No one serving in the army gets entangled in everyday affairs; the soldier’s aim is to please the enlisting officer. And in the case of an athlete, no one is crowned without competing according to the rules. It is the farmer who does the work who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in all things. (2 Timothy 2:4-7)
TEXT: Matthew 27
CHARACTER: Mary the Mother of Jesus
I think that one of the most painful experiences in this world is to lose a child; this is especially so for a mother. The feeling cannot be described, it is beyond words just like bringing life into the world.
When the angel Gabriel came to me and gave me the news that I would carry and bear The Christ it was a great surprise and honor. The day Joseph and I took Him to the temple and Simeon prophesied about the kind of life my Son would live I knew it would not be business as usual. And when he said that “…a sword will pierce your own soul too” (Luke 2:35) I knew that the life of my son would not end too well.
Our scripture reading for today is found in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10.
9 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.”
10 Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that thou wouldst bless me and enlarge my border, and that thy hand might be with me, and that thou wouldst keep me from harm so that it might not hurt me!” And God granted what he asked. (1Ch 4:9-10 RSV)
Lets us pray:
Father speak to us. Open the eyes of our understanding and our inner ears to hear what you have to say to us. We are ready to receive from you, speak Father. In Jesus Name we pray Amen!
In school they taught us that a family is composed of father mother and children; it is the most simplistic definition of a family which leaves out more than it gives. Give it to the education system though, at least they gave us a definition to begin with. What they left out is that though everyone is born of a father and mother not everyone is brought up by both parents. Some have one, some have none: because of diverse reasons ranging from desertion, divorce, distance or even death just to name but a few. Other families don’t have children, and we could go on and on about the definition of a family.
Be that as it may today we tackle the topic of family by focusing on the household of kwa akina Jabez??. We are not told about his father but his mother and brothers though they remain nameless are mentioned. Jabez was born in pain and was named pain as the scriptures we have read tell us. I don’t know what your negative name is leave alone what it means or even the negative name your family is associated with but if it is in the family of names like Jabez, be of good cheer you are in the company of greatness. If only you follow in the footsteps of this man Jabez, then that negative name you bear/ the negative name your family is associated with will cease to hold any power over you In Jesus Name!
The virtue of self control is one that will guide us in our study this morning, because if there is a virtue that can ground, grow and guard a family it is self control; lack of it breeds the opposite and sadly many of us are testimonies. We will look at three ways in which the Lord is calling us to practice self control as relates to the topic of family and drawn from our scripture reading this morning.
These three things are:
Self control in words; self control in thoughts; and self control in deeds.
Lets us begin with the tongue, since as we all know that’s where most if not all our family problems begin; are rooted.
4am – I am not feeling so well anymore, actually I am in acute pain so much pain I am groaning.
Around 4:30am – The pain is too much, I can smell death fast approaching. I struggle out of the hospital bed and kneel down dragging my saline bag holder next to me. I repent of all my sins and ask God to forgive me and take me home.
Immediately I am overwhelmed with so much peace and the pain begins to reduce.