JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Relationship-Building Principle comes from First Thessalonians 5:14.
“We urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.”
These instructions remind us to meet people at their point of need. To do this, we need sensitivity and wisdom in the way we relate with people. Some people are in a stage of life where they need a thoughtful challenge to motivate them to put their faith into action. Others have put their faith into action, and have endured hardship for their faithfulness to God. Knowing someone’s story gives us insight into how we can come alongside that person to be a helpful friend.
There is one quality that everyone needs-patience. That is because we are all in process. We are wise to give people time and opportunity to grow into the person that God is calling them to be.
Wisdom and Sensitivity are vital relationship-building principles to take to heart in the Year of Connection.
JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Moment Of Celebration reflects on the meaning of “Ebenezer.”
We often hear that word during the Christmas season related to the Charles Dicken’s novel, “Ebenezer Scrooge.”
However, Ebenezer is also found in the Bible in the book of First Samuel. In their distress, the Israelites gathered together to fast and confess their sins to God. When Israel’s enemies, the Philistines, heard that they were gathered together, they set out to attack them. The Israelites pleaded for Samuel to cry out to God on their behalf.
The LORD heard Samuel’s petition and thundered against the Philistines and routed them before the Israelites.
That is when Samuel set up a stone and named it Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far has the LORD helped us.” Through life’s storms, challenges, and conflicts, Ebenezer is a term that helps us to remember where our source of help comes from. According to Psalm 121, “my help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
God’s help in times of distress is a reason to be glad in the Year of Celebration.