October 5 Esther 3,4,5,6,7,8; Luke 18
These are a few of our SOAP notes from today’s reading. We encourage you to read and journal on your own first, then join us in conversation about what God revealed to YOU today. Click HERE to go directly to the daily reading if you wish.
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Royal Positions Don’t Always Seem So Royal | Michelle Myers
S~ And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this? Esther 4:14 (NIV)
O~ Esther, who is a Jew and has a closer relationship to the king, is needed to go and speak to the king. Her mission is extremely important, as she is to ultimately try and save all the Jews from destruction by the king. Yet, she is fearful, because speaking to the king, without him summoning for her, could result in punishment by death.
A~ I am sure that Esther would have rather not been put in that position. I have been there. I really is having to choose between two extremely yucky situations. Either one, can be scary, confusing, and just stink! Yet, a decision has to be made, and the reality of it is, that by not doing anything, I am still making a decision.
Mordecai tells Esther, “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. If you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish.” (Esther 4:13-14)
I can’t say that I make these kinds of decisions with ease, 100% confidence, and 100% security in the choice that I make….because as you know….. I don’t! I am often questioning You, Your character, Your will, and what Your word says, looking for some sort of guidance. Even then, it can be sooooooo extremely confusing and painful that I question, “Is this really from God? Is this really His will for me? What kind of good God would put someone through this?”
Most of the time, from my relationship with You and Your character, I know what You want me to do. There has been clarity over the years in regards to that. Now, more than anything, it is wresting with You in regards to my own will, as well as looking at the pile of rubble and questioning the purpose behind the pain. In my limited human capacity, it is hard or impossible to understand that You made me and prepared me, “for such a time as this”. It is usually after the fact, I see it and am able to see You clearly in it.
P~ Thank you God for opening my eyes in regards to some of the struggles I have been having with You. As things become clearer, You are changing my heart. Please just continue to help me. I definitely need it…….EACH AND EVERY DAY!
Before I Act | Joni Tyner
S~ Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die. Esther 4: 16 (NLT)
O~ Esther is a Jew who is made queen to King Xerxes. Mordecai, Esther’s older cousin has asked her to approach the king to help all the Jews in the country. In this scripture, she is thinking through the plan and asking the people to fast for her before she acts.
A~ Esther had an extremely important task to do. I love how she exercises wisdom and asks for others to fast (and I assume pray) for her before she approaches the king. She isn’t emotional or impulsive, but takes her time, waiting on God’s perfect timing. She understands the gravity of the situation, and knows that it will not work unless she is first submissive to God.
P~ Dear Lord, I love you but sometimes my actions are so impulsive and not necessarily wise. Please grow me in the area of patience and discernment as I serve You. Help me to embrace the discipline of coming to You first. When I am in Your will, I can boldly face whatever the future may be.
Persevering Prayer | Kelley Deases
S~ And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? Luke 18:7 (NIV)
O~ I love this story of the persistent widow who kept asking and kept asking a judge for justice against her adversary. Scripture says even though this judge didn’t “fear God or care about men,” he became worn out by her constant pestering and gave her what she sought. So, then, will our loving Father turn a deaf ear to the persistent cries for help from His own children? Certainly not!
A~ God has been working on me in regard to prayer. He reminded my heart last week that if I am stressed over all I have to learn at my new job, I can just ask Him for help (and peace and patience!). And today’s highlight goes even a step further: Don’t just ask…….keep asking; don’t just knock………..keep knocking. My handwritten margin note from a sermon I heard a decade ago reads,”God is influenced by persevering prayer.”
What do I need to ask and keep asking for? My brother’s salvation comes quickly to mind. He made a decision to accept Christ as a child, but has not been walking with the Lord in his life, his marriage, or his parenting of his daughter ever since that time.
P~ Lord, You told me to ask and keep on asking. And You know the poor health my brother is in and the very number of his days. Father, reveal Yourself to him in a fresh and meaningful way so he might turn from his own way to embrace Yours before it is too late.
Sacrifice | Vicki Burns
S~ Peter said to Him, “We have left all we had to follow You!” “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brother or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life.” Luke 18:28-30 (NIV)
O~ Earlier in this passage we saw how Jesus grieved over the young, rich ruler who lacked the childlike faith to sell everything and follow Him. Now the challenge revealed that although he kept the commandments from his youth, it was all for naught because he had, for all his effort, missed the whole point of them. His possessions and social status were held in higher esteem than God. They were indeed, idols!
So now Peter blurts out to the Son of God that they left e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g to follow Him—sounding not a little boastful. However, Jesus seems to overlook that and simply set the record straight once for all. No one can possibly sacrifice anything to follow Christ that he will not only “receive many times as much” here in this life, but he’ll enjoy eternal life after that!
The incredible background reality floating throughout these passages is that Jesus was being addressed as one who didn’t comprehend what He was asking! Yet, no person on earth could possibly fathom what He gave up to leave His heavenly home in order to follow His Father’s good will…much less, the cost to come.
Jesus was our tender Shepherd who simply walked ahead and invited us to follow. He asks us to follow Him in the letting-go-life. He’s not saying to give, sell and forsake all family and then suffer comfortless all your days. His steps are showing us the way of life! If we believe He is our life then to lose it all is gain! He who seeks to save his life WILL lose it. He owns it all anyway—what do we have that was not given us? Think health and wellness of mind, a body that permits profitable gain, an economic atmosphere to support your employment, etc.
I am called to be like a little child in my trust and faith in my heavenly Father and all the work of the cross of Christ has supplied me. I am called to believe that I am His treasured possession. He is our loving and exceedingly trustworthy Father who tells us not to think about what we will eat or what clothes we will wear. We are and will be cared for…maybe not the way we’d choose, but the way that will get us the best return on our investment. He tends the garden of our soul and knows just what to plant and what to pluck in order to get the most fruit from us and for us.
A~ I have a greedy, selfish heart that wants what it wants when it wants it. I want to secure what I have and get more. That’s a lot of work and I just need to quit that job and follow Him. I need rather, to be about my Father’s business.
I can be obsessive over good nutrition, tasty food, and all things “healthy.” There’s a fine line between being reasonably responsible and run-away-obsessive. I’m learning to let some things go and not be so restrictive. My health, gratefully, allows it. In the process, I am discovering a joy in preparing meals—more miraculous is the joy even in the clean up! (And I don’t use the dishwasher!) The point is it can all be worship! He has blessed beyond measure! It’s a gift! God owes me nothing! What I give away always comes back in blessing—sooner or later in one way or another.
P~ Holy God, heaven is Your throne and earth is but Your footstool.
Thank You for reminding me that only You have the big picture and know what is really best. That perspective is what I need and I only find it as You reveal it through Your Word, through prayer, and by Your Holy Spirit. As I sit in Your presence I am changed from a selfish greedy child into one who gladly surrenders it all for a glimpse of Your beauty in my life. —with the faith of a child.
Through the power of the holy name of Jesus I pray, Amen! Let it be!!!
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Posted on October 5, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged Bible, Bible reading, Bible Study, daily devotions, discover one thing, discoveronething, discoveronething.com, Esther, life journal, Luke, Luke 10:42, SOAP note. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.