What a Difference a Day Makes Esther 6 part 2

I bet Mordecai did not see that coming…He probably woke up grieving for his people, then the guards approached and with them Haman—ughhh! But, then instead of chains and whips the King’s robe and the King’s horse.  I am sure that Mordecai was shocked and amazed.  Meanwhile, Haman thought his day not get any worse.  He had defined this reward as a selfish gift.  He had planned to show the world he and Xerxes were BFFs.  Instead, he honored the very man for which he designed an impaling pole.  Afterward, he ran home and the family and friends basically said, “Dude your toast!” What a reversal of fortune.

Throughout his ministry Jesus said we will thrive if we remain humble, submitted and seek God and not our own desires.  He also said the opposite was true, the more intently we try to control our destiny, the more earnestly we seek to look out for ourselves, the more Chaos and disruption we will experience.  Matt 6:33 says, “Seek First the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.”

When we contrast the lives of Mordecai and Haman, I believe God showed himself to be a man of his word.  But, there is still more!

God Bless You

11 So Haman got the robe and the horse. He robed Mordecai, and led him on horseback through the city streets, proclaiming before him, “This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!”  12 Afterward Mordecai returned to the king’s gate. But Haman rushed home, with his head covered in grief, 13 and told Zeresh his wife and all his friends everything that had happened to him.

His advisers and his wife Zeresh said to him, “Since Mordecai, before whom your downfall has started, is of Jewish origin, you cannot stand against him—you will surely come to ruin!” 14 While they were still talking with him, the king’s eunuchs arrived and hurried Haman away to the banquet Esther had prepared.

Esther 5 part 1–The face of Love

Dove Wedding PhotographyThe face of Love is so different than the face of Hatred.  So many of these devotions have sang the praise of God our Father.  We have discussed through the years how a Father cannot help but love and hope for the opportunity to bless his children and his chosen.  Esther 5 begins with the beautiful picture of the face of love—but then rears the face of hate in its rawest and most wicked form.  But let’s discuss that tomorrow.  When Esther approached her Husband the king—she did so with humility and faith, not in the King but in God. Yet, as the King saw her, without hesitation, he welcomed her and offered her half of his kingdom.  The face of Love welcomes its object.  The heart of Love concerns itself with what it can give to please its focus, and the life of love gives no thought to selfish desire or ambition.  Xerxes simply wanted his queen close, cared for and secure in her safety and position in his life.

God is the same.  His arms always welcome us, his heart always longs to bless us, protect us and wow us with amazing creativity. His very being seeks only to raise us up and bring us home to spend eternity with him.  Stop and take inventory of those you love and associate your first thoughts to your first looks, thoughts and desires for them—then ask—if I can long for wonderful things for my loved ones HOW MUCH MORE does the father long to welcome, share and demonstrate his love for us.  Esther’s Husband was a kind and adoring man…but, Esther’s God was exponentially more loving to her, her people and those chosen ever since.  Thanks Lord for loving me and demonstrating each and every day that you are hopelessly and completely in love with a sinner such as me!

God Bless You

5 On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the palace, in front of the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the hall, facing the entrance. 2 When he saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her and held out to her the gold scepter that was in his hand. So Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter.

3 Then the king asked, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be given you.”

4 “If it pleases the king,” replied Esther, “let the king, together with Haman, come today to a banquet I have prepared for him.”

5 “Bring Haman at once,” the king said, “so that we may do what Esther asks.”

So the king and Haman went to the banquet Esther had prepared. 6 As they were drinking wine, the king again asked Esther, “Now what is your petition? It will be given you. And what is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted.”

7 Esther replied, “My petition and my request is this: 8 If the king regards me with favor and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and fulfill my request, let the king and Haman come tomorrow to the banquet I will prepare for them. Then I will answer the king’s question.”

Esther 4 part 3 What do I Do Now…

Esther realized that she had been inserted into God’s plan.  Her Uncle had made clear the truth—God’s plan will be executed, our choice to be a part is a step of faith, but one that does have consequence. Esther knew what she had to do, she called upon God’s people to fast and pray.  She and her folks joined them in fasting and praying and at the end, she agreed to approach the King even if it meant her very life.

We have to have the right attitude about God’s plan, our submission and our faith. We have to believe God will do what he has set out to do. We then have to submit to prayer and obedience even fasting to prepare to hear from him and see his mighty work.  Then, finally, we have to step out in faith even at risk of life and livelihood to allow him to show his glory and protect and provide.  There are no short cuts to honoring God.  We simply have to follow him and trust his leadership.  When we choose to disobey, he still executes his plan through others, but we lose out on the opportunity to benefit from his plan.  Obey, seek him and watch him work in your life—that is how we are allowed to be a part of his amazing journey.

God Bless You

12 When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, 13 he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 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?”

15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”

17 So Mordecai went away and carried out all of Esther’s instructions.

Life Ain’t Fair Esther 3 part 3

There are times when we see life unfold and are positive that “life ain’t fair.”  Haman got his feelings hurt and he in turn sentenced the captives from Israel to death.  When we see things like that occur, it causes us to question God and his love for us.  Truth is, we see only a few pixels of a grand marquee.  We will never understand God’s plan for our lives and the lives of those we interact with, and yet his plan always moves forward.

In our lives, we have to cling to the idea that God really does have a plan and we are an integral part of it. We do not have to understand the plan we simply have to trust that God will bring it to pass.  He promises to protect and provide for his kids—We simply have to walk and trust that even when life ain’t fair, that he will.  Help me, Lord to trust your plan and humbly follow you.

God Bless You

Then Haman said to King Xerxes, “There is a certain people dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom who keep themselves separate. Their customs are different from those of all other people, and they do not obey the king’s laws; it is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them. 9 If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them, and I will give ten thousand talents[b] of silver to the king’s administrators for the royal treasury.”

10 So the king took his signet ring from his finger and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. 11 “Keep the money,” the king said to Haman, “and do with the people as you please.”

12 Then on the thirteenth day of the first month the royal secretaries were summoned. They wrote out in the script of each province and in the language of each people all Haman’s orders to the king’s satraps, the governors of the various provinces and the nobles of the various peoples. These were written in the name of King Xerxes himself and sealed with his own ring. 13 Dispatches were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces with the order to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews—young and old, women and children—on a single day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods. 14 A copy of the text of the edict was to be issued as law in every province and made known to the people of every nationality so they would be ready for that day.

The Word–John 1 part 1

In the season of Christmas, I am excited to study about the Lord Jesus.  Who He is and why he came.  What better way to begin than to look at John 1-In the beginning was the Word.  The Word is a bold phrase.  As God touches me this morning, I am reminded that He said, “Let there be light and there was light.” He spoke creation into existence.  He breathed life into men and provided for them the greatest collection of life and beauty imaginable.  He gave them free choice to live and to love.  His heart broke when they totally missed what made him God.  They wanted knowledge and power—when he offered peace and immortality. So he was faced with the difficult choice every father makes for his children—what can I do to protect and redeem the ones I love.  So God—The Word—became flesh and became a piercing light in the darkness.  His light draws many, but it also repels those who live comfortably in the dark. He came to overcome the darkness and redeem the lost—Thank you, God for your coming!

God Bless You

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.

Thanksgiving Week-Psalms 95

As it is the week of Thanksgiving, it is a great time to reflect on the many reasons we should be thankful.  Over the last several years many of us have experienced loss. Jobs, health , family or some other precious things in our lives have been taken.  As that has happened, it becomes more difficult to focus upon all he has provided.  Shelter, food, friends and family that remain—financial provision often from the hand of God all are things we are to be thankful for.  God has been kind to our family this year.  We have seen great loss but even greater provision from the hand of the Lord. We are truly thankful for all he has done.  We thank you Lord—for your mercy and provision for our lives.

God Bless You

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.

3 For the Lord is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
5 The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.

6 Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
7 for he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.