Here I Raise My Ebenezer

As we were studying the letter of 1st Peter this semester in our small group, I found myself pausing for a number of weeks in 1 Peter 2 where Jesus is referred to as the Living Stone, and we are told that we also are living stones and are called later in the chapter to “live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” I was reminded of the many times in the Old Testament where God instructed His people to raise massive stones, referred to as standing stones, to mark where He delivered His people and demonstrated His power. (Ever wonder what it meant to raise your Ebenezer? There you go!). In generations to come, as children would ask their parents what the stones (sometimes 40+ feet high) signified, they would pass on these stories of God’s faithfulness and deliverance. However, the meaning of the stones would be lost once the chain of testimony was broken. The purpose and meaning of most standing stones remaining today has been lost over the years.

            In the same way, as living standing stones, we are called not only to live lives that are set apart, but also t live these lives “among the pagans,” or among people who don’t yet know Jesus. Most Christians tend to gravitate towards one end of the “relational evangelism pendulum” of either all friendship and no intentionality or else all evangelism without building the trust and vulnerability that comes with a friendship. This is the balance that we encourage our students to find in every relationship that God has given them here on this campus. Please pray that all of the students involved in our ministry will catch this vision and be intentional with there non-believing friends on campus. This campus is loaded with opportunity! Alex from my small group put it best when he said, “we were called to be the salt of the earth, not the salt of the salt shaker.”

 

Dave Umphress

EDGE Corps - UNC

Used by permission