My birds are asleep in the nest, ready to fly away tomorrow. And it’s this hour that a Mama kneels and prays… (Discover more about how you can pray for your children as they head back to school on Mindy’s blog, “Treasure the Ordinary.”)
Posts Tagged ‘Blessing’
Have you ever dreamed about opening the mailbox and finding a check written to you for a large sum as an inheritance from some distant, never-met relative? How about a British estate left to you by a long-lost great-uncle?
Those dreams may seem far-fetched, and probably are as far as your hopes of a mailbox treasure go. But, you would be completely within reason to expect an inheritance of a different nature.
“A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous” (Proverbs 13:22).
While most people rightly tie this verse to the handling of personal finances, it should also be applied to spiritual inheritance. Have you ever stopped to consider what was passed down to you from previous generations in the way of Godly heritages and foundations? What did the people who came before you pray for, sow into, and work towards that you are now reaping the benefits of in your own life? Perhaps more importantly, what are you praying for, sowing into, and working towards in order to leave a Godly inheritance for your grandchildren?
Our Bible heroes weren’t perfect, but quite a few of them did a good job of modeling what this could look like for us. Abraham is known as “Father Abraham” because he sowed faith into future generations by believing God, and seeing that credited to him as righteousness (Galatians 3:6). Esau sowed forgiveness of his brother into the heart of his nephew Joseph, and Joseph harvested those seeds with his own brothers a couple of decades later (Genesis 33 and 45). King David was told by God that he could not build the temple, but he didn’t let that stop him from storing up everything needed for his son, Solomon, to do so (I Chronicles 22-29).
It’s usually pretty easy to find things that are wrong with our families; after all, they’re made up of imperfect people. And it’s true that if generational baggage has been handed to you, you’d better go to the Lord and see those bags unpacked. But, it’s also just as important to recognize the beautiful and the holy that God has been building in your family and learn to cooperate with Him to see that carried on to completion. Your actions today could mean that those who follow after you get a spiritual “check in the mail.”
Somewhere along the journey of life each one of us takes a picture of ourselves. And in that snapshot, we magnify our faults. We memorialize a moment of failure, a moment of weakness, or an insecure or awkward stage of life.
At some point in time, someone said something, pointed out a fear, or made a judgment about you — and it stuck. In fact, it is still sticking.
As much as we try to hide, it seems impossible to get away from the flaw-filled person we see in the mirror. We are all wounded by the damage we have received, and even more, we all fear the damage we can cause.
As personal as our story may be, we are not the only ones who feel this way. It is a wound common to us all. Tucked away in the pages of the Bible, we find a man who shared our common pain, our common fear.
Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “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!” So God granted him what he requested. (1 Chronicles 4:9-10 NKJV)
I see three simple, yet powerful connections between each of us and the life of Jabez. Through acknowledging these three truths, we could each find ourselves breaking the cycles of our past and enjoying the grace of God for our lives today.
- We all carry scars. However hidden or personal our story may be, we are all united by the simple fact that we are not alone. Everyone around us finds themselves trying to make sense of their life. We all carry scars of the pain we have received and the pain we have caused.
- We all carry fear. The most damaging impact of the scars we carry is the haunting fear that the pain may not be over, that our past may wound us again in the future. We carry the fear of being hurt again and the fear of hurting others in the same way we were hurt. If left unanswered, our fears will box us into a small and unsatisfying life.
- We all carry hope. It is what moves us forward. Somehow, somewhere, someone has to have more to offer than a life lived in cycles of fear and pain. Hope invites us to take risks and embrace a life of meaning and purpose.
This was the story of Jabez. He carried the scars of the wounds he caused as a child and the fear of the name given him that he would continue to cause pain all the days of his life. But somewhere in the midst of the scars and fear, Jabez nurtured hope, and his hope caused him to cry out to the God who created him, “Bless me, indeed. Enlarge my territory. Let Your hand be upon me. Keep me from evil. Keep me from causing pain.”
A powerful and faith filled prayer. A prayer we still connect with on a very deep level.
If I were to summarize my personal connection with the prayer of Jabez, it would be: “I don’t want to keep hurting from the same old wounds, and I don’t want to be the link that causes my pain to become my children’s pain.”
Do you have a personal connection with the prayer of Jabez? How does his cry touch your heart? What does it stir in you?
May you be blessed indeed! May God enlarge your territory, your sphere of influence! May the hand of God be upon you. May God keep you from evil! May you and those you love be free from pain! Amen.
Posted in Christianity, Church, Sermons, tagged Blessing, Church, Covenant, Emmanuel, Family, Fellowship, Generational, Here, Is, Love, Marriage, Revival, Sweetwater, Texas, Welsh on February 8, 2010| Leave a Comment »
Here is love, vast as the ocean
Lovingkindness as the flood
When the Prince of Life, our Ransom
Shed for us His precious blood
Who His love will not remember?
Who can cease to sing His praise?
He can never be forgotten
Throughout Heav’n’s eternal days
These beautiful words were penned over a hundred years ago during the amazing Welsh revival that saw over a hundred thousand people give their hearts to the Lord Jesus Christ in one year’s time. What a tremendous move of God that must have been in a nation as small as Wales! In fact, it would be hard to believe, except that Scripture gives account of 3,000 people coming to belief in Jesus Christ during the world’s first “outdoor evangelistic meeting” led by none other than the Apostle Peter. It is always God’s fervent desire for spiritual blinders to fall away and for the lost to find a home in Him.
On the mount of crucifixion
Fountains opened deep and wide
Through the floodgates of God’s mercy
Flowed a vast a gracious tide
Grace and love, like mighty rivers
Poured incessant from above
And Heav’n’s peace and perfect justice
Kissed a guilty world in love
I encourage you to take a listen to this beautiful hymn. As you do, present the names of those in your life that need to know this amazing truth—the floodgates of God’s mercy are flowing just for them.
You can read the story of the Welsh revival HERE.
Did you miss yesterday’s message? Do you need to hear it one more time? You can find Pastor Mindy’s message, “God’s Covenant Love for Families” on the church web site. Click the sermon title to listen.
If Pastor Mindy’s message made you want to position your family to cooperate with what God is doing in you, you may want to get a hold of the book Relentless Generational Blessings, by Arthur Burk.
As promised in yesterday’s message, here are a few ideas for you husbands (and maybe a few wives!) who need some help knowing what to get your spouse for Valentine’s Day!
- The old stand-by (Flowers)
- Try buying a marriage resource like a book or video and promising to go through it with your honey. You can find some great ones at Focus on the Family by clicking HERE.
- Consider purchasing a photo session with a great photographer for some updated couple shots. Then, pay to have her hair and nails done before the session. She may need a new outfit, too!
- Fill up a notebook COMPLETELY with all the reasons you love her!
- If none of these sound good, and you decide to strike out on your own—just make sure you follow the romantic gift rule—don’t give her anything that has a plug!
On the Radar
“Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage” class coming to EFC Sunday, Feb. 21 and Sunday, Feb. 28, at 6 pm both evenings. Make sure all the married couples you care about know they are invited!
Revelation Bible study this Tuesday from 12:00 – 1:00 pm in my office. Everyone is welcome to join in, just bring your Bible and a lunch box. Keep up with the progress at The Watchman’s Gaze.
Lifegroups continue this Wednesday, along with our mid-week age-based ministries. For more info, log on to the Emmanuel Fellowship Church website.
Our Nursery is taking applications for a consistent Sunday morning Nursery Worker. If you or anyone you know are interested in filling this position, please contact the church office at 325-236-9200.
Parents, be sure to check out the Worldchangers website. We align our Bible curriculum from the nursery all the way up to our youth. Access the Family Connection page on the website to bring you children’s Bible lesson home to the kitchen table.
You Heard it at EFC
Been trying to remember one of those awesome songs we sang? Here is our worship list from yesterday, for those of you who just absolutely need a copy for yourself. You can usually find them for purchase on itunes.com.
- “We Cry Out” Jesus Culture version
- “Your Love Is Everything” Jesus Culture version
- “Your Favorite One” by Misty Edwards
- “Here Is Love” Brian Johnson version
Next Sunday, February 14, 2010, we will continue our sermon series “Here is Love,” by taking a close look at the marriage relationship.