Tag Archives: Esther

Esther 4-6; Revelation 2

We come upon one of the most profound verses in the Bible when it comes to matching God’s will with our lives and our will. It’s the words of Mordecai, Queen Esther’s relative. The king has ordered that all the Jews be killed in the kingdom and Mordecai is persuading Esther to intervene. Here are his words:

14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14 [NIV])

The Apostle Paul tells us in Acts 17 that we are here on earth in God’s timing and to do God’s will. That’s what Mordecai was sharing with Esther. She had come to power at such a time as this. Really to save God’s people from annihilation. Esther was placed on earth at just the right time for just this purpose (I’m sure there was more she did for God, but this was the big one).

Why did God cause you to be born in the 20th or 21st century? Why does He have you living where you are? Why does He have those neighbors living close to you? Well in Mordecai’s words, “For such a time as this.”

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Esther 1-3; Psalm 139; Revelation 1

Hegai was very impressed with Esther and treated her kindly. He quickly ordered a special menu for her and provided her with beauty treatments. He also assigned her seven maids specially chosen from the king’s palace, and he moved her and her maids into the best place in the harem…

Before each young woman was taken to the king’s bed, she was given the prescribed twelve months of beauty treatments—six months with oil of myrrh, followed by six months with special perfumes and ointments. When it was time for her to go to the king’s palace, she was given her choice of whatever clothing or jewelry she wanted to take from the harem. Esther 2:9; 12-13

One of my spiritual moms has a ministry of anointing oils, and for many years held a perspective-changing conference called the Esther Experience. It was a chance for me to participate in the preparation of the bride, a chance to experience the twelve months of beautification over the course of a weekend, a chance to open my heart to God and seek greater understanding of what He has for me as His child.

O  lord, you have examined my heart

and know everything about me. Psalm 139:1

It is easy for me to think that I am the one who knows myself best. And, while that may be true in regards to how other people know me, I have learned that no one knows me better than my creator. He even is more intimately acquainted with the innermost workings of my heart, my mind, my soul than I am.

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body

and knit me together in my mother’s womb.

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!

Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.

You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,

as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. Psalm 139:13-15

His understanding of me doesn’t just end with the miracles of how the human body works. His knowledge encompasses my personality, my quirks, my thoughts, my hurts, my failings…and when I daily offer myself to Him, lay myself at His feet, and trust His hands to mold me, I am cleansed, I am healed, I am offered life again.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;

test me and know my anxious thoughts.

Point out anything in me that offends you,

and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalm 139:23-24

Yesappa, Thank You for knowing me. And thank you for walking with me through this life journey, for healing me, comforting me, and encouraging me. Help me draw more and more near to You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessings – Julie

 

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

 

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Esther, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Revelation

Esther 1, 2, 3; Acts 5:1-16

But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” Acts 5:1-4

Lying. There are out-right lies, lies of omission, white lies, etc. As a fallen human, I tend to give each of these types of lies a degree as to what is the worst and what is considered acceptable. But, God doesn’t judge it the same way…sin is sin.

Ananias and Sapphira lied about the amount of money that they received from selling a piece of their land. As Peter explained, it was their property and their money to handle; the problem wasn’t that they kept some of the proceeds for themselves. The problem was that they lied about how much they received for the property and that they held a portion back. They were caught in their lie, and reaped the consequences in death.

Esther had not made known her kindred or her people, as Mordecai had commanded her, for Esther obeyed Mordecai just as when she was brought up by him. Esther 2:20

Esther lied too. It was a lie of omission, a failure to divulge her heritage to the king of Persia or his servants. Mordecai was afraid that she would be rejected and killed because she was a Jew, and advised her to keep the truth a secret. When the details of her heritage came to light, her life was in peril, but God saved her and used her, in spite of the lie, to save the people of Israel.

Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom. Their laws are different from those of every other people, and they do not keep the king’s laws, so that it is not to the king’s profit to tolerate them. If it please the king, let it be decreed that they be destroyed, and I will pay 10,000 talents of silver into the hands of those who have charge of the king’s business, that they may put it into the king’s treasuries.” Esther 3:8-9

Haman also lied. His lie was malicious and devious, his intention revenge, to wipe God’s people off the face of the planet. Only revealing partial truth about the Jewish people and their laws, he convinced the king to give him full power in delivering judgment…total annihilation. In the end though, he also paid the penalties for his actions, hanged with the noose intended for his ‘enemy’.

I think back throughout my history and remember times that I’ve lied. When I’ve told someone how great they look, when I really hated their new outfit. There have been more than a few occasions when I’ve failed to tell someone the whole truth and nothing but the truth in the hope to avoid a conflict or rejection. And, of course, there are countless times when, as a child, I lied to my parents, to attempt to escape punishment. Sometimes it seemed I got away with it, but more often than not, I got found out and had to deal with the fall-out and take my punishment.

When I became a believer, it became important to me to always tell the truth, in love, to the best of my ability. God always knew the truth anyway, so staying honest before Jesus has been the easiest part. I am grateful that God can handle my failures, He can handle the truth.

Striving to tell the truth has meant a shift in my thinking, and it has meant that there have been instances when I have told the truth, it has made people unhappy and upset with me. Sometimes it seems easier to lie, but the reality is that telling the truth is better in the long run; Truth keeps me right with God and there is a whole lot less that I have to remember.

Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, always said: If someone asks you how your day has been, tell the truth (in a positive way). If your day has been great, tell them your day has been ‘incredible’; if it has been horrible, say your day has been ‘unbelievable.’

Do I get it right every time? No. There are times when I slip into white lies or purposely leave off some information when telling a story. I sometimes tell my kids that there is no electricity, so I can turn the TV off to get them out the door faster or ask them if they hear Hook’s crocodile when they won’t stay in their beds.

When I realize I slipped up, I go to God, tell Him the truth, and I am forgiven. I can start fresh, in that moment, telling the truth.

Yesappa, Thank You for Your Truth. Thank You for giving me strength to be honest, even when it is difficult, and for giving me revelation about how to tell the truth in love. Thank You for forgiving me when I make mistakes and fall into old habits. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessings – Julie (writing from the U.S.A.)

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Genesis 30; Mark 1; Esther 6; Romans 1

People did not think it was important to have a true knowledge of God. So God left them and allowed them to have their own worthless thinking and to do things they should not do. They are filled with every kind of sin, evil, selfishness, and hatred. They are full of jealousy, murder, fighting, lying, and thinking the worst about each other. They gossip and say evil things about each other. They hate God. They are rude and conceited and brag about themselves. They invent ways of doing evil. They do not obey their parents. They are foolish, they do not keep their promises, and they show no kindness or mercy to others. They know God’s law says that those who live like this should die. But they themselves not only continue to do these evil things, they applaud others who do them. Romans 1:28-32 (NCV)

It is true now. It was true then. Evil behavior has run rampant since the fruit was plucked from the tree. Over and over we can see illustrations of sin – jealousy, murder, fighting, lying, and so on – in the Bible, in the news, and even in our own lives.

I read today’s passages and I hear the discontentedness of Rachel in her desire for another son soon after Joseph’s birth. I feel the jealousy of Leah toward her sister the beloved wife. I experience the competition between the two as they shamelessly throw their maids at Jacob in order to produce more children and one-up the other and as they literally barter their way into their husband’s bed.

I see the double-edged deceit between Laban and Jacob. Laban hiding away the streaked and speckled sheep in his flock, promised to Jacob, conniving to squeeze every last blessing out of him before he leaves with his family. And, Jacob manipulating the mating of the pure sheep that were left to strengthen his own flock and weaken Laban’s.

I witness the pride of Haman believing that he would be the only man the King would want to honor and being humiliated by having to honor Mordecai, the man who he planned on hanging on the gallows. He runs home with his head covered to hide from the embarrassment, only serving to fuel his hatred more.

I’d like to say that I have been innocent of these sins. But if I did, I would be lying. I struggle daily with sin. I grapple with the battlefield in my mind. My desire is to always take every thought captive, but often jealousy, frustration, worthless thinking, bitterness, resentment ooze their way out. I believe lies that the enemy whispers in my ear and temporarily forget true knowledge of God in the midst of my circumstances.

Each moment, I have a choice. I can give myself over to my sin, my ‘stinking thinking,’ or I can baptize myself in His love and hear His truths wash over me, changing my heart and forgiving my sin. I can listen to the lies or to the Voice from heaven saying, “You are my [daughter], whom I love, and I am very pleased with you.” (Mark 1:9-11)

My prayer is that I use each moment wisely. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India (written in the U.S.A.)

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Esther, Genesis, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Mark, New Testament, Old Testament, Romans

Esther 6, Esther 7, Esther 8, Revelation 13

The king asked him, “What shall be done for the man whom the king delights to honor?” Esther 6:6

They hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the king’s wrath subsided. Esther 7:10

The Jews had light and gladness, joy and honor. Esther 8:16

he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, Revelation 13:14

Evil people come and go (1): by attempting to harm God’s people, some accomplish this. But God’s people endure forever because they belong to God Who keeps them safe eternally. (2)

Bible Passage at www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Esther%206,%207,%208;%20Rev%2013&version=NKJV

Esther 6        That night the king could not sleep. So one was commanded to bring the book of the records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king. And it was found written that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs, the doorkeepers who had sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. v.1-3

             Mordecai unashamedly stood out to protect the life and rulership of King Ahasuerus. (3)

             Who do I serve, God, man, self or fear? To whom is my Highest allegiance? Who do I promote with my being? I do protect my family, friends, and even strangers in different ways. What is my motive? Who is my Strength, God? From where does my wisdom originate, the Word of God and Holy Spirit? How consistent am I?

              There have been times when I am all sold out, narrowly focused, Christ-centered. No fear but All Truth and Love. Nowadays it seems I do not over-look those who are needy in subtle ways around me. I care for their “details”. (1 Corinthians 7:34) It distracts me from what I desire and delight most to do for God. Yet it is obedience. “not as I will, but as You will.” (Mt 26:39) The Eternal Fruit will be unending because of the attention to the details, You repeatedly tell me Lord.

Then the king said, “What honor or dignity has been bestowed on Mordecai for this?” v.3

              Nothing had been done. Yet waiting in the wings was a proud man seeking the demise the righteous Mordecai and exalt himself. His name was Haman. And the King of kings had His way. (4)

So Haman came in, and the king asked him, “What shall be done for the man whom the king delights to honor?” Now Haman thought in his heart, “Whom would the king delight to honor more than me?” v.6

Then the king said to Haman, “Hurry, take the robe and the horse, as you have suggested, and do so for Mordecai the Jew who sits within the king’s gate! Leave nothing undone of all that you have spoken.” v.10

             How can I delight You and bring You pleasure, my King? Not for any favors, but because You already are my “shield, (and) exceedingly great reward.” (Gen. 15:1) I seek to please you with my life, Lord Jesus Christ! (5)(6)

But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the LORD. Jeremiah 9:24

            What is done for the man, woman or child in whom the King of King delights? Eternal Salvation, Intimate Fellowship with God and His people, God’s Promises fulfilled, the Fruit of the Holy Spirit, and so much more endlessly! (17)

Meanwhile, back with King Ahasuerus, Haman is now mortified. (7)

            Afterward Mordecai went back to the king’s gate. But Haman hurried to his house, mourning and with his head covered. Haman’s wise men and his wife Zeresh said to him, “If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of Jewish descent, you will not prevail against him but will surely fall before him.” v. 12-13

Esther 7        The king again said to Esther, “What is your petition, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you.” – “if it pleases the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request. For we have been sold, my people and I, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated.” – King Ahasuerus answered, “Who is he, and where is he, who would dare presume in his heart to do such a thing?” And Esther said, “The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman!” So Haman was terrified before the king and queen. Then the king arose in his wrath – Now Harbonah, one of the eunuchs, said to the king, “Look! The gallows, fifty cubits high, which Haman made for Mordecai, who spoke good on the king’s behalf, is standing at the house of Haman.” Then the king said, “Hang him on it!” So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the king’s wrath subsided.

             How can anyone presume that the King of kings and Lord of lords Who does know everything (8) would not be Just in His dealings with every person? (9)

             Lord, pleaseSearch me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24

Esther 8        On that day King Ahasuerus gave Queen Esther the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. – The king took off his signet ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai; and Esther appointed Mordecai over the house of Haman. v.1-2

Lord God, You are The Advocate for the humble. (10)

Show Your marvelous lovingkindness by Your right hand, O You who save those who trust in You From those who rise up against them. Psalm 17:7 (11)

            Now Esther spoke again to the king, fell down at his feet, and implored him with tears to counteract the evil of Haman the Agagite, and the scheme which he had devised against the Jews. – The King Ahasuerus said, “You yourselves write a decree concerning the Jews, as you please, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s signet ring; for whatever is written in the king’s name and sealed with the king’s signet ring no one can revoke.” 1-3, 8

             Many times I have fell on my face in prayer to You Almighty God! Imploring Your Good and Perfect Will to be done, even when I don’t know what it will be. When I find horrific things going on near or far, within me or outside, I know You Are the Solution. You will do what is needed to make things Right, in Your way and time. Thank You for Esther’s good example.

            Lord God, You always hold out Your Scepter to us who come to You through the Blood Sacrifice of Your Son Jesus, our Messiah. Please protect and fulfill the needs of Your children within all the nations who persecute Your people. Cause salvation to come the persecutors and Your Glory to be displayed! (12)

The Jews had light and gladness, joy and honor. … Then many of the people of the land became Jews, because fear of the Jews fell upon them. 16-17

Revelation 13          I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, – The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority…- Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, – to make war with the saints and to overcome them. v.1-7

             Did I think Haman was bad? No one will be worse than the man of lawlessness, the Anti-Christ, the one with the power from satan. (13) Just as Haman wanted to demolish God’s people, this one will accomplish it because the Lord God will have removed the “Restrainer”, the Holy Spirit, from planet earth. (14)

            So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is able to make war with him?” – All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world….Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.v.4-10

            Only the people “whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb”, those who never chose to believe, trust and surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ and to obey God’s Word for God’s glory, only those people will worship a false god and have the same destiny as he (15).

            Patience and Faith! Longsuffering for God’s people! Lord Jesus, please increase the faith of Your people for that time, and increase their hope in You, Savior Jesus!!! Thank you (ahead of time) for preparing and giving them just what they need and protecting them in timely fashion as they heed Your Voice and do Your will (John 10:27-30) for Your Glory!

             He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. v.14-17

              Lord Jesus, Your Word is very clear. There will be a very bad person (beast) who will have an image made which will seem like it is alive. People will be commanded to worship the image (16) of the beast and to receive a “mark on their hand or forehead with the mark or name of the beast on them. If they do not, they are persecuted.

              Lord Jesus, out of fear these people will worship the beast, not from love! Fear of pain and death will drive people to comply in hopes that they will get what they need. This is the opposite of us who worship You out of Love and Gratitude, Lord God Almighty! When we come to You, You immediately give us Eternal Life (2 Corinthians 9:15) and all the Gifts we need (17). We worship You because of Your Character, for Who You Are, not for what we can get!!!

           These people receive fear and instability. This is NOTHING like Christ-followers receive SONSHIP by the Lord God, Co-heirs with Christ Jesus, and given intimacy with the Most High and endless peace, joy, hope, wisdom, fruit, and an abundant variety of blessings!!! (17)

               Lord God, please awaken and enliven people to be new creatures (2 Cor 5:17) before the Tribulation. (Joel 2:1-17). Open people’s minds and hearts Your Word so they know Who to Really Fear (Luke 12:5) and why.

             Lord God Almighty, thank You for sending Your Son Jesus (18) to earth. God, thank You for putting on fleshing and living with mankind, dying by taking the punishment and eternal wrath that I deserve for every bad thing I have ever done, and living after you died proving Your Victory over sin and death! I choose You as my Savior and Lord this day. Take all of my sins and put them on the cross of Jesus Christ so I bear them no more. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit that I would live for You now and forever, by Your Word and Holy Spirit and for Your Glory alone!! In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

Bible Insights –

1 – Psalm 37:10, Proverbs 10:25, Revelation 20:7-15, Romans 1:18-32, 2 Timothy 3:1-9

2 – 1 John 4:4, 2 Corinthians 1:20-22, Ephesians 1:13-14, Ephesians 4:30, 2 Corinthians 5:5-10, John 10:27-30, Hebrews 13:5, Deuteronomy 31:6, Matthew 28:18-20, John 16:33

3 – Romans 1:16; Matthew 10:33; Mark 8:38; Luke 9:26; Acts 6:8-7:60

4- Proverbs 21:1, Proverbs 16:9

5 – The Lord’s Delights – Psalm 37:4; Psalm 37:23; Proverbs 3:12; Proverbs 11:1; Proverbs 11:20; Proverbs 12:22; Proverbs 15:8; Proverbs 16:13; Isaiah 42:1; Isaiah 58:2; Isaiah 58:14; Isaiah 62:4; Psalm 147:11; Psalm 149:4; Zephaniah 3:17

6 – To please God – Colossians 1:10-14; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8; Hebrews 10:38; Psalm 51:17; Psalm 35:27

7 – Proverbs 16:18, Proverbs 11:2, Proverbs 29:23

8 – Psalm 139:1-12; Psalm 139:23-24; Psalm 77:6; Jeremiah 29:11-13; John 5:36-40; Psalm 94:11; Psalm 100:3; Psalm 135:5; Psalm 9:16; Psalm 37:18; Psalm 83:18; Psalm 98:2; Matthew 19:26; Mark 10:27; Genesis 1; Job 38-42; Exodus 3:14; Revelation 1:8; Revelation 21:6; Revelation 22:13

9 – Psalm 9:8; Psalm 98:9; Psalm 36:6; Psalm 9:4; Psalm 19:9; Psalm 50:6; Psalm 51:3-4; Psalm 7:8-11; Psalm 58:11; Psalm 72:2; Psalm 96:10; Job 33:13; Matthew 12:36; Romans 14:12; Hebrews 4:13; 1 Peter 4:5; Hebrews 9:27; 2 Timothy 4:1, Psalm 96:13; Psalm 119:62; Psalm 119:137; Psalm 119:160; Psalm 119:164

10 – Psalm 51:17, 1 John 2:1, Job 16:19, Romans 8:26-27,34, Hebrews 7:25

11 – Psalm 5:11, Psalm 9:10, Psalm 17:7, Psalm 25:2, Psalm 25:20, Psalm 31:14, Psalm 31:19, Psalm 55:23, Psalm 56:3

12 – Proverbs 14:34; Isaiah 42:21; Acts 5:29-32; Job 36:7; Ephesians 1-2; Proverbs 16:12; Proverbs 25:5; Jeremiah 23:5; Romans 14:17; Hebrews 1:8

13 – 2 Thessalonians 2; Revelation 12:7-9; Revelation 20:1-3; Luke 10:18-20; Matthew 13:37-43; Matthew 24; Genesis 3:1; Genesis 3:14; John 8:44

14 – Matthew 24:30-36; Matthew 24:40-42; 1 Corinthians 15:49-55; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; Revelation 3:7-8; Revelation 3:10-13; John 10:28-29; 2 Corinthians 3:12-18; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Luke 21:34-36; Isaiah 26:19-21; Matthew 25:1-13

15 – Matthew 25:41-43; Romans 1:18-32; Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:10; Revelation 9:11; Revelation 17:8; Revelation 20:1-3; Revelation 20:14-15; Luke 12:5

16 – Exodus 20:1-6; 1 Kings 21:26; Isaiah 66:1-4; Jeremiah 16:18; Ezekiel 14:6; 1 Peter 4:3; Revelation 21:8; Ezekiel 20:8; Galatians 5:6-26; Colossians 3:5

17 – Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8; James 1:17; Ephesians 1-2; 1 Corinthians 12; Romans 12:1-8; 1 Corinthians 13:1-8; Ephesians 4:7-8; 2 Corinthians 1:20; Galatians 5:22-26

18 – John 1:1-3,14, John 3:16-17, Colossians 1:15, Hebrews 1:3

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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Esther 3-5, Revelation 12

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.  They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Therefore, rejoice you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” Revelation 12:10-12

For if, you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14

Satan desired to destroy the nation of Israel through Haman. God placed Esther as Queen, precisely at that point in time, to rescue the Jews. If she had not acted, her family would have perished and a deliverer would have come from another place.

The nation of Israel gave birth to the Messiah, who gave his life for all mankind. Jesus, the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world, won the victory over sin and death. Even though the blood of the Lamb defeated Satan, the devil still roams about the earth, seeking to devour, kill and destroy. His hatred toward God’s people has not changed over the centuries. TV news has become his publicity department.

Our voices must not be feeble or hesitant in speaking the truth. Like Esther, we have a part to play in God’s plan to broadcast the Good News of salvation through His beloved Son, Jesus Christ. God desires that our neighbor, mechanic, grocer, co-worker, classmate etc. will not perish, but have everlasting life.

Today, God calls us to share Christ for such a time as this.

yicareggie

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Esther 1, 2; Matthew 1; Luke 3

  • Esther–a new opening for the Queen’s job. Girls from the area taken and prepared to apply. Esther is chosen.
  • Matthew–a lineage listed, all leading up to the fulfillment of prophecy. A Messiah. When Joseph woke up, he did as he was told.

20 As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet:

23 “Look! The virgin will conceive a child!
She will give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel,
which means ‘God is with us.’”

24 When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. 25 But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus. Matthew 1:20-25 NLT.

  • Luke–a man prepares the way, preaching and baptizing. Everyone was expecting the Messiah to come soon. And then one day, Jesus was baptized.

Esther would save her people through obedience and humility.

Jesus did the same.

Esther, Joseph, John and Jesus–these chapters are the first-step-starts of bigger stories and journeys. Each one, responding in obedience: one being taken from the familiar and placed into royalty; another faced with a cultural blemish; one marches fervently and focused; and Jesus–the son of God and Savior.

These stories all united by the tasks before them, the big jobs prepared for them before their births. They are united by the obedience to do what was required. And they tell me that first-step starts lead to bigger stories and journeys.

When my task is to love God with all my heart, and to love my neighbor as myself–first-step-starts in obedience will lead to greater endings than I could ever imagine. It leads to lives changed and God’s glory. Even if, at first, it is only a package of cookies delivered with a smile.

Father, may I always be listening for your call.

Courtney (66books365)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Esther, Luke, Matthew, New Testament, Old Testament