Guest post by Jeanette Andrade
April 25 Scripture Selection: I Chronicles 4-6
Food for Thought: I Chron. 4:9, 10
Jabez walked around with his name bearing the reminder of the pain that his birth had caused his mother, but that seems to only have motivated him to be concerned with not causing anyone pain. What a noble desire for life! No wonder Jabez was considered more honorable than his brothers.
In its entirety, Jabez’ prayer was “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” Desiring the blessing of the Lord and a comfortable, prosperous life is certainly not wrong when one’s priority is to be a blessing instead of a cause of pain to others. And because his motives were right and his priorities in order, the Lord granted him what he requested.
Putting others first, considering how our lives affect others, is a natural part of our walk in Christ. We have His nature in us, and that is exactly how Jesus expresses love. He loves the world so much that He gave Himself, leaving His regal, heavenly position to bear the sins and pain of mankind. Philippians 2:5-10 describes this very well and exhorts us to “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”
Instead of being known as one who causes pain, the Lord is known as the complete opposite: the Healer. Isaiah 53:4, 5 reveals the purpose of His coming: “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.” Luke 4:18, 19, also declares His very reason for His ministry: to preach the Good News to the needy, to heal, to bring sight to the blind, to liberate, and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. That’s Who He is, and that is who we are!
With a Jabez-like prayer on our lips and scriptures like the one found in Philippians 2:3, 4 in our hearts, (“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”), our lives will reflect the will and love of the Lord to not only live in the Blessing of God, but also to be a blessing and not a harm to others. What a beautiful way to live!
Digging Deeper (What scriptures can further enhance today’s reading?):
Getting Personal (What has God shown you in today’s reading?):
Confession of Faith (Example: Lord, based on Mat. 1:21 and 23, I understand that Jesus is God, and I receive Him as my personal Lord and Savior.):
Important Events on This Day (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.):