Year end 1

1 Samuel 7:12

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Marking what God has done, honouring Him

Ebenezer stone

1 Samuel 7:12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer [stone of help] saying, “Thus far has the Lord helped us.”

ONE of the things that comes from a growing understanding of covenant, is that of honouring and being honoured.

The better we get to know God, the more we understand how highly He esteems us. He is for us, not against us. (Rom. 8:31)

And, being for us, He delights in building us up and speaking affirmation to us and giving us His own encouragements, in the midst of the spiritual conflict we find ourselves in – in a world which tries every way it can to knock the stuffing out of us and put us down.

The enemy (with unwitting assistance from people he can dupe into helping him) tells us we are rubbish, getting nowhere, unfruitful and – just look at your personal circumstances – a bit beyond redemption. Not like the pastor. Not like others you see in your fellowship. If they knew what you were really like, they wouldn’t like you much.

Full on lies, of course. But wait — where did we come in on this?Honour. God honours us, even when we miss the shot. The enemy does his best to dishonour us. ‘Condemnation’ is what the Bible calls it (Rom. 8:1). How do we block this move? In the opposite spirit: by being people who don’t condemn, but honour — each other, and God as well.

This is the Ebenezer principle. We start with honouring God for who He is and what we have seen Him do – bringing us this far. Then it is natural enough to honour others who we have seen used in His purposes.

This is a time of year when newspapers and magazines do their round-up of the year. What is our review of how we have seen God bless us over the year? What are the ‘memorial stones’k we can raise – to honour Him as the great creator God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who sent His own Son to live among us at the time we are currently celebrating, who is good without a shadow of guile, light without any dark side and loving to all He has made.

And who has seen us come into some memorable instances of ‘promised land’ during this past year.

PS. I’m taking a year-end temporary break from posting a blog daily — but I’ll post occasionally with insights that might arise from my devotional times – or post-Christmas runs! Back on schedule in the New Year.

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