DAILY BIBLE READING:

1 Chronicles 4:5–5:17 
Acts 25:1-27 
Psalm 5:1-12 
Proverbs 18:19

BIBLE VERSE(S) FOR TODAY:

1 Chronicles 4:9-10 (CSB) “Jabez was more honored than his brothers. His mother named him Jabez and said, ‘I gave birth to him in pain.’ Jabez called out to the God of Israel: ‘If only you would bless me, extend my border, let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm, so that I will not experience pain.’ And God granted his request.”

REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

In the year 2000, Bruce Wilkinson wrote a book entitled, “The Prayer of Jabez.” In it, we recounted the story of how he had discovered 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 when he was in Bible college (or seminary?). He noted that the Bible says that God answered Jabez’s prayer – so Bruce began praying it every day and claimed that God did some amazing things in his life.

The book sold over 9 million copies and made (obviously!) the New York Times bestseller list.

But, the clear-headed, deep-thinking Christian is left shaking his head. Once again, he saw a fad within Christendom come and go. He saw an author and marketers (well-intentioned as they might have been) benefit from the gullible nature of so many within the body of Christ.

You see, there is something within even the follower-of-Jesus that wants a microwave edition of the pursuit of holiness. In fact, if we could really be transparent for am moment, too many Christians are buying into the world’s craving for success (climbing the corporate ladder and padding our bank account).

This prayer and the book tapped into that desire and made millions of dollars.

Now, please understand the point I am making…

I’m NOT bashing the author or publisher. I acknowledged above that they were more than likely well-intentioned.

I’m NOT bashing the book. There was much truth in it.

I’m certainly NOT bashing the 2 verses in the Bible. They are God’s Word and are what God wanted us to know.

What I AM addressing is the tendency of Christendom to be faddish and me-centered. When a book gets published that promises to make our life easier, give us purpose, make us successful, or any number of other objectives that focuses on self rather than Jesus, and when it provides just enough “Jesus-talk” to make the book “Christian,” it could quite possibly be the next Christian fad.

Don’t fall for it. Don’t be “like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind(s)” of Christian fads. Keep the Word of God as your central focus. 

Maybe you will purchase and read the next Christian fad book but don’t let it distract you. Maybe there is something you can learn from it but keep your eyes on Jesus and His Word. You will never go wrong. 

… and you certainly won’t ride the religious fad roller-coaster and look gullible by a watching world who desperately needs something substantive that doesn’t change – they need Jesus.