Lesson 11 -- first quarter 2009
February 15, 2009
© Copyright 2009
How attached am I to God's people?
Do I still accept and live (or die) by counsel from those who care most for me?
Should fasting still be part of our spiritual preparations?
How is Esther's story a model for Christian involvement in political affairs?
Mordecai had not intention of bowing before and offering reverence to any man. So he didn't. As a Jew, he had God-given principles on which to stand. So he refused to bow. Though the Bible does not say so directly, I believe we can safely assume that Mordecai's reverence for God motivated him in his refusal to bow before Haman. In other words, Mordecai stood up for God by refusing to give reverence to Haman. He surely knew he would face harsh consequences for such outright disobedience to the king. But he stood anyway.
What are your intentions? What is the depth of your commitment to Jesus? Purpose to always live by His principles, regardless of circumstance or consequence. Strive daily to stand for God and His ways. Then when the big, life-threatening tests come, you will not falter and flinch from your life pattern of godly living and obedience.
You see, living by God's principles and standing up for Him isn't something to be done only in hazardous situations. In fact, if you were to try doing it only then, you certainly will fail. No, Christian principles must be lived all the time if they are to be lived at all.
Let me put it this way. You will not stand in a circumstance like Mordecai's if you haven't stood previously for God by refusing to engage in gossip, deception, covetousness, unkindness, self-indulgence, and similar things. You will put your life on the line for God only if you have purposefully lived your life for God before then.
Without a doubt, today God will give you an opportunity to stand up for Him and His ways. Purpose now to stand for Him, and by His grace, you will!
Esther could have been born in a different time. She could have lived in a different place. She could have been significantly less attractive. Other factors in her life could have been very different. And the result would have been that she would not have had the opportunity and responsibility that fell to her in history. But all took place as it did by the wise arrangement of the Sovereign One. Mordecai's question in Esther 4:14 can most assuredly be rendered as an exclamation: "Thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this!"
What about you? God planned you and for you every bit as lovingly, carefully, and wisely as He did for Esther (and, for that matter, Mordecai). Your appearance on planet Earth did not escape the notice of the Almighty neither did He forget to design a place for you in His divine agenda. You find yourself alive because He planned it so!
So what does He want from you?
First of all, He wants you, my friend! Next, He wants you to be faithful to Him. Then what? I certainly don't know the unique purpose He has for you; likely you don't either. But He knows! So make sure He has you and make sure you continue faithful to Him -- and when He decides to enlighten you about your mission, you will be ready to accept it and do it.
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