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EBENEZER

31st December, 2017 [New Year’s Eve]

Bible readings
1 Samuel 7:7-13
Psalm 148
Galatians 4:4-7
Luke 2:22- 32

What is “EBENEZER”?
In Hebrew the name Ebenezer means a Rock or stone of help. Also in the Old Testament, Samuel gave the name Ebenezer to a stone set up in recognition of God’s assistance in defeating the Philistines; 1 Samuel 7:12 – Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”

WHERE DOES OUR HELP COME FROM?
The Lord is our ever present source of HELP through any situation. He saves our souls from death and all the pestilences the evil one throws at us. Psalm 121:1-2 – I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth

Our EXISTENCE is at God’s Will
We do not exist by our own design or desire; Acts 17:28a – For in him we live and move and have our being. He holds us in the palm of His hands and determines the outcome of our lives. Job 12:10– The life of every living creature and the spirit in every human body are in His hands.

He feeds EVERY Creature
Psalm 145:15-16 – The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open Your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. Ghana’s 1983 food drought experience is a clear testifier to this fact. The death roll call at one church service after the end of the year was sky rocketing owing to the lack of food and starvation on the entire land of Ghana in that particular season. However, the Lord showed the land favour by providing for us food enough for everyone and this reduced the death rate tremendously at the end of the years. He is our Provider in times of want.

He gives power to make wealth
Deuteronomy 8:18a – “But you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth.

He makes our organs work
Job 38:36 – Who has put wisdom in the inward parts or who has given understanding to the heart?

God is the Builder & Protector of all things
Psalm 127:1 – Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labour in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain

WHAT ARE THE LORD’S BENEFITS? PSALM 103:1-5

  • He forgives your sins
  • He heals all your diseases
  • He redeems your life from the pit
  • He crowns you with love and compassion
  • He satisfies your desires with good things
  • He renews your youth like the eagle’s.
  • He gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly

HOW MUST WE RESPOND TO THE BENEFITS?
Forget not His benefits!!! We must consciously keep it in memory and as reason to be eternally grateful to Him. Psalm 103:2 – Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits
Heartfelt (genuine) praise & thanksgiving: from the depth of our soul, we must praise Him for all He’s done; Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

Testify/Tell others: Let the world know what God has done and brought you through. Psalm 107:2- Has the LORD redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies. Psalm 124:1-3 – “Had it not been the LORD who was on our side,” Let Israel now say, “Had it not been the LORD who was on our side When men rose up against us, Then they would have swallowed us alive, When their anger was kindled against us

Dance before the Lord
Psalm 149:2-4 – Let Israel be glad in his Maker; Let the sons of Zion rejoice in their King. Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with timbrel and harp. For the LORD takes pleasure in His people

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

POSITIONING OURSELVES ARIGHT FOR GOD’S HELP
Israel put away other gods
We should not take God’s help for granted or lightly. Let not His blessings and answers to our prayers rather cause us to stray away from God’s presence and be a hindrance to doing the work in His vineyard. 1 Samuel 7:3-4 – So Samuel said to all the Israelites, “If you are returning to the Lord with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the Lord and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.” So the Israelites put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the Lord only.

God defends (sends help to) us when we REPENT!!!
I Samuel 7:10b – But that day the Lord thundered with loud thunder against the Philistines and threw them into such a panic that they were routed before the Israelites. 

Give/Re-dedicate your life to Jesus
John 15:5b – If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

Amen!

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