“Where is God?” August 2

 

Where is God? - Have you ever wondered "Where is God?" Why doesn't He seem to be answering my prayers? Why is he allowing this?st 2" >Have you ever wondered “Where is God?” Why doesn’t He seem to be answering my prayers? Why is he allowing this?

Also, what does it mean that God “remembers our sins no more”? Does it means He forgets? Do we have to forget in order to forgive others of sins against us?

 

Today’s Readings:
Esther 5 & 6
Psalm 90.1-6
Proverbs 22.9
Romans 4.1-25

Where is God?

 

& :

The God Who is Always at Work on Behalf of His People

 

God is always at work, on behalf of His people, even when we can’t see what He is doing. In the book of Esther, there is no prophet, no direct words from God. God’s activities are not, at first, apparent.

But He causes a pagan king to suffer a sleepless night and to ask his servant to read to him—from a government record. What an unlikely “bedtime story.” Then God has the reader go to something that happened five years previously, concerning one of His servants, Mordecai, and his loyalty to the King! As you will remember from yesterday’s reading, Mordecai is in wicked Haman’s crosshairs.

When the king realized Mordecai had never been rewarded for his actions, he decided to reward him (better late than never) and used his enemy, Haman, to do it. Haman was mortified and, probably, terrified about this turn of events!

Even his wife, who had encouraged him to build a gallows on which to hang Mordecai, said, “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.”

To be continued in tomorrow’s reading …

As you read today’s and tomorrow’s readings in Esther, ask God to show you how He’s working behind the scenes in your life, even in those things which are painful and difficult, when you’re tempted to ask, “Where is God?” Meditate on and ask yourself: Continue reading

“Would you raise your hand?” August 1

 

Would you raise your hand? - What if God gave you a dangerous assignment? Would you be willing to go? Would you raise your hand and say, "I will go and if I perish, I perish"? Our passage in Proverbs warns us about the slavery of debt and Paul, in our New Testament reading, hits us with the issue of sin and then shows us God's cure. st 1" >What if God gave you a dangerous assignment? Would you be willing to go? Would you raise your hand and say, “I will go and if I perish, I perish”?

Our passage in Proverbs warns us about the slavery of debt and Paul, in our New Testament reading, hits us with the issue of sin and then shows us God’s cure.

 

Today’s Readings:
Esther 3 & 4
Psalm 89.46-52
Proverbs 22.7-8
Romans 3.1-31

 

Would you raise your hand?

 

& :

If I Perish, I Perish

 

Galatians 4.29:

“But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now.”

The devil has always been out to destroy that which God loves. It was no different in Esther’s day. But the good news is that the sovereign Lord was, is and always will be in control of the ultimate outcome.

Esther had found favor and become Queen, but even as Queen, her right to come into the King’s presence was limited. But now her people were in great danger and her Cousin Mordecai sent her a message to let her know she needed to petition the King on their behalf. Such a bold move could cost her life.

But Mordecai’s words to Esther encouraged her to trust in God’s sovereignty, “Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” and she responded in faith, “And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!” (vs. 16).

I, actually, think Mordecai’s question was more of a challenge than a question. Look at the rest of verse 14:

14 For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

What about you and me? This is the time and place that God has chosen for us to live and bring Him glory (). This is the family. This is the spouse. This is the nation. This is the time.

How would you respond if standing up for God or His people could cost your life? Most of us won’t be faced with the risk of, literally, losing our lives, but we are, at times, faced with the risk of losing favor or reputation or some other temporal benefit. How would we respond?

Are we willing to take a stand? Are we willing to be used by our sovereign God for this time in the kingdom? Could we say with Esther, “I will go and if I perish, I perish”? Would you raise your hand? Would I?

Continue reading

“Virgins, Self-Righteousness & Parental Guarantees” July 31

 

Virgins, Self-Righteousness & Parental Guarantees - Most of us are familiar with the proverb: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” But we all know kids who were raised in church and, yet, have walked away from God. What went wrong? Did their parents miss something? Did God fail to keep His Word? Do we have a guarantee that our children will continue to walk with God?

 

Most of us are familiar with the proverb: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” But we all know kids who were raised in church and, yet, have walked away from God. What went wrong? Did their parents miss something? Did God fail to keep His Word? Do we have a guarantee that our children will continue to walk with God?

We’ll also read about:

Esther, what God was up to, and the un-fairytale like ending for the other young virgins taken as “potential queen for a night.”

And the danger of judgment and self-righteousness Paul warns us about in Romans 2.

 

Today’s Readings:
Esther 1 & 2
Psalm 89.38-45
Proverbs 22.5-6
Romans 2.1-29

 

Virgins, Self-Righteousness & Parental Guarantees

 

& :

Young Virgins & a Selfish King

 

The book of Esther takes place sometime between the time the Jews began to return to Jerusalem under Zerubbabel and the second return under Ezra. It’s quite an interesting book. Though the name of God is not mentioned at all, He is seen everywhere, and is in control of the events of this book in a grand way!—as He is in all the events of history and the world (even our election cycle).

The book starts out with a party and what a party it is—7 days, free flowing wine, everyone is invited (the men, at least!), golden goblets, entertainment … wine, women (probably the entertainment) and song, as the saying goes.

Finally, the drunken king decides to show off his wife and she refuses to come. The men were faced with a problem. If word got around that the queen didn’t obey the king, all the women would refuse to obey their husbands! So, at the other men’s urging, he strips away her crown.

But when the king sobered up Continue reading

August 1 “Would you raise your hand?”

hands raised, send mest 1 “Would you raise your hand?”" >What if God gave you a dangerous assignment? Would you be willing to go? Would you raise your hand and say, “I will go and if I perish, I perish”?

Today’s Readings:
Esther 3 & 4
Psalm 89.46-52
Proverbs 22.7-8
Romans 3.1-31

Esther 3 & 4:

If I perish, I perish

Galatians 4.29:

“But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now.”

The devil has always been out to destroy that which God loves. It was no different in Esther’s day. But the good news is that the sovereign Lord was, is and always will be in control of the ultimate outcome.

Esther had found favor and become Queen, but even as Queen, her right to come into the King’s presence was limited. But now her people were in great danger and her Uncle Mordecai sent her a message to let her know she needed to petition the King on their behalf. Such a bold move could cost her life.

But Mordecai’s words to Esther encouraged her to trust in God’s sovereignty, “Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” and she responded in faith, “And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!” (vs. 16).

Actually, I think Mordecai’s question was more of a challenge than a question. Look at the rest of verse 14:

14 For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

What about you and me? This is the time and place that God has chosen for us to live and bring Him glory (Acts 17.26). This is the family. This is the spouse. This is the nation. This is the time.

How would you respond if standing up for God or His people could cost your life? Most of us won’t be faced with the risk of losing our lives, but we are, at times, faced with the risk of losing favor or reputation or some other temporal benefit. How do we respond?

Are we willing to take a stand? Are we willing to be used by our sovereign God for this time in the kingdom? Could we say with Esther, “I will go and if I perish, I perish”? Would I? Would you?

Continue reading

July 31 “The goodness of God & repentance”

LeadsYoutoRepentance[1]

“… in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things” (Rom. 2.1)—strong words that should cause us to examine our own hearts and lives and to remember that it’s the goodness of God that leads us and others to repentance.

Today’s Readings:
Esther 1 & 2
Psalm 89.38-45
Proverbs 22.5-6
Romans 2.1-29

Esther 1 & 2:

Young virgins & a selfish king

The book of Esther takes place sometime between the time the Jews began to return to Jerusalem under Zerubbabel and the second return under Ezra. It’s quite an interesting book. Though the name of God is not mentioned at all in the book, He’s seen everywhere, and is in control of the events of this book in a grand way!—as He is in all the events of history and the world.

The book starts out with a party and what a party it is—7 days, free flowing wine, everyone is invited (the men, at least!), golden goblets, entertainment … wine, women (probably the entertainment) and song, as the saying goes.

Finally, the drunken king decides to show off his wife and she refuses to come. The men were faced with a problem. If word got around that the queen didn’t obey the king, all the women would refuse to obey their husbands! So, at the other men’s urging, she lost her position as queen. Continue reading