Thursday, June 16, 2016

Our Ebenezer

1Samuel 7:12 - Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the LORD has helped us.”

There is an old, old hymn called Come, Thou Font of Every Blessing. Not sure if many churches sing it anymore. I have grown in appreciation for the worshipful words of some of the older hymns. Some of today's music is fine if it lifts up the name of Jesus and doesn't focus solely on self. He has done it all, He has paid the price. Which, as I wrote those words, reminded me of yet another old hymn, Jesus Paid it All!

I was listening to the Come, Thou Font hymn as I was driving home from out of town. I put it on repeat and listened to it several times. It is still, four days later, on repeat! The word Ebenezer is used and I knew I had heard the explanation to it. I looked it up to refresh my memory.

Quote from an article by the Apologetics Press: The word Ebenezer comes from the Hebrew words ’Eben hà-ezer (eh’-ben haw-e’-zer), which simply mean “stone of help” ... When Robinson wrote his lyrics, he followed the word Ebenezer with the phrase, “Here by Thy great help I’ve come.” An Ebenezer, then, is simply a monumental stone set up to signify the great help that God granted the one raising the stone. 

If we have had an encounter with Jesus, we have an Ebenezer. It can refer to the issue of our salvation. He has helped us in some way through His power. We have turned to the Lord after as many years as it has been for us of turning our backs on Him. It’s raising our stone of help up in gratitude for what Jesus has done for us; for forgiving and removing our sin from us. For some that might be overcoming alcohol or drugs. For others it might be prostitution, lust, fornication. Yet for others it could be anger, self-pity, pride. If there has been a change, an overcoming of our sin, if we have sought the Lord for His forgiveness and walk away from it, we can raise our Ebenezer, begin building that monument to God. Each act of overcoming another sin is another stone added. We will never be done building! 

I can't help but think about the fact that Jesus is considered the Chief Cornerstone, a sure foundation. 

Last week we had our floors buffed and coated. We "hired" some young men from an organization called Teen Challenge to remove all the furniture. When it came time for them to replace the furniture, a wonderful thing happened. I only asked the man who organized and brought these guys if there were great testimonies in these young men? He said, Yes, ma'am, and proceeded to have each of them give their own personal testimony, something I did not expect. Teen Challenge is a faith-based organization, I might add. They overcome their addictions through the power of God in their lives, Bible study, discipline and prayer. It was wonderful to hear as they shared.

Do not be deceived. We all have sin in our lives to overcome. We are born with a sin nature. Can't be helped. Doesn't matter who our parents are or what they have accomplished in life...or even how accomplished we seem to be. Eventually we will step into exercising our own sin. Not one person can escape this sin without Jesus. He came to die for that very reason. He was the only…only…sin-free Person. Because of that He became the perfect sacrifice for all who call on His name. It is by His help, by the price that He paid that we can be made whole and righteous.

Besides the verse about the Ebenezer, I couldn't help but have the lyrics Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, Seal it for Thy courts above. That's what we must do, give our whole heart to the Lord. We will receive the wisdom of God when we do. Wisdom teaches right and wrong. Yes, take my heart, Lord, and seal it for Yourself.

Proverbs 23:12,26 - Apply your heart to instruction, and your ears to words of knowledge. My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways. 

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