Thursday, November 19, 2015


Jn 15:16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My Name He may give you.

Ever ask God for something in the Name of Jesus and not get it? Be honest.
Are you bearing the fruit God has appointed you to bear? If not, could that be why? God's word is true. But we must do our part. What we ask for must be in God's will. He's not gonna give you anything that is against His will. And you must be bearing the fruit He has for you to bear.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Journeys and Ants

Mt 4:18 And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.
:19 Then He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men."
:20 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.
:21 Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them,
:22 and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.

The journey we are called to walk as Christians is not always easy. Sometimes it seems it would be easier to just give up. But when things are difficult, we can rest awhile and renew our strength. We need to rest awhile in the Lord, seek His rest, and His strength for the rest of the journey.

Only God knows where the path will lead us, but He is always with us on the journey. We are never alone.

Knowing He is with us makes the journey easier.

Ps 6:1 My son, if you become surety for your friend, if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger;
:2 you are snared by the words of your mouth; you are taken by the words of your mouth.
:3 So do this, my son, and deliver yourself; for you have come into the hand of your friend: go and humble yourself; plead with your friend.
:4 Give no sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids.
:5 Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, and like a bird from the hand of the fowler.
:6 Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise.
:7 Which, having no captain, overseer or ruler,
:8 provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest.
:9 How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep?
:10 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep -
:11 so shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, and your need like an armed man.

Off and on we have ant issues. Sugar ants (the little tiny ones) inside and regular ants outside. After a recent battle I thought of this verse about the ant and decided to check it out.

Verse 6 is directed tot he sluggard. Another way to say it would be it is directed to the lazy.

Proverbs is full of things said urgently. Above it says to not take on someone else's debt. That's good advice even today. He says get out of it NOW! Don't delay.

So back to the ants. Ants are anything but lazy. They work hard and work together. Ever watch them at work?

1. Ants take the initiative.

They don't have anyone over them telling them what to do, or how to act. They just do what needs to be done.

2. Ants plan in advance.

They are planners. They don't procrastinate. They don't have to worry about food in the winter, because they have gathered and preserved it already. Planning in advance can keep things running smoothly.

3. Ants work as a team.

Pr 30:24 There are four things which are little on the earth, but are exceedingly wise:
:25 the ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their food in the summer.

Notice it says ants aren't strong. They are tiny little things. We think of them as problems, even though it takes nothing to squash one. It's because they work as a team. We can handle one little ant, but when they work as a team and are many, it becomes a problem.

They do everything as a team. They each have their jobs. Some take care of babies, some gather food, some dig, some fight in protection. They each know their role, and do it for the good of each other and for their survival. They all have the same goal.

Our goal as Christians is to spread the gospel. We need to work as a team to get it done and not be lazy about it.

Let's learn from the ant so we can be wise in the end.

Monday, November 9, 2015


Luke 2:22 Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord,
:23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord",
:24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, "A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons."
:25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
:26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
:27 So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law,
:28 he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:
:29 "Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word;
:30 for my eyes have seen Your salvation
:31 which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,
:32 a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel."
:33 And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him.
34 Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary, "Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against,
:35 (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."
:36 Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years form her virginity;
:37 and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
:38 And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

Is 30:18 Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you; and therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for Him.

Do you ever get impatient waiting for God for anything? We often equate "wait" with "waste".

If you are waiting for something or someone, you think you are doing nothing, which seems like a waste of time.

Waiting serves many purposes. It proves our faith. Those whose faith is weak are often the first to give up waiting, while those with the strongest faith are willing to wait indefinitely.

Not receiving an answer immediately when we pray is not a reason to give up faith.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Peace and Esther # 12

Esther 10:1 And King Xerxes imposed tribute on the land and on the islands of the sea.
:2 Now all the acts of his power and his might, and the account of the greatness of Mordecai, to which the king advanced him, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia?
:3 For Mordecai the Jew was second to King Xerxes, and was great among the Jews and well received by the multitudes of his brethren, seeking the good of his people and speaking peace to all his countrymen.

King Xerxes was killed during his twentieth year as king. He is mostly remembered today for his Queen, Esther, and the way God worked through him to save the Jews. Esther and Mordecai have lasting fame for the strength of their faith and conviction. From Esther’s courage we can draw strength, especially when we must take a stand for God and do more than we think possible.

Without directly mentioning God’s name, the writer lets us know that God is at work through the incredible string of events. The Jews know that God will take care of them even if His name isn’t mentioned.
This finishes the book of Esther.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Deceivers and Esther # 11

2 Tim 3:13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.
:14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,
:15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
:17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Even though these words were written long ago, they could have been written about the world today. We must hold tight to Christ and the Word of God so we aren't deceived.

Esther 9:1 Now in the twelfth month, that is, the month of Adar, on the thirteenth day, the time came for the king's command and his decree to be executed. On the day that the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, the opposite occurred, in that the Jews themselves overpowered those who hated them.
:2 The Jews gathered together in their cities throughout all the provinces of King Xerxes to lay hands on those who sought their harm. And no one could withstand them, because fear of them fell upon all people.
:3 And all the officials of the provinces, the satraps, the governors, and all those doing the king's work, helped the Jews, because the fear of Mordecai fell upon them.
:4 For Mordecai was great in the king's palace, and his fame spread throughout all the provinces; for this man Mordecai became increasingly prominent.
:5 Thus the Jews defeated all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, with slaughter and destruction, and did what they pleased with those who hated them.
:6 And in Shushan the citadel the Jews killed and destroyed five hundred men.
:7 Also Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha,
:8 Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha,
:9 Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai, and Vajezatha -
:10 the ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews - they killed; but they did not lay a hand on the plunder.
:11 On that day the number of those who were killed in Shushan the citadel was brought to the king.
:12 And the king said to Queen Esther, "The Jews have killed and destroyed five hundred men in Shushan the citadel, and the ten sons of Haman. What have they done in the rest of the king's provinces? Now where is your petition? It shall be granted to you, or what is your further request? It shall be done."
:13 Then Esther said, "If it pleases the king, let it be granted to the Jews who are in Shushan to do again tomorrow according to today's decree, and let Haman's ten sons be hanged on the gallows."
:14 So the king commanded this to be done; the decree was issued in Shushan and they hanged Haman's ten sons.
:15 And the Jews who were in Shushan gathered together again on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar and killed three hundred men at Shushan; but they did not lay a hand on the plunder.
:16 The remainder of the Jews in the king's provinces gathered together and protected their lives, had rest from their enemies, and killed seventy-five thousand of their enemies; but they did not lay a hand on the plunder.
:17 This was on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar. And on the fourteenth of the month they rested and made it a day of feasting and gladness.
:18 But the Jews who were at Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth day, as well as on the fourteenth; and on the fifteenth of the month they rested, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.
:19 Therefore the Jews of the villages who dwelt in the unwalled towns celebrated the fourteenth day of the month of Adar with gladness and feasting, as a holiday, and for sending presents to one another.
:20 And Mordecai wrote these things and sent letters to all the Jews, near and far, who were in all the provinces of King Xerxes,
:21 to establish among them that they should celebrate yearly the fourteenth and fifteenth day of the month of Adar,
:22 as the days on which the Jews had rest from their enemies, as the month which was turned from sorrow to joy for them, and from mourning to a holiday; that they should make them days of fasting and joy, of sending presents to one another and gifts to the poor.
:23 So the Jews accepted the custom which they had begun, as Mordecai had written to them,
:24 because Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to annihilate them, and had cast Pur (that is, the lot), to consume them and destroy them;
:25 but when Esther came before the king, he commanded by letter that this wicked plot which Haman had devised against the Jews should return on his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.
:26 So they called these days Purim, after the name Pur. Therefore, because of all the words of this letter, what they had seen concerning this matter, and what had happened to them,
:27 the Jews established and imposed it upon themselves and their descendants and all who would join them, that without fail they should celebrate these two days every year, according to the written instructions and according to the prescribed time,
:28 that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city, that these days of Purim should not fail to be observed among the Jews, and that the memory of them should not perish among their descendants.
:29 Then Queen Esther, the daughter of Abihail, with Mordecai the Jew, wrote with full authority to confirm this second letter about Purim.
:30 And Mordecai sent letters to all the Jews, to the one hundred and twenty-seven provinces of the kingdom of Xerxes, with words of peace and truth,
:31 to confirm these days of Purim at their appointed time, as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had prescribed for them, and as they had decreed for themselves and their descendants concerning matters of their fasting and lamenting.
:32 So the decree of Esther confirmed the matters of Purin, and it was written in the book.

The Jews were told to take the plunder, yet they didn't. Their motive was to protect themselves not to profit.

God loves us to celebrate His work and actions on people's behalf.

Just as the Jews were able to fight their enemies with God's help, we can fight our enemy the devil with God's help.

Our weapons are:

1. Prayer
Col 4:2 Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.

2. The armor of God
Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil

3. Power of the Holy Spirit
Rom 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Tongue and Esther # 10

Pr 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
:2 The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.
:3 The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.
:4 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
:5 A fool despises his father’s instruction, but he who receives correction is prudent.
:6 In the house of the righteous there is much treasure, but in the revenue of the wicked is trouble.
:7 The lips of the wise disperse knowledge, but the heart of the fool does not do so.

In verse 2, pours forth translates to explodes out. Rash accusations, angry words, and verbal abuse can do immeasurable and lifelong damage.

Eph 4:29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

No dirty or ugly talk.

Eph 4:25 Therefore putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another.

No lying

Eph 4:31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.

No character assassination.

What comes out of your mouth should be wholesome and uplifting.
We are careful what goes into our mouths. Let’s be just as careful what comes out of our mouths.

Esther 8:1 On that day King Xerxes gave Queen Esther the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. And Mordecai came before the king, for Esther had told how he was related to her.
:2 So 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.
:3 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.
:4 And the king held out the golden scepter toward Esther. So Esther arose and stood before the king,
:5 and said, “If it pleases the king, and if I have found favor in his sight and the thing seems right to the king and I am pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to revoke the letters devised by Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to annihilate the Jews  who are in all the king’s provinces.
:6 For how can I endure to see the evil that will come to my people? Or how can I endure to see the destruction of my countrymen?”
:7 Then King Xerxes said to Queen Esther and Mordecai the Jew, “Indeed, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and they hanged him on the gallows because he tried to lay his hand on the Jews.
:8 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.”
:9 So the king’s scribes were called at that time, in the third month, which is the month of Sivan, on the twenty-third day; and it was written, according to all that Mordecai commanded to the Jews, the satraps, the governors, and the princes of the provinces from India to Ethiopia, one hundred and twenty-seven provinces in all, to every province in its own script, to every people in their own language, and to the Jews in their own script and language.
:10 And he wrote in the name of King Xerxes, sealed it with the king’s signet ring, and sent letters by couriers on horseback, riding on royal horses bred from swift steeds.
:11 By these letters the king permitted the Jews who were in every city to gather together and protect their lives – to destroy, kill, and annihilate all the forces of any people or province that would assult them, both little children and women, and to plunder their possessions.
:12 On one day in all the provinces of King Xerxes, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar.
:13 A copy of the document was to be issued as a decree in every province and published for all people, so that the Jews would be ready on that day to avenge themselves on their enemies.
:14 The couriers who rode on royal horses went out, hastened and pressed on by the king’s command. And the decree was issued in Shushan the citadel.
:15 So Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, with a great crown of gold and a garment of fine linen and purple; and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad.
:16 The Jews had light and gladness, joy and honor.
:17 And in every province and city, wherever the king’s command and decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a holiday. Then many of the people of the land became Jews, because fear of the Jews fell upon them.

God’s intervention becomes even clearer as Mordecai receives everything Haman wanted: power, property and position. Even the king’s signet ring.
Since the previous decree can’t be changed, a new one is issued saying the Jews can fight back.

Here’s what the new decree said:

1.     Jews had the right to assemble.

2   2.     Jews could defend themselves.
     3.  Jews could destroy any who attacked them.
      4.  Jews could claim the possessions of their attackers.


Friday, October 30, 2015

The Devil’s Lies and Esther 9

John 8:37 “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you.
:38 I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.”
:39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham.
:40 But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this.
:41 You do the deeds of your father.” Then they said to Him,  “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father – God.”
:42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.
:43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word.
:44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
:45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.
:46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me?
:47 He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”
Satan’s influence over mankind began when he turned the minds of Adam and Eve against God. He had to lie to them to do it. He lied to them about God’s goodness, His word, and His intentions. He is still doing the same thing today.
It’s not surprising when trouble comes around, that he is whispering in our ears and begin questioning God’s goodness.
Our problem is just like Adam and Eve, we believe satan’s lies. That compromises our loyalty to God. Then he slithers away to the next person, leaving us to face our regrets for believing the lies.
Who are you listening to today?

Esther 7:1 So the king and Haman wet to dine with Queen Esther.
:2 And on the second day, at the banquet of wine, the king again said to Esther, “What is your petition, Queen Esther? It shall be grated you. And what is your request, up to half the kingdom? It shall be done!”
:3 Then Queen Esther answered and said, “If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request.
:4 For we have been sold, my people and I, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. Had we been sold as male and female slaves, I would have held my tongue, although the enemy could never compensate for the king’s loss.”
:5 So King Xerxes answered and said to Queen Esther, “Who is he, and where is he, who would dare presume in his heart to do such a thing?”
:6 And Esther said, “The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman!” So Haman was terrified before the king and queen.
:7 Then the king arose in his wrath from the banquet of wine and went into the palace garden; but Haman stood before Queen Esther, pleading for his life, for he saw that evil was determined against him by the king.
:8 When the king returned from the palace garden to the place of the banquet of wine, Haman had fallen across the couch where Esther was. Then the king said, “Will he also assault the queen while I am in the house?” As the word left the king’s mouth, they covered Haman’s face.
:9 Now Harbonah, one of the eunuch’s 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!”
:10 So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the king’s wrath subsided.
Esther tells the king if the Jews had been sold as slaves at least the king would have gotten money. Apparently the king has a very short memory because he forgot his own orders.
Haman’s day got even worse just as his family said it would. Harbonah must not have liked Haman, as he is quick to tell the king about the gallows.
God is a God of justice. The fact that Haman was hanged on the gallows he prepared for Mordecai shows that.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


Lev 19:11 You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another.
:12 And you shall not swear by My name falsely, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.
:13 You shall not cheat your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of him who is hired shall not remain with you all night until morning.
:14 You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but shall fear your God: I am the Lord.
:15 You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor.
:16 You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people; nor shall you take a stand against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord.
:17 You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him.
:18 You shall not take nor bear vengeance, any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.
God has a zero-tolerance for gossip.
1.       It betrays confidence.
Pr 11:13 A talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.

2.       Separates close friends.
Pr 16:28 A perverse man sows strife, and a whisperer separates the best of friends.

Pr 17:9 He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends.

3.       Shames and saddles you with a bad reputation.
Pr 25:9 Debate your case with your neighbor, and do not disclose the secret to another;
:10 lest he who hears it expose your shame, and your reputation be ruined.

4.       Fuels the embers of a quarrel.
Pr 26:20 Where there is no wood, the fire goes out: and where there is no tolerance, strife ceases.
:21 As charcoal is to burning coals, and wood is to fire, so is a contentious man to kindle strife.
:22 The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, and they go down into the inmost body.
People can rarely undo the damage their untrue words have done to a friend.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Heart and Esther #8

Phil 1:12 I am sending him back. You therefore receive him, that is, my own heart,
:13 whom I wished to keep with me, that on your behalf he might minister to me in my chains for the gospel.
:14 But without your consent I wanted to do nothing, that your good deed might not be by compulsion, as it were voluntary.
:15 For perhaps he departed for a while for this purpose, that you might receive him forever,
:16 no longer as a slave but more than a slave – a beloved brother, especially to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.
:17 If then you count me as a partner, receive him as you would me.
:18 But if he has wronged you or owes anything, put that on my account.
:19 Paul, am writing with my own hand. I will repay – not to mention to you that you owe me even your own self besides.
:20 Yes, brother, let me have joy from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in the Lord.
:21 Having confidence in your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say.
:22 But, meanwhile, also prepare a guest room for me, for I trust that through your prayers I shall be granted to you.
Onesimus was a runaway slave who escaped from his Christian master Philemon. He received Christ through Paul’s ministry and now Paul was sending him back. It doesn’t say if he was set free, but he should have had a different relationship with Philemon now that they were both Christians.
Through the transforming power of the gospel, people and situation can change.
Esther 6:1 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.
:2 And it was found that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs, the doorkeepers who had sought to lay hands on King Xerxes.
:3 Then the king said,” What honor or dignity has been bestowed on Mordecai for this?” And the king’s servants who attended him said, “Nothing has been bone for him.”
:4 So the king said, “Who is in the court?” Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the king’s palace to suggest that the king hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him.
:5 The king’s servants said to him, “Haman is there, standing in the court.” And the king said, “Let him come in.”
:6 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?”
:7 And Haman answered the king, “For the man whom the king delights to honor,
:8 let a royal robe be brought which the king has worn, and a horse on which the king has ridden, which has a royal crest placed on its head.
:9 Then let this robe and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king’s most noble princes, that he may array the man whom the king delights to honor. Then parade him on horseback through the city square, and proclaim before him: ‘ Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!’”
:10 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.”
:11 So Haman took the robe and the horse, arrayed Mordecai and led him on horseback through the city square, and proclaimed before him, “Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!”
:12 Afterward Mordecai went back to the king’s gate. But Haman hurried to his house, mourning and with his head covered.
:13 When Haman told his wife Zeresh and all his friends everything that had happened to him, his 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.”
:14 While they were still talking with him, the king’s eunuchs came, and hastened to bring Haman to the banquet which Esther had prepared.
God kept the king awake and arranged the king being reminded what Mordecai had done five years before. Any part could have been read, but God made sure that part was read.
How angry Haman must have been when he realized it was Mordecai and not him being honored.
God says the humble will be lifted up and the proud disgraced.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Word and Esther # 7

Mt 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
The enduring quality of the Bible is well known. Tyrants and skeptics have tried to do away with it, sought to ban and discredit it. But it still sells year after year in more languages and greater quantity than any other book. Don’t be content to own a Bible. Read it daily!

Esther 5:1 Now it happened on the third day that Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace, across from the king’s house, while the king sat on his royal throne in the royal house, facing the entrance of the house.
:2 So it was, when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, that she found favor in his sight, and the king held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Ester went near and touched the top of the scepter.
:3 And the king said to her, “What do you wish, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given to you – up to half the kingdom!”
:4 So Esther answered, “If it pleases the king, let the king and Haman come today to the banquet that I have prepared for him.
:5 Then the king said, “Bring Haman quickly, that he may do as Esther has said.” So the king and Haman went to the banquet that Esther had prepared.
:6 At the banquet of wine the king said to Esther, “What is your petition? It shall be granted you. What is your request, up to half the kingdom? It shall be done!”
:7 Then Esther answered and said, “My petition and request is this:
:8 if I have found favor in the sight of the king to grant my petition and fulfill my request, then let the king and Haman come to the banquet which I will prepare for them, and tomorrow I will do as the king has said.”
:9 So Haman went out that day joyful and with a good heart; but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king’s gate, and that he did not stand or tremble before him, he was filled with indignation against Mordecai.
:10 Nevertheless Haman restrained himself and went home, and he sent and called for his friends and his wife Zeresh.
:11 Then Haman told them of his great riches, the multitude of his children, everything in which the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the officials and servants of the king.
:12 Moreover Haman said, “Besides, Queen Esther invited no one but me to come in with the king to the banquet she prepared; and tomorrow I am again invited by her, along with the king.
:13 Yet all this avails me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate.”
:14 Then his wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, “Let a gallows be made, fifty cubits high, and in the morning suggest to the king that Mordecai be hanged on it; then go merrily with the king to the banquet.” And the thing pleased Haman; so he had the gallows made.
God was in control of the king’s response to Esther.
When the king offers her half of the kingdom it means he will give her anything she wants, not necessarily half the kingdom.
It doesn’t say why at the first banquet she doesn’t say anything about Haman’s plot. Maybe she felt it wasn’t time. She instead invites them back the next day. The king enjoys parties so he is happy. She knows what he likes and is being careful to get him ready for the news.
Even though her heart had to be heavy with fear, she kept her head.
Esther shows great faith. She fasted and prayed, and is now taking action with the banquets.
We just like Esther can call upon God for the strength we need.
Her waiting also allowed Haman the time to build the gallows that he would be hung on.
Haman is so upset when he sees Mordecai. His position has really gone to his head.  He can’t enjoy the blessings he has received because he keeps focused on the thing that displeases him.
God wants us to base our emotions and attitudes on His love for us. His love, unlike the favor or approval of others, never changes and will always bring lasting joy and contentment.
Just as Esther gave herself time before making her request, we too should give ourselves time, so we do not get ahead of God’s plan. Sometimes we get impatient thinking God forgot. Waiting for God’s will can be hard, but we must wait.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Heavenly Treasures and Esther # 6

Mt 6:19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;
:20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and wehre thieves do not break in and steal.
:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
:22 The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.
:23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
:24 No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
We have been entrusted with resources – time, ability, opportunity. We decide how to use them. Let’s use them for God’s glory and not waste them.
Esther 4:1 When Mordecai learned all that had happened, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city. He cried out with a loud and bitter cry.
:2 He went as far as the front of the king’s gate, for no one might enter the king’s gate clothed in sackcloth.
:3 And in every province where the king’s command and decree arrived, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes.
:4 So Esther’s maids and eunuchs came and told her, and the queen was deeply distressed. Then she sent garments to clothe Mordecai and take his sackcloth away from him, but he would not accept them.
:5 Then Esther  called Hathach, one of the king’s eunuchs whom he had appointed to attend her, and she gave him a command concerning Mordecai, to learn what and why this was.
:6 So Hathach went out to Mordecai in the city square that was in front of the king’s gate.
:7 And Mordecai told him all that had happened to him, and the sum of money that Haman had promised to pay into the king’s treasuries to destroy the Jews.
:8 He also gave him a copy of the written decree for their destruction, which was given at Shushan, that he might show it to Esther, and explain it to her, and that he might command her to go in to the king to make supplication to him and plead before him for her people.
:9 Hathach returned and told Esther the words of Mordecai.
:10 Then Esther spoke to Hathach, and gave him a command for Mordecai:
:11 “All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that any man or woman who goes into the inner court to the king, who has not been called, he has but one law: put all to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter, that he may live. Yet I myself have not been called to go in to the king these thirty days.”
:12 So they told Mordecai Esther’s words.
:13 And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews.
: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?”
:15 Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai:
:16 “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me: neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!”
:17 So Mordecai went his way and did according to all that Esther commanded him.
Esther must not have heard about the decree until Mordecai told her.
Knowing the king is easily influenced by others, Esther was hesitant to go to him without him requesting her.
Mordecai is sure that God will deliver the Jews one way or another. He tells her maybe she was put there just for this reason.
Esther was fearful approaching the king, but God wants us to approach His throne with confidence, not fear.
To get close to God, we must spend time with Him in prayer, bible study, and occasional fasting.
Fasting is not only about not eating, it means spending that time seeking God.
God always puts His people exactly where He wants them to be for His purpose.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Long-distance and Esther # 5

Mt 24:12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
:13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
Sound familiar?
Jesus said this so we would know in spiritual things, as in much else in life, what counts most is persistence, and tenacity. It’s a long-distance race, not a dash that will be over in a moment. What matters is endurance, not speed. Don’t let your love for God grow cold.
Esther 3:1 After these things, King Xerxes promoted Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him and set his seat above all the princes who were with him.
:2 And all the king’s servants who were within the king’s gate bowed and paid homage to Haman, for so the king had commanded concerning him. But Mordecai would not bow or pay homage.
:3 Then the king’s servants who were within the king’s gate said to Mordecai, “Why do you transgress the king’s command?”
:4 Now it happened when they spoke to him daily and he would not listen to them, that they told it to Haman, to see whether Mordecai’s words would stand; for Mordecai had told them he was a Jew.
:5 When Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow or pay him homage, Haman was filled with wrath.
:6 But he disdained to lay hands on Mordecai alone, for they had told him of the people of Mordecai. Instead, Haman sought to destroy all the Jews who were throughout the whole kingdom of Xerxes – the people of Mordecai.
:7 In the first month, which is the month of Nisan, in the twelfth year of King Xerxes, they cast Pur (that is, the lot), before Haman to determine the day and the month, until it fell on the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar.
:8 Then Haman said to King Xerxes, “There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of your kingdom, their laws are different from all other people’s, and they do not keep the king’s laws. Therefore it is not fitting for the king to let them remain.
:9 If it pleases the king, let a decree be written that they be destroyed, and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver into the hands of those who do the work, to bring it into the king’s treasures.”
:10 So the king took his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews.
:11 And the king said to Haman, “The money and the people are given to you, to do with them as seems good to you.”
:12 Then the king’s scribes were called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and a decree was written according to all that Haman commanded – to the king’s satraps, to the governors who were over each province, to the officials of all people, to every province according to its script, and to every people in their language. In the name of King Xerxes it was written, and sealed with the king’s signet ring.
:13 And the letters were sent by couriers into all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, and to plunder their possessions.
:14 A copy of the document was to be issued as law in every province, being published for all people, that they should be ready for that day.
:15 The couriers went out, hastened by the king’s command; and the decree was proclaimed to Shushan the citadel. So the king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Shushan was perplexed.
Mordecai refuses to bow to Haman because he feels like bowing is like he is worshipping him and it goes against his Jewish beliefs.
Haman, due to pride, is very angry. He decides all the Jews must pay for Mordecai not bowing. God’s provision of a year enables the Jews to take action.
Haman gets the king’s approval, though he doesn’t tell the king the real reason he wants it done.
What a difference between God and King Xerxes. The king doesn’t care that a whole group of his subjects will be murdered. He is very easily influenced by those around him.
Haman even says he’ll pay the king’s treasury for it to be done.
The king took Haman’s word about the Jews. He didn’t seek counsel from anyone else.
Once the decree is sealed with the king’s ring, nothing, not even the king can change it.

Mordecai kept his integrity by doing what he believed was right in the sight of God.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Obey and Esther # 4

James 4:2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.
We try to fight with God. He is greater, more powerful, stronger, and wiser than we are. When He says no, why don’t we just obey?
Esther 2:21 In those days, while Mordecai sat within the king’s gate, two of the king’s eunuchs, Bigthan and Teresh, doorkeepers, became furious and sought to lay hands on King Xerxes.
:22 So the matter became known to Mordecai, who told Queen Esther, and Esther informed the king in Mordecai’s name.
:23 And when an inquiry was made into the matter, it was confirmed, and both were hanged on a gallows; and it was written in the book of the chronicles in the presence of the king.
The city gate was like city hall. It’s where most of business takes place.
God allowed Mordecai to hear the plot against the king. The men are hanged, but Mordecai isn’t rewarded for his service.
In those days, a king greatly rewarded those who were loyal or served well. Mordecai may have been disappointed, but God had a plan and he would be rewarded later.
While this part of the story may seem not that important in the life of Esther, it will be important later.
Just like Mordecai, Christians have to wait for our reward for making right choices now.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Trust and Esther # 3

Ps 56:11 In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
Can (and do ) people hurt each other in many different ways? Yes. But I know that I can trust God to bring me through any situation. We can’t live in fear of what “might” happen. If we do we will miss seeing miss seeing all the blessings God sends our way. Being watchful and being fearful are two different things. Be watchful.
Esther 2:1 After these things, when the wrath of King Xerxes subsided, he remembered Vashti, what she had done, and what had been decreed against her.
:2 Then the king’s servants who attended him said; “Let beautiful young virgins be sought for the king;
:3 and let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather all the beautiful young virgins to Shushan the citadel, into the women’s quarters under the custody of Hegai, the king’s eunuch, custodian of the women. And let beauty preparations be given them.
:4 Then let the young woman who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti.” This thing pleased the king, and he did so.
:5 In Shushan the citadel there was a certain Jew whose name was Mordecai the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite.
:6 Kish had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captives who had been captured with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away.
:7 And Mordecai had brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle’s daughter father nor mother. The young woman was lovely and beautiful. When her father and mother died, Mordecai took her as his own daughter.
:8 So it was, when the king’s command and decree were heard, and when many young women were gathered at Shusham the citadel, under the custody of Hegai, that Esther also was taken to the king’s palace, into the care of Hegai the custodian of the women.
:9 Now the young woman pleased him, and she obtained his favor, so he readily gave beauty preparations to her, besides her allowance. Then seven choice maidservants were provided for her from the king’s palace, and he moved her and her maidservants to the best place in the house of the women.
:10 Esther had not revealed her people or family, for Mordecai had charged her not to reveal it.
:11 And every day Mordecai paced in front of the court of the women’s quarters, to learn of Esther’s welfare and what was happening to her.
:12 Each young woman’s turn came to go in to King Xerxes after she had completed twelve months’ preparation, according to the regulations for the women, for thus were the days of their preparation apportioned; six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with perfumes and preparations for beautifying women.
:13 Thus prepared, each young woman went to the king, and she was given whatever she desired to take with her from the women’s quarters to the king’s palace.
:14 In the evening she went, and in the morning she returned to the second house of the women, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch who kept the concubines. She would not go in to the king again unless the king delighted in her and called for her by name.
:15 Now when the turn came for Esther the daughter of Abihail, the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her as his daughter, to go in to the king, she requested nothing but what Hegai the king’s eunuch, the custodian of women, advised. And Esther obtained favor in the sight of all who saw her.
:16 So Esther was taken to King Xerxes, into his royal palace, in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reigh.
:17 The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.
:18 Then the king made a great feast the Feast of Esther, for all his officials and servants; and he proclaimed a holiday in the provinces and gave gifts according to the generosity of a king.
:19 When virgins were gathered together a second time, Mordecai sat within the king’s gate.
:20 Now Esther had not revealed her family and her people, just as Mordecai had charged her, for Esther obeyed the command of Mordecai as when she was brought up by him.
When the king begins to miss having a queen, even though he had a large harem, he starts missing Vashti. His officials fearing he would take her back, come up with a plan to find a new queen and he agrees.
We aren’t told if she went willingly or not, or how she felt about going.  Mordecai stayed outside the palace walls trying to get news of Esther. He was concerned about her.
Even though there is no mention of God, He is orchestrating all that is happening. Esther becomes queen because of God.
The book of Esther doesn’t explain why God had Esther sleep with the king before marriage even though it goes against God’s directives to remain pure till marriage.
But it was God who gave Esther favor with everyone, including the king.
Esther was orphaned at an early age and Mordecai took her in and raised her.
Being an orphan, we can develop a orphan spirit. If we don’t have godly parents we can develop it also.
I had an earthly mom, but not a spiritual one. My mom was an alcoholic all of my life.
It’s hard to navigate life without guidance.
We can carry around wounds if our mom wasn’t what we hoped she would be.
How do you break the orphan spirit?
God can break that spirit.
1.       How do I go about breaking the spirit?
Realize your mom did the best she knew how to do. She repeated how she was raised. We hold our moms to such a high standard and it’s hard for them to live up to that.
Understand that she had pain and wounds that you knew nothing about. There has to be grace in your relationship with your mom. In her generation they didn’t talk about things that happened. You need to forgive her for the things while you were growing up that weren’t how you would have liked them to have been.

2.       Begin to give what you didn’t get. Become to others what you needed. Stop living in a place of lack. God will become to you what you need. God will help you find the thing you need so you can share it with others. Stop seeing yourself as a victim, and start seeing yourself as a blessing. It will change how you see things.

3.       Change your perspective.  

Stop looking at what you don’t have and look at what you do. In the garden, Adam and Eve had everything they could want. The devil had them focus on the one thing they couldn’t have. The enemy’s tactic is still the same today.

4.       Release your expectations.
We can’t change our childhood. We can’t change how our moms are or were. Let God heal your heart.

5.       Allow God to heal the wound.
Realize you have a wound. Recognize that you are not alone. Others feel exactly like you do. Talk about it with other godly women. Bring the wound into the light. Forgive and release your mom even if she is deceased.

Out of your greatest pain will come your greatest purpose.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Character and Esther # 2

Mt 23:28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
Reputation is what people think you are. Character is what God knows you to be on the inside. You can’t always control what people think about you. Focus on your character and reputation will follow.
Esther 1:9 Queen Vashti also made a feast for the women in the royal palace which belongs to King Xerxes.
:10 On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, zethar, and Carcas, seven eunuchs who served in the presence of King Xerxes,
:11 to bring Queen Vashti before the king, wearing her royal crown, in order to show her beauty to the people and the officials, for she was beautiful to behold.
:12 But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command brought by his eunuchs; therefore the king was furious, and his anger burned within him.
:13 Then the king said to the wise men who understood the times (for this was the king’s manner toward all who knew law and justice,
:14 those closest to him being Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, who had access to the king’s presence, and who ranked highest in the kingdom):
:15 “What shall we do to Queen Vashti, according to law, because she did not obey the command of King Xerxes brought to her by the eunuchs?”
:16 And Memucan answered before the king and the princes: “Queen Vashti has not only wronged the king, but also all the princes, and all the people who are in all the provinces of King Xerxes.
:17 For the queen’s behavior will become known to all women, so that they will despise their husbands in their eyes, when they report ‘King Xerxes commanded Queen Vashti to be brought in before him, but she did not come.’
:18 This very day the noble ladies of Persia and Media will say to all the king’s officials that they have heard of the behavior of the queen. Thus there will be excessive contempt and wrath.
:19 If it pleases the king, let a royal decree go out from him, and let it be recorded in the laws of the Persians and the Medes, so that it will not be altered, that Vashti shall come no more before King Xerxes; and let the king give her royal position to another who is better than she.
:20 When the king’s decree which he will make is proclaimed throughout all his empire (for it is great), all wives will honor their husbands, both great and small.”
:21 And the reply pleased the king and the princes, and the king did according to the word of Memucan.
:22 Then he sent letters to all the king’s provinces, to each province in its own script, and to every people in their own language, that each man should be master in his own house, and speak in the language of his own people.
According to the verses, she wasn’t asked to do anything immoral. It doesn’t say why she refused.
In Esther’s time women were not considered to be equal to men. Whenever Christianity influences a country or culture, it brings respect and value to women and children.
Vashti is thought to be the same person called Amestris. The Greeks believed her to be the mother of King Xerxes son who later became king.
God calls for women to be submissive to their husbands. But if they are requested or demanded to do something immoral or illegal, God does not want them to obey.
God wants wives to honor and respect their husbands, but He also wants husbands to honor and love their wives as Christ loves the church. There should be mutual submission.
Eph 5:21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.
Men have a need for significance, so a wife’s respect will make any husband know he’s valued and loved. Women need love and security, so God instructs a husband to value his wife through loving her. When both fulfill God’s plan, their needs are met.
Even though he may not have liked their advice, the king seemed to be swayed by it. He provides an example of how we shouldn’t be swayed by the messages of the world. They are often completely opposite to God’s messages.
We can be influenced by TV, movies, music, ungodly friends’ advice. We must seek out godly advice from His word and from godly people.