Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Weekly Devotional I Samuel 7:12


“Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, hitherto hath the Lord helped us.” I Samuel 7:12

Dear Congregation,
      I have lately been reflecting on the fact that Grace Community Church has been around for thirty years. I have been reflecting on the fact that at any time, the Lord could have allowed this ministry to cease and fold up. Larger and more prominent works have done so, yet still we remain. We can say along with Samuel in the above verse “hitherto hath the Lord helped us.” Despite our many mistakes, despite our weaknesses, despite our lack of faith, despite our personal agendas, despite money problems, despite people coming and going, despite a difficult suburban mission field, hitherto hath the Lord helped us! We do not know what tomorrow may bring but we can rejoice in God’s faithfulness and steadfastness with a broken people. Our reflection on an anniversary should cause us to be all the more dependent on God for help and power. In the above passage, Israel had just won a victory against the Philistines by God’s great power. If the nation had tried themselves, as they often did at other times, to fight in their own strength, failure was assured. Therefore the Ebenezer is set up to remember the Lord’s help and the people’s dependence. When we seek our desires for the church, we cannot hope for success. The Lord’s Word and will must be done. Our great gift is a rest in him to work and to fight for us. As Israel, we shall hold our peace. Exodus 14:14
            This 30th anniversary is in a sense an Ebenezer. A reminder of where our whole reason for everything lies. This is why it is healthy to reflect and praise God for the past as well as to pray that He continues to care for us in the future. Let us humbly walk with Him and lean on Him totally as a church and as individuals for everything.
I encourage all of you to invite as many people as possible to our anniversary service on Sunday October 16th. Whether they have been part of this church in the past or not, it is an opportunity to celebrate together and glorify God for his care. Send those invitations, raise the Ebenezer, for hitherto hat the Lord helped us! Praise Him Praise Him!
In Christ,

Pastor Basile