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A Man Named Jabez (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
August 24, 2022 6:00 am

A Man Named Jabez (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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August 24, 2022 6:00 am

Pastor Rick has a topical message (1st Chronicles 4:9-10)

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As an assembly of believers, we all want to see the church strong.

We want to see it effective. We want our lives to be useful for the King. But if we're not praying as individuals, forget it.

You just forget it. It is an encouragement to take stock again of your own prayer life in the light of a man named Jabez. This is Cross Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville.

This is Cross Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. Today, Pastor Rick will continue his message called A Man Named Jabez. He'll begin today in Luke Chapter 2.

God's blessings on Jesus Christ was a signal to mankind that this one is the Christ, the Messiah, the anointed one, the one unlike all the others. Some of you are familiar with the temptation of Jesus Christ carried in Matthew Chapter 4. If you have watched the movie The Temptation of Christ, you need to hook your head up to a delete machine and have it all scrubbed out from the inside.

And then post a watch, none of it creeps back in. But the temptation of Jesus Christ, the question you may ask yourself if you haven't thought about it, or the question you may ask yourself is simply this. What if he failed? What if he did succumb to one of the temptations? What if he gave in?

And this is the response. There was no way for him to fail. There was no way for him to give in. The temptations that he was enduring wasn't to trip him up but to show us that he is God Almighty and the only one that can beat down Satan's temptation because Satan has nothing in him. There is no sin within him to attach to. So the temptation of Jesus Christ was a broadcast to mankind.

This is the Christ, God in the flesh, the second person of the Trinity. That's the statement behind the temptation of Jesus Christ. It does not mean though that he is not insensitive. Under secondary messages, he is sensitive to the temptations we go through.

He felt the pains. There just was no way for him to fail. And in the presence of that, he knew that we would fail and we would fail often and still he would die for us because God is love. That's not a thing about God.

It's not like, yeah, you know, he was a really good writer of poetry. No, he is love. That's what he is. It's so vast.

It's so great. Certainly there's more to God than that. But all that there is to God comes out of that. God is love and God is light and God is good. And when we get to heaven, the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth will be told in its fullness. In Acts chapter 24, in relation to what was said about Jesus Christ, this is what is said about the Apostle Paul. Now he is giving his testimony to Felix, a corrupt politician.

Surprise. I myself always strive to have a good conscience without offense toward God. And men, it's not enough to say, I'm good with God. Well, how are you with people?

Now, granted, if you're under great persecution, then you kind of have a pass on that section. But when things are status quo, then how are you with God? And how are you with men? You know, you could be doing better with men than you are with God. And you could be doing better with God on the surface and poorly with men because you're doing poorly with God when it gets down a little deeper past the skin.

The idea is to have them both. And so when Jabez says, he called on the God of Israel and he said, Oh, that you would bless me. He meant with God and with men.

And as a result, he got both. God answered his prayer and he had an honorable name in spite of a difficult start. And then he says that you would enlarge my territory. He didn't want to crowd anyone else. He wanted space, but he also wanted to reach anyone with righteousness in God's name.

How do I know that when it's not said? How do I know that he wanted to convert those who were going the wrong way? Simply because an evidence of genuine conversion to Christ is the desire to make him known to others. And the result of having a fervent prayer life with God is a desire to spread righteousness among men. You cannot detach the two.

They are inseparable. And so he asked God to expand his space. And that also meant his reach to the loss. And beyond this, as the old map makers used to say, when they would chart out a map and they could go no further and they did not know what was beyond that point, they would write, beyond this may be dragons. Who knows what's on the other side?

Things that bite and blow fire at you. But we Christians, we're supposed to say, beyond this may be more converts. That's the spirit that has sent so many out into the mission field.

That is the spirit that has caused so many of us to reach those who are lost. Listen, if you are around, especially family members, who don't like you being a Christian, give them Christ. Give them more. Give them more of who you are. You say, well, I don't know all the Greek and the doctrine and the scriptures.

You don't have to. You know Jesus Christ. Give them Jesus Christ. That's what God wants you to give them.

Be able to say to them, let me tell you why I'm a Christian and I'm not giving in to your view. Why I'm not going back to Sodom and Gomorrah and I'm not even looking back at it. Let me tell you why. No, you've had your time mocking me. You've had your time belittling me. You've had your time trying to sway me away. Now it's my turn.

Equal time. You don't have to say with all that, too, that I'm giving you. But if you can, it might go somewhere. You tell them. You testify to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Don't worry, God will swoop down with the Holy Spirit on you so powerful and mightily that it will be miraculous. You give them the gospel. If they don't ask you and God doesn't open a door, then you don't say anything.

But if they tug on your sword, then they're going to get cut in conscience deeply if you give them the word of God. And so he says also here that your hand would be with me. To seek God's blessings is to seek His presence. And to seek His presence is to seek His will. And to seek His will is to seek results from that will. Something concrete, not abstract. Not something unclear and foggy, but something that you can touch.

Something that is real. And then he says, and that you would keep me from evil. This was given to him, of course, by God. This was the Holy Spirit teaching this man how to pray through his life, through a life just submitted to God. Jesus, when the disciples came and said, teach us to pray, because we don't know how to pray without God. Some of you have not verbalized that and you still don't know how to pray. When God is saying in the scripture, come ask me. Others of you, it has been given to you. You've never asked for it.

You're not even maybe conscious of it. But God has taught you how to pray. But if you know how to pray, it's because God has taught you.

And he taught Jabez. And Jesus said in the prayer when he's teaching his disciples, he said, pray in this manner. And then he gets to the point, lead me not into temptation. Deliver me from evil, for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory. You can do this. You've got the might.

You have the strength. And all those Bible translations that put a little note, well, and the power is not really there, throw that Bible away. Because it is there throughout scripture. And they want to fuss and bicker over little things that are insignificant, but yet inescapable.

It is in the original language. And it is the truth. His is the kingdom. His is the power and the glory. That's what makes it the kingdom that it is. It's power. You can't do anything without power. When God breathed into Adam, he gave him power.

In that sense. It's not one of those, you know, blab it and grab it sermons. God wants you rich.

You send 50 dollars to this ministry every day. I'm telling you, if it weren't for that stuff about non-violence, I'd punch those guys in the nose. But I'm kind of stuck. Anyway, to say all of that, to express the irritation, when a minister begs for money, done with me. I'm just done. I'm not saying that you need to be like me with this. My own conviction is, look, you preach the power of God. You preach all these things out of the scripture. How are you sufficient for all these things?

And then you go telling the people how much you need their money to survive. I'm sorry. I don't want to hear what you have to say about the Bible. That's my thing. Now, I don't want to say that too strongly.

I've learned over the years. I come out with something strong like that and God points at something and I go, oh, now it's on recording somewhere. So, but still, there's a righteous resistance inside of me that says this is not right brothers. I'm not questioning their salvation. I'm not questioning their love for God.

But on this point, they are way, way, way wrong. And, you know, that's the pastoral end. I'm not going to go on the sheep end of that because it's just as bad. But I would rather meet in a strip mall because we couldn't afford to build our own building than to hit you up for a nickel.

And I hope that integrity of the ministry never goes away. I am prepared to do without if that's what God wants me to be. If that's what he wants me to have. I'm not any different from you. I would love to be filthy rich.

But it's probably not going to happen. But calling around uncles and aunts, seeing how much they got in their account because I know they're getting close. You laugh because that's insane. Thank you that you did laugh because if you all said, hmm, it's like, man, that you would keep me from evil.

Let me just make this clear. No state of holiness for man exists beyond temptation. You are never going to get so close to Jesus Christ in this life that you are beyond, that you are exempt from temptation. And temptation in the Greek and the New Testament has a dual meaning. It does not only mean to be seduced or lured.

It also means to be put under pressure to find trial and hardship in life. But it is sane for a Christian to say, I accept what you've given me. I thank you that you feel that I am big enough for this. However, I also pray that I don't enter into these things.

That is the balance. That is the understanding that God is looking for from his people. And then he says, and I think one of the most powerful things about this prayer, that I may not cause pain. You may have heard the story of William Booth. He is the founder of what was once really the Salvation Army. I mean, one time they were really about salvation and nothing else.

Now, I'm not taking cheap shots at them. I know that within that group there are still to this day those who are about salvation. But I don't know that, I'm not so sure that that is the message that you get when you see the Salvation Army. They're more now socially directed.

Their salvation is limited to social ailments, but not moral and spiritual issues. Well, William Booth, he was too old and too sickly to attend one of their grand meetings. And so he sent a note.

They wanted to hear from the founder, their leader. And when the note was taken in front of the assembly and read, it simply said one word, others. That has irritated me since the first time I heard it. Because others, quite frankly, oftentimes are pain in the neck.

Or, they're not a pain in the neck, but still I've got to give up something of my time and energy for others. Because that's what the flesh does. The flesh is insane. It is incurable. Again, it will not leave you alone because it's pooped or because it has dropped dead. It's going to be there every day until that day comes when we see Jesus face to face and then it will never be ever again. But until that time it has to be engaged. And one way that it is engaged is increasing Jesus Christ and decreasing my own self, my self nature. And so when he says, he prays that I may not cause pain, he is directing this towards others.

Yes, he is going to be the beneficiary also, but he's thinking about other people. My mom named me Mr. Pain. And I don't want to be that. I don't want to hurt anyone.

I want to be wise as a serpent, harmless as a dove, especially needless pain. Now if you're righteous and you're living the life in Christ, you are going to cause pain to someone else's sinful nature if you're standing up for righteousness. That's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about someone who does not want to carelessly, recklessly, selfishly, any kind of way cause someone hurt. He doesn't want to hurt their feelings. He doesn't want to hurt their body. He doesn't want to hurt them in any way. He wants to bring blessings. And the question I ask myself is am I going to cause pain to anyone today?

If they stay out of my way on the highway, probably not. But he had a great hope for his own life and this was it. He didn't want to be a thorn. It is not a mistake that I chose that word thorn.

I could have chosen, you know, he didn't want to be a bayonet. He did not want to be an irritant. See the word thorn is connected to sin in scripture. He did not want to give sin a chance, sin in him, to poke someone else regardless of who they were. And then he says in verse 9, so God, then it says, so God granted him what he requested. To verbalize this is as beneficial to the one praying as it is to the one being prayed to. It is a great benefit to say to God these things, to pray to God. But it is a benefit to God also because God is long suffering, willing that none should perish but that all should come to eternal life. And the way that he does that and almost exclusively the way he does that is through believers.

And the believers, if they are not praying to him, they are not very useful to him. They're out of court dwellers. They're not in the court with the presence of God.

They're just outside. I want to be so close to the throne that I can feel the vibration of the voice of God when he speaks. Now that's not hyperbole but it is poetry. God granted him his request. God said yes. The very things he prayed for were given to him. He was honored by God. Anytime God says yes, I don't mean in the sense of Balaam.

If you don't know the story of Balaam, read up on it and find out. That's not how to be. But in the case of Jabez, it is honored, bestowed upon him. James 5 verse 6, confess your trespasses to one another.

That's when you wrong someone. That's not going to a booth and sitting down and saying bless me for I have sinned. And it says confess your trespasses to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed.

Isn't that significant? That's a similar warning to marriages. If the marriage is in shambles amongst Christians, the prayer life is now shut down. God said look, you need to fix that. Don't come into me asking for something. You need to get in there and work on that. Take stock of yourself because you're part of the problem. Now there are exceptions. There are times when one of the spouses there got all the wrong. But then he says this, and this is the part I was after. The effective and fervent prayer of a righteous man does a lot.

It says it avails much, but it does a lot. Oswald Chambers. If you don't know who Oswald Chambers is, every Christian I think should get his book.

I think God has made it a classic for us. It is called My Utmost for His Highest. It's a daily devotion.

Each day you get to read maybe two paragraphs or so. He's going to be able to say things to you that if I said them, you'd lead the church. But you need to hear them.

And here's one of them, so don't leave. The meaning of prayer is that we get hold of God, not of the answer. Very simple. But when it comes from a man who said so many other great things, you tend to listen to that. When life turns violent on us, unanswered prayer can cause us to feel that God, in its most extreme form, can make us think that God hates us. In the lesser extremes, it makes us think He doesn't like us, or that He's judging us, or maybe He's not the God we thought He was, or that the Scriptures failed us, that it makes these promises, and yet it doesn't deliver.

Job dealt with this. In Job chapter 16, he says, speaking of God, he says, He tears at me in His wrath and hates me. He gnashes at me with His teeth.

My adversary sharpens his gaze upon me. Remember, when we went through the book of Job, we said Job went up to the borderline of blasphemy. He never crossed it, but he went up to it. And in the end, God blessed Job. And God let Job know that no, this was not a joke, that he was doing something.

And we have learned through the generations, countless multitudes of Christians have been enriched and blessed and effective, useful to God, because of a man named Job. Our Lord prayed in Psalm 22, and then He recited this on the cross, but it comes from Psalm 22. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Why are you so far from helping me? And from the words of my groaning. Jabez went through that. You think he just like woke up one day and figured it all out? He went through these things and he stayed true to the end.

I'm almost finished. These afflictions are useful against man's larger enemy. Our larger enemy is the damnation of souls. Death is our enemy, the scripture tells us.

In this life it is. After this life, there is no more death. He who believes in me shall never die, Jesus said. Do you believe this?

That's what he also asked right after making that statement. But our greater enemy is the damnation of souls, and we're part of the process to keep them from being damned. And so David prayed in Psalm 119, before I was afflicted, I went astray, but now I keep your word. Before you laid it on me, I was doing all sorts of things that were wrong. But then affliction came from your hand upon me, and it drove me to your word.

And now I understand. How can a young man cleanse his way by taking heed to your word? I've hidden your word in my heart that I may not sin against you. And so what we find is that we are not to pray against stubborn sin for a time. That's what we do. We pray against some stubborn sin for a time, and then, to despair, we let it have its own way with us.

We give up. That's what Jesus said, men ought always pray and not lose heart. That's what Luke was saying about the teaching of Jesus on prayer. You pray to the end.

It's not the results, it's not the yes or no as much as it is getting in the presence of the one who can say yes or no, regardless of what he says. And in that section of Luke chapter 18, always is what is insisted on. The seventh verse of Luke chapter 18. Again, we're thinking of men ought always pray and not lose heart. And then he says, and shall God not avenge his own elect who cry out day and night for him, though he bears long with them.

All day, all night, first thing in the morning, first thing at night. Christianity is for weak people. The physician has come for those who are sick. Salvation is for weak people. It's for people who cannot save themselves. The flesh hates this. The flesh wants power. It wants money.

It wants independence. But that's not how the Spirit works. Here is what I'm trying to say through the whole message as I began. I think as an assembly of believers, we all want to see the church strong.

We want to see it effective. We want our lives to be useful for the King. But if we're not praying as individuals, forget it.

You just forget it. It is an encouragement to take stock again of your own prayer life in the light of a man named Jabez. To pray that powerful prayer in the strength of the Spirit.

There will always be an excuse waiting for you after service to undo everything God has said to you in the service. Expect it. Be ready for it. Don't give up. Don't quit. For God's sake, don't say, I've tried this before. It doesn't work. Go to your death that way then.

It is worth it. God is faithful and it will be good. Trust God. But as a congregation, get on your knees.

God, rain power down on this assembly. A few years back, I came from a pastor's conference and I shared about the Holy Spirit. At the end of the service, I invited people to come up to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. It was the greatest turnout we had for an after service prayer request. There were lines of people for it.

Those of you who were in those lines, and many of you are still here, where are you now? Do you think that because you didn't hover off the ground, that God did not answer your prayer? The fact that you're still here is an indication that God has answered your prayer. But it needs polishing.

It needs work. May God find us praying people, beating back the wows of the devil. You've been listening to Cross Reference Radio, the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston, of Calvary Chapel in Mechanicsville, Virginia. Pastor Rick is teaching from God's word each time you tune in.

As we mentioned at the beginning of today's broadcast, this teaching is available free of charge at our website. Just visit crossreferenceradio.com. That's crossreferenceradio.com. We'd also like to encourage you to subscribe to the Cross Reference Radio podcast. Subscribing ensures that you stay current with all the latest teachings from Pastor Rick. You can do so at crossreferenceradio.com or search for Cross Reference Radio in your favorite podcast app store. That's all for today. Join Pastor Rick next time for more character studies right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-06 09:09:39 / 2023-03-06 09:19:21 / 10

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