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.