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Markers - Moving from 2013 to 2014

By: Admin on December 31, 2013

Like writing a book, the chapter for 2013 is closing and 2014 is about to be written. We use this time to look back. There were tears and laughter. Triumph and tragedy. Anger and rejoicing. Wins and losses.

Looking ahead we see much of the same in 2014.

We look back on the time by setting “markers”, points which we say had a significant impact on our lives. The Bible also has “markers”, that God and His people set up to remember Him and the significant, important parts of life.

1. A Stone: Ebenezer - God’s Help to this Point
In 1 Samuel 7 Israel was being attacked by their mortal enemies, the Philistines. They came with a powerful army against a weaker Israel. Samuel was the priest for the people and their leader. They asked him to pray for them because they were afraid. Samuel called out to God and sent the people to attack the superior force, who they routed with a direct intervention from God.

This is the "marker" Samuel set up as we see in 1 Samuel 7:12
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.”

Ebenezer means “stone of help”. God helped his people. He continues to help us today.

Write down the answer to this question: How has the Lord helped you to this point?

2. A Book: The Law - A Witness and a Warning.
In Deuteronomy 31 Israel was wrapping up their wandering in the desert after 40 years. The book of Deuteronomy contains the final words of God through Moses, their leader. It contained the Law, the order by which God was establishing His relationship with His people. The law was written onto a scroll, a book, and was kept in the Ark of the Covenant to be a “witness”:

We see this recorded in Deuteronomy 31:26
“Take this Book of the Law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God. There it will remain as a witness against you.”

The Law proved God was righteous, holy and just. It proved God kept his promises. It proved that when we deliberately break the rules, when we deliberately go against the way God has planned things, the consequences are bad. It is also a reminder of who we are, who God is and how life was created to be.

The Law was not a closed door; it was an open door to living a righteous, fair, just life. It meant life rather than death. It meant blessing instead of curses. It meant peace instead of conflict. It meant victory instead of defeat. The Bible is this guide to life

READ Psalm 19:7 – 14

WRITE this down: What do I need to be careful of as I move into the new year? Like the Israelites who were moving into the new land and a new chapter?

A Table: Past to Future

Jesus gave us something to remember Him and His great sacrifice. It is called Communion, or the Lord's Supper.

1 Corinthians 11:26
For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

We remember Jesus’ death – the “why” Jesus died. Jesus died because we were and are sinners. We have a sinful nature that rebels against God and acts according to selfish desires. The wages, result, of sin is death: an eternal separation from God. Jesus suffered that separation from God for us.

We remember that Jesus is coming again, which looks back to the fact that he came back to life and went back to Heaven. He promised to return and as we participate in this simple ceremony we are reminded of this profound truth and hope.

Take a look at the markers of your last year. Set your markers for 2014. Thank God for His presence in everything and trust Him to be there for you this year.

Topics: hope, message series

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