Esther 4:1-7:10 ~ 1 Corinthians 12:1-26 ~ Psalm 36:1-12 ~ Proverbs 21:21-22
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Old Testament - Today in Esther chapter 4 we read about Mordecai persuading Queen Esther to help save the Jews from Haman’s evil plot. In verse 14 we read these amazing words of Mordecai’s to Esther: “And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” For such a time as this. Powerful words to consider. You’ll recall similar words were used in the narrative of Joseph in Genesis – Joseph was sent ahead to Egypt by God to save his family from famine “for such a time as this.” Esther was married to the Persian King for such a time as this. And I believe that you and I have been placed on this earth this very day for such a time as this. Do you believe it is true that you really have been placed on this earth by God for such a time as this? Do you believe that there is a definite purpose for your life that God has called you to? Do you realize that you have the choice – as Esther had the choice – to move forward with God’s vision and plan for your life or to say no to God? Our time on this life is short. We can live our lives in accordance with God’s will and purpose for us or we can waste away our life with useless distractions. Trust me - the devil wants nothing more than to distract you from what God has called you to for such a time as this. So, what say you? Will you live your life wholly and purposefully for God for such a time as this? Will you leave the distractions behind? Here’s a quote from modern day best selling business author Jim Collins (Good to Great) that reminds me of how distractions – even good ones – can keep us from truly living out God’s purpose for our lives for such a time as this – “The good is always the enemy of the best.”
Below is an amazing painting by Rembrandt from the year 1660 of Esther revealing the evil plans of Haman to King Xerxes at the banquet in chapter 7. Check out how Haman is off in the left in the shadows... apropos!
New Testament - First Corinthians 12 is once again another amazing chapter in this book! Spiritual Gifts and the Body of Christ... it gets no better! I love verses 4 through 7: "Now there are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but it is the same Holy Spirit who is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service in the church, but it is the same Lord we are serving. There are different ways God works in our lives, but it is the same God who does the work through all of us. A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church." If you are a believer in Jesus as your Lord, do you believe that a spiritual gift has been given to you? Do you know what your spiritual gift is? Are you using your spiritual gift as a means of helping the entire church? (I think my spiritual gift is a gift that Paul did not write about in this chapter - the gift of blogging! :)
I love Paul's discourse on the Body of Christ. Verse 26 stands out: "If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad." This makes me wonder about the Body of Christ in our world today. Do you think that there are Christians in our world today who are suffering? Who are starving? Who are being persecuted? Who are dying of AIDS? And... if there are Christians - part of the Body of Christ just as we are part of the Body of Christ - who are suffering, are we sharing in the suffering with them in any way, shape, or form? If we are not, are we ignoring part of our Body? As Casting Crowns put it in their big hit Christian song - "If we are the Body, why aren't His hands healing? Why is His love not showing them there is a Way?" Why?
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in First Corinthians titled "Spirituality and Spiritual Gifts" is at this link.
Psalms - I love Psalm 36 today! There are some powerful verses in this Psalm... Starting off with verse 1 being a scary & true verse... "Sin whispers to the wicked, deep within their hearts. They have no fear of God to restrain them." Wow. I'll admit - I've been there. I know what it is like to have sin whispering deep within my heart. Thank God for the gift of Jesus - the savior of my world... Thank God for the gift of the fear of God. And thank God for the gift of the Holy Spirit who directs us along the narrow path - the path of life and light. I pray that verse 1 does not ring too true for you today - but if it does, please pray to Jesus to instead fill your heart with Jesus' Spirit, which is the only power that can truly dispel the whisper of sin within.
Verses 5 & 6 reminded me immediately of the Third Day song "Your Love Oh Lord", which borrows nicely from these verses (and is our YouTube for the day, below): "Your unfailing love, O LORD, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the ocean depths."
Verse 9 just has so much simplicity in it's truth... I love it... I hope you believe this too - "For you are the fountain of life, the light by which we see." Are there really any other lights by which we may see? Are there really any other fountains of life?
Proverbs - Proverbs 21:21 is a great one to live by! "Whoever pursues godliness and unfailing love will find life, godliness, and honor." What is godliness? What is unfailing love? Are you pursuing both of these? Do you believe that in this pursuit you will find life? Godliness? Honor? Are these worth pursuing? If so... pursue!
Worship God: Here is Third Day's "Your Love Oh Lord"!
Comments from You & Questions of the Day: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!