You have had a journey in your life. There are things you have seen, things you have done and situations you have experienced. Some situations you encountered were a result of the circumstances in which you were born while others are the result of situations thrust at you and others still a result of the choices and decisions you made. Whatever your experience please understand that the architect of all the good things you have experienced is the God of heaven who has loved mankind in Jesus Christ. The scriptures declare: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16.
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no shadow of turning.” James 1:17.
“In Him (Jesus Christ) was life and the life was the light of men” John 1:4
Likewise the architect and author of all human misery and suffering is the enemy of God and mankind- Satan. Which the scriptures also refer to as the evil one, the wicked one, the Devil, the thief, murderer, destroyer, the old serpent, the deceiver of the whole world, a liar and father of all lying and the accuser of brethren.
He comes to steal, kill and destroy. (John 10:10a).
You look at your life and see wounds from the past. Grief of broken relationships, you are bitter, there are people you are struggling to forgive, may be you have been driven into depression and anxiety and even despair. All these being the result of the robber you encountered in the journey of your life. You may be wondering how do I deal with all this? Can I turn my life and situation around? The answer is-yes you can. Others like you have done it and it has been done over and over again by different people-just like you. Whatever situation you are facing, it can be turned around. This message/broadcast will give you a step by step guide as to how you can engage the Almighty God in your life through Jesus Christ and how He can help you to turn your situation around and you will never be the same again. All scripture references are from the New King James Version (NKJV) unless stated otherwise.
The scriptures in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 we read about a story of a man called Jabez, it says: Now Jabez was more honourable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying “Because I bore him in sorrow”. 10 And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand may be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested.
Here we have the story of a man who was born in negative circumstances but was able to turn his situation around. His mother called him Jabez or sorrow maker. He was born into trouble, born in trouble, born for trouble. If you like born in distressing circumstances, born surrounded by distressing circumstances and born into distressing circumstances. The scriptures do not tell us exactly what distressing situation he was born in- we can imagine it was a combination of poverty and lack, disease and sickness, anxiety and depression, most likely difficult relationships etc. Whatever situation you find yourself in, I am sure you can identify with Jabez. You will notice that in the preceeding chapter and the preceeding first eight verses of the chapter we have read, there is a list of names of people in the genealogy of Judah the patriack at Jabez however the flow of names pause to describe one guy more honourable than his brothers, distinguished from them in that he made some deluxe decisions which were life changing and by which he was able to turn his situation round. Jabez had a different mind-set - he refused to accept the status quo, he rebelled against the status quo. He was completely persuaded that there was a better way and a better person to turn to in order to change his situation and circumstance. He knew differently, he believed differently and he acted differently.
What did he know? What did he believe? What did he do? The answers to these three questions will be key to your turning your situation around too.
Lets look at each of these questions in turn.
First what did Jabez know? He knew that His predicament and that of his family was the result of the working of a robber in his life and the family’s circumstances. The robber is Satan, the thief, the murderer and destroyer of people’s lives. Jabez also knew that there is God who loves and cares about him and who has the ability to turn his situation around completely. He was fully persuaded about the God who has good outcomes in store for him. He knew God is good.
What did he believe? He believed that if he could repent and call on the name of this God, He would hear him and forgive him his past mistakes, heal his body, his mind, his relationships, give him back joy, peace, well-being- basically give him the full package he was yearning for.
What did he do? The scriptures record that Jabez called on the God of heaven. The call was an act of rebelling against the status quo. A lot of times we know what we ought to do but fail to do it. You might have habits you are struggling to overcome- maybe tobacco, alcohol, or excess weight killing you. You might have other character attributes that are destroying your life, your relationships- maybe anger, impatience and other manifestations of selfishness. You know what you need to do but are struggling to do it. You need help to turn your situation around and you need this help desperately. You may have tried everything you knew to no avail. You need the help of God. You need to call on Him. But we know that one cannot call on a God they have not believed in for the scriptures say in Isaiah 53:1-2
“Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed.”
So we know that when one believes a message of salvation as it is preached, then repents and calls on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the hand of God or the power of God is revealed to that person. Repentance is aligning one’s way of thinking and acting with God. For the scriptures say in Isaiah 55:7
“Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God and He will abundantly pardon.”
The Lord Jesus also said in Luke 13:3
“I tell you, no but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”
The scriptures also say in Romans 10:14-15
“How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!”
You are hearing or reading this message because I have been sent to you with a message of the gospel. This is not an accident or chance happening, it is your divine appointment with Almighty God. Here is your opportunity to turn your situation around. To whom then do you need to call? You need to call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Son of Almighty God who was given to you so that He can forgive your sin and past mistakes, change you from the inside; make you a child of God and give you a new beginning in your life. He is your neighbour on your journey. Before I invite you to do that I need to explain it further.
In the gospel of Luke 10:29-37 we read a very revealing story:
29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?” 30 Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side.
33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ 36 So which of these do you think was neighbour to him who fell among the thieves?
37 And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said, “Go and do likewise.”
Here the Lord Jesus described the situation of a man who was on a journey. He called him ‘a certain man’. This could have been a certain woman, a certain young man or a certain young woman. Let’s assume this person is you- hearing or reading this message today. You are on a journey of this life. We shall call this your road to Jericho. I do not know what you have encountered. What I do know however is that you did meet a robber- called Satan who attacked, robbed and stole from you leaving you half dead. Take a moment to reflect on this robber and what he did to you and to your family. I do not know what this robber did to you personally. We know that this robber is in the business of destroying people’s relationships, making people struggle with alcohol, tobacco and other illicit substances. He is in the business of giving depression anxiety and helplessness. He is in the business of sowing divisions in families, giving disease and sickness of every description. He is in the business of deceiving people into sexual exploitation of every description leaving them with scars from the past. When you encountered this robber he left you half dead.
The scriptures describe three kind of people who came your way as you lay wounded on your road to Jericho. The first person is a priest who found you lying and passed by the other side. This represents your encounter with false religion. You may have tried going to church or you have encountered religious people in the past but through them you never found God and you never found answers to your predicament.
The second person described is the Levite who came your way- this was your attempt to use human wisdom of various forms to get out of your predicament, legal systems, what the government offers-the doctor, the chemist – the full package of human wisdom in its various forms. They tried to help you with little success but your basic condition remained essentially the same.
At this point all hope is lost. You have tried everything you know. But you know what- there is another person to come your way and that is your good Samaritan. It is the Lord Jesus Christ, He is your true and un-failing, ever-present neighbour on your road to Jericho. This is what He wants to do for you. To bind your wounds of the past to give you healing, physical, emotional and spiritual healing. He wants to carry you to an inn- a church where you can be looked after and be taken care of. He wants you to be under a servant of God, a pastor given two denarii-an anointed servant of God, called by God to care for God’s people, to guide and lead them in the way of eternal life. He wants you to be part of a church congregation where you attend regularly, have fellowship and be guided in the way of eternal life.
Let’s summarise: You are in a situation which needs to be turned around. Jabez was born in such a situation, in distressing circumstances but he managed to turn his situation around. This was because he knew of a God who loved and cared for him, he believed that if he called on the name of that God, his situation and circumstances were going to change and he called and God intervened in his situation. The Lord Jesus Christ is you good Samaritan. In the journey of your life, you met a robber, who wounded you and left you half dead. Dead religion passed you by the other side, and did not help you to find God. Human wisdom of every kind passed you by the other side and could not get to the root of your problem. But we thank God you do have a good Samaritan, who had compassion on you. His name is the Lord Jesus Christ. He died and shed His own blood, so that your sin can be forgiven and on the third day, God raised Him from the dead and He is alive today. He wants you to believe on His name- that He died for you and rose again so that He can live in your heart. He wants you to repent from your sin- that is stop arguing with God as to what is right and what is wrong, turn around and let your speech, thought process and actions align with the word of God. Finally you need to call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and invite Him to come into your life and to be your Lord and Saviour. The scriptures say in Romans 10:9-10,13 :
That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation… For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. 1 Corinthians 15:3
Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (except the name of Jesus Christ) Acts 4:12.
The following prayer will guide you to ask Jesus Christ to come into your life, to forgive your and past mistakes and to make you a child of God, if you pray it sincerely from your heart: Repeat after me:
Dear God in heaven, I thank you for sending your own Son Jesus Christ, to die for my sin, to shed His blood so that my sin may be forgiven, I believe that Jesus Christ rose again on the third day and He is alive today. I repent from all my sin today and I call on your name Lord Jesus, I ask you to come into my life, to forgive all my sin and to make me a child of God. Be my Lord from today. Thank you Lord Jesus for coming into my life, for forgiving my sin and making me your child. Thank you for giving me eternal life and for writing my name in the Book of Life. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.
You may ask, how will I know that Jesus Christ has forgiven me and has indeed come into my life and given me eternal life? You can know and have assurance that yes indeed as you prayed sincerely from the heart you are now indeed forgiven and now a redeemed child of God because of the promises that he made. For Jesus Christ said in His word in John 6:37:
“All that the Father gives to Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.”
There is no possibility that He could ever say no, all He requires is your sincerity. His word also teaches us that God who promised us eternal life cannot lie. It says in Titus 1:2
“In hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised before the world began”.
His word also tells us that God wants you to know and have complete confidence and assurance that when you call on Jesus Christ and receive Him as Lord and Saviour, you have received eternal life. In John 5:11-13 His word says:
“And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life and He who does not have the Son does not have life. These things have I written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.”
You may also ask: What do I do now?
You now need to 1. Be under a servant of God (see section below: Being under a servant of God). 2. Learn how to pray (see section: You need to learn to pray) 3. Learn to read the word of God (see section: Read the word of God) 4.To be baptised under water (see section: You need to be baptised under water). 5 To grow into Jesus Christ and put off the old man (see section: Grow into Christ and put off the old man). 6 You need to be filled with the Holy Spirit (see section: You need to be filled with the Holy Spirit)