by James Merritt

Ordinary or Extraordinary?
James Merritt
I Chronicles 4:9-10


1. I want to get your juices flowing this morning by asking you two questions.
If you had a choice would you want to live an ordinary life or an extraordinary life?
Which do you think God wants for you?

2. I can tell you what Jesus said. He said in John 10:10,
"My purpose is to give life in all its fullness." (John 10:10, NLT)
God wants to make a difference in your life, so that you can make a difference in the lives of others. God wants to work in you, with you, through you and for you to manifest His glory in your life.

3. That statement leads us to a man named, Jabez. Have you ever heard about a man named Jabez? Up until about four years ago, most of us had not and then Bruce Wilkinson wrote a book about this man and more specifically about a few words that he prayed and sold 9 million copies. When you think about it that is amazing!

4. His total biography occupies less than 80 words in English. Yet, in those 80 words we learn how to go from the ordinary to the extraordinary. We learn how to become the cream of the crop.

5. If you would like to learn how to become a speed reader, begin reading the first several chapters of I Chronicles, because it reads like a Hebrew telephone directory. Jabez's name is listed with more than 500 other names in these first few chapters.

6. As you are reading these first several chapters it is like driving on the Autobahn. You can go as fast as you want to go - it doesn't take long. All of a sudden on this interstate highway of names, you hit a speed breaker in verse 9.
"Jabez was more honorable than his brothers." (I Chronicles 4:9, NASB)
Immediately we were told there was something different about Jabez. He was not one of God's favorites, because God doesn't have any favorites, but he was one of God's intimates. Amazingly, Jabez is remembered, not for what he did, but for what he prayed.


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