Jabez (Part 3)

“So God granted him what he requested.” 1Ch 4:10 NKJV When Jabez prayed, “Enlarge my territory,” he was saying, “Lord, I want more than I’ve got, and I’m asking You for it!” This man had great ambitions, and God blessed them. There are three common misconceptions that can keep us from having great ambitions: (1) We confuse fear with humility. We say, “Oh, I could never do that,” and think we’re being humble. But that’s not humility. That’s fear; that’s lack of faith. A truly humble person would … [Read more...]

Jabez (Part 2)

“Oh, that You would bless me indeed.” 1Ch 4:10 NKJV Jabez prayed that God would bless him in three specific ways: (1) “Enlarge my territory.” He had a dream of owning more land, and he asked God to bless that dream. When you stop dreaming you lose direction. When you stop setting goals you stop growing. You must have something you’re pushing toward. As long as your horizon is expanding, you’ll be spiritually and emotionally healthy. (2) “That Your hand would be with me.” God’s hand represents … [Read more...]

Jabez (Part 1)

“And Jabez called on the God of Israel.” 1Ch 4:10 NKJV In the book of First Chronicles the Bible tells us about a man named Jabez. The first nine chapters consist of genealogies, listing more than six hundred names. And right there in the middle of all those names, God singles out one man for special recognition, and his name is Jabez. There are only two verses in the entire Bible about this man, yet he’s given honorable mention above the six hundred other people mentioned in the chapter. Why … [Read more...]

Keep Improving

“I fear that…I myself might be disqualified.” 1Co 9:27 NLT Paul writes: “Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself … [Read more...]

Take The Right Approach

“A man of knowledge uses words with restraint.” Pr 17:27 NIV It’s not enough to have the right answers; you need the right approach. Good ideas and sound advice are wasted when you use a ram-it-down-your-throat approach. Wisdom means saying the right thing, at the right time, in the right way. “A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.” Your efforts at helping someone to change will fail, or worse, alienate them, unless you approach them in love … [Read more...]

Don’t Be A Sluggard (Part 2)

“I went by the field of the lazy man.” Pr 24:30 NKJV It is better to be short-handed than to hire a sluggard; better to have nobody than a lazy body. Evidently Solomon had suffered through a few sluggards on his payroll: “As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is the lazy man” (Pr 10:26 NKJV). You know how irritating vinegar is when it’s taken straight, or how aggravating smoke is when it gets in your eyes! That’s how irritating lazy people are to those who hire them. Whatever they … [Read more...]

Don’t Be A Sluggard (Part 1)

“Go to the ant, you sluggard!” Pr 6:6 NKJV What exactly is a sluggard? Robert Hicks says, “Feeling we’re entitled to things without being willing to do the necessary labor to obtain them makes us a society of sluggards.” There’s one thing you’ll never convince the sluggard of: that he’s a sluggard. “The lazy man is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can answer sensibly” (Pr 26:16 NKJV). Even if seven wise men tell him he’s lazy, he will not admit it—no matter if he’s outnumbered seven to … [Read more...]

Are You Becoming More Gracious?

“Grow in grace.” 2 Pe. 3:18 Every day you live you’ll be presented with opportunities to “grow in grace.” And you must always be open and receptive to them. A grandmother celebrating her fiftieth wedding anniversary shared the secret of her long and happy relationship: “On my wedding day I decided to make a list of ten of my husband’s faults, which for the sake of our marriage I would overlook. I never did get around to listing any. Each time he did something I didn’t like, I’d say to myself, … [Read more...]

Show Them God’s Love

“Do you see this woman?” Lk 7:44 NKJV Luke writes: “Behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, ‘This Man, if … [Read more...]

Be Grateful for God’s Grace

“To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given.” Eph 3:8 NKJV One day the Pharisees caught a woman in the act of adultery. The law of Moses was clear; she must be stoned. And the Pharisees were ready to do it. This woman probably thought that Jesus, being righteous, would agree. She had no lawyer to defend her, not even a character witness! But suddenly Jesus stoops and begins to write in the sand. Some scholars think that perhaps He wrote down their sins, including … [Read more...]