrees to go to war against his own people. He had certainly dug a deep hole for himself. We too can go far down the wrong road when we get out of God’s will. David went so far as to assemble with the army of the Philistines as they were preparing to depart for war with Israel. This certainly was not a high point in David’s life.

The princes of the Philistines were angry with Achish for allowing David to join them. So, Achish sent David and his men away in peace. Unbelievably, David tried to argue with him about not allowing him to go with them. However, the will of the princes prevailed and David and his men left Achish and made the three-day journey to Ziklag. The Bible tells us what they found when they arrived:

“The Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire; and taken the women captives, who were therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them way…”

David and his men found Ziklag burned and their families taken as captives. The account in the Bible says they wept until they could weep no more. David’s men spoke of stoning him. What an incredible situation that David found himself in. He had been out of the will of God since leaving Israel. He had murdered whole villages. He had agreed to go to war against his own people with their sworn enemies. And now, Ziklag had been burned and his family and the families of his men had been taken captive. What could David do? What would we do in a situation like this? While his men were angry and spoke of violence against him, the Bible says David turned to the Lord:

“But David encouraged (strengthened) himself in the Lord his God.”

It may seem somewhat incredible that the situation had to become so very dire before David sought the Lord, but in this account, we can see our own failures in seeking the Lord and His will at times. David, looking at the burned-out Ziklag and knowing his family and all the families of his men were taken captive, turned to the Lord. He knew that he had to make things right with the Lord and that the Lord was the only one that could fix the situation. He also knew that the only way to the Lord was by His mercy and grace through repentance. David knew that going his own way and not seeking the Lord’s will in all matters resulted in all that had ensued while in Gath. He made things right with the Lord and the Lord responded, even blessing David.

The Lord will never turn away anyone that comes to Him in true repentance no matter what they have done.

In the end, all of the families and goods were restored to David and his men along with all the multiple spoils of the Amalekites. When the Lord blesses us and we recover what was lost, he always gives us more. We can truly say that He is a blessing God.

We can learn from this that charting our own course out of the will of God will inevitably end in disaster. We need to seek the Lord’s will in all that we do. If we do find ourselves out of the will of God, then we should go to him in repentance and know that he loves us and He will bless us if we return to him in faith. We may wonder how the Lord could bless David after all that he had done, but His grace is there for us always and is the only way that we can receive from the Lord. David’s true blessing at Ziklag was the restoration of fellowship with the Lord.

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of.” (Hebrews 4:16)

During this special Christmas season, we can clearly see the Lord’s mercy, grace and blessing towards us in His gift to us of His Son. We have much to be grateful for. The grace of God that was there for David and is there for us comes to us only through the price paid by Jesus at the cross. Jesus paid the price that allowed the grace of God to flow in our lives. David, by faith in the sacrificial system, looked forward to the Lord’s great sacrifice at Calvary. We, by faith, look back to that sacrifice. God’s grace can come to us in no other way. We are truly blessed during the Christmas season. It is a reminder of the love extended to us in God’s gift of His Son.

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Councellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” ( Isaiah 9:6)

Scroll down to read additional articles at tqministries.com.