07 June 2011

Studying Esther--Promises & Reminders

Before we even begin our walk through the book of Esther (and remember this is a short Old Testament book packed full with drama, deliverance, and God's mighty power) I wanted to share with you a list of Kay Arthur's promises and reminders that you will see woven in this little book named after a beautiful, Jewish Queen.

I'm going through this book chapter by chapter in my Sunday School class which is an in depth study of the book.  It's kind of like a grad school class with the level of commitment of homework, notes, and reading you have to do, but it's all worth it.  Each week I'll try to share with you some new insights I gain and what I learn from my teachers and Kay Arthur.  Last Sunday was the video version going over chapters 5-7.  And Kay Arthur reviewed these promises and reminders and it was SUCH A BLESSING I had to share it!!!

The Promises in Esther
     God has a seed.  (God's chosen people are sacred.  You can see God's seed from 
     Adam to Abel to Noah to Abraham all the way to Jesus)
3.     God has a plan. Genesis 3:15 Even when man sins and messes things up, God still has a plan of redemption.
4.     God is always there. (He’s in the light and the shadows.)
5.     God is accomplishing His plan through His seed. (His seed meaning His chosen people, the righteous, and even if we are not of Jewish descent when we believe in Jesus we are grafted in and accepted as sons of Abraham)
6.     God accomplishes His plan in His time and in His way.
7.     God is sovereign. Genesis 4
8.     Never forget who you are. 1 John 3:2-3 Don't forget who you are in Christ and all of God's purposes for your life.
9.     God has a people.
     God is never absent.
     God is always omnisicient, “all knowing”
     God is omnipresent "everywhere all at once"
     God is omnipotent “All powerful”
     God is love. (Hesed: God of love)
     He is a covenant keeping God. 
            His Sovereignty rules over all.
     God is righteous in all His ways.
     When God is in the shadows  (meaning He feels far away or you can't see His hand) you walk by faith not by sight.  Live as if He’s there because He is!
    The Spirit of God is always moving! Even in the book of Genesis before the earth was created The Spirit of God was moving.
     Faith is tested in the silence of God. Psalm 46:10 Be still and know that I am God.  ---cease striving, let go, relax! 
     Promotion comes in God’s time and is always for God’s purpose and His glory. Hebrews 6:10 –God is not unjust so as to forget your work in His time and His way for His glory and purpose.--This promise blessed me the most this week. 
     You reap what you sow.  Galatians 6:8
     Whatever happens to you will work out for your good and His glory.
      God and Jesus are for YOU!

     Do you ever feel like God isn't hearing your prayers?  Do you ever feel like he's so far away and unattainable?  Do you wonder what your purpose is on this earth? Do you wonder what a relationship with God would be like?  Do you ever feel like you've been struggling for so long on one issue and you just want deliverance already and you are wondering where God is in all of it?  These are questions I think we all have from time to time.
      Even if your life is going well, we still may wonder if we are pleasing God by our choices, if we are fulfilling our purpose, we may even wonder what exciting things God has up ahead for us.  This is why I love reading God's word and learning from Sunday School classes, even ones like this that are hard to commit to with all of the weekly homework.  Sometimes even if you don't get time to finish your homework, just sitting in on the class can be a blessing.  God knows what we need to hear and when.  His timing is ALWAYS perfect.  Please know that as I share truths from God's Word I am never coming to you with a proud heart, because I DO NOT have it all together.  I need God's grace just like the next sinner.  I'm just happy to share my heart and what I feel God is teaching me at the moment.  This is the first Sunday School I've taken in awhile since I was teaching K-5 SS for the past 3 years.  So I am excited to be back in the students seat again, and just gleaning from God's word. 

      Although sometimes I wonder why I pick the hardest classes with the most homework!!!  This week I needed to be reminded of the truth that God is never absent, even when He appears to be in the shadows.  Did you know that in the book of Esther the word God is never mentioned?  But that does not mean God was not working, and moving.  I also needed to hear and be reminded that God promotes all of us in His own time, for His own purpose and for His own glory.  He hates pride.  When we study Haman we will see how prideful Haman was.  God always has to deal strongly with pride because He is righteous and just.  "He resists the proud but gives grace to the humble."  We should never seek a position of promotion for our own glory, whenever we are blessed to receive a high honor or a high calling it is only because God has allowed it for His glory.  We should be seeking and asking Him for ways to use our promotions to honor Him not ourselves.  

      But think about that.  Don't we all wish to be recognized for our labors?  I didn't realize how much I like getting a pat on the back til I became a stay at home mom.  Maybe because I feel like my jobs are not noticeable or seen I feel as though they are not as equally wonderful as let's say a paid job where you get awards and accolades for a job well done.  Here at home I listen to my children say, "Good job mommy." When I sweep up the floor or put the dishes away.  How come that honor doesn't feel as though it is good enough sometimes.  Maybe because of my pride?  Maybe because of the fact that I do a lot of things behind close doors that no one sees that I wish they did.  I want recognition, honor, respect for the hard work I do each day.  I work just as hard as a mom as I did as a full time teacher.  Pride is a tricky thing, and lately I've seen my own selfishness and pride and just say, "Lord forgive me for it, help me to be at peace with what I do and not need recognition from anyone else. Help it to be enough for me to hear A job well done Kristi from you and not from man. Help me to do all that I know to be right and good and true simply because that is what you ask of me.  Help me to stop striving for accolades but be content with my audience of one."  And then in class Kay Arthur gave a verse for me, for me, for me, and it was as if God wrote it to me not only for me to hear but for me to share with John.  

      Hebrews 6:10 "For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have show toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister."  I love this verse!!! It was as if God was saying right to me, Kristi, I am not going to forget how you cared for your children, managed a household, supported and loved your husband, washed the floors, cleaned the windows, swept the floors, nursed your babies, walked the dog, got the groceries, tucked the kids in, taught them about Me, sang songs in worship, prayed for the lost, encouraged your fellow sisters in Me, blogged when you were tired, went to Sunday School class, taught Sunday School class, changed diapers in the nursery, don't worry about the list Kristi, I won't forget what you do in My Name.  I see you.  I watch you.  I love you.  Just keep obeying Me and following Me and giving Me the glory.  

      Then I thought of John...and I thought of all he does, and I could hear God saying, "John, I see you waking up early, coming home when it's dark, paying the bills, planning trips to make your wife smile, engaging your children, speaking about Me at work, ministering at SWBC, being a light to your family, praying for the lost, providing for your family, continuing to try to make a way for your wife to stay home.  Don't worry about the list John, my memory is long, and I love you, and I will promote you and provide for you.  Keep obeying me.  Keep seeking my face.  Keep looking up.  Give me the honor and the glory.  

      And then I thought of you, dear reader.  God sees all that you do. And his memory is long.  And He loves you.  He wants you to keep doing what you know to be right.  Keep honoring Him and following Him and seeking Him.  And He will always be faithful.  He is not a God who forsakes or forgets.  He's a God who remembers, and waits and forgives.  And his love and compassion are endless...  

     Next Tuesday we will continue our study on Esther and begin with Chapter one and our first two character studies will be King Ahasuerus and Queen Vashti.



  1. Powerful post Kristi! Thank you for sharing what God is teaching you, and especially for the encouragement to live for that audience of One!
    xoxo Christy

  2. Thanks for the encouragement Kristi. It's so good to hear again that God is here in the midst of the storm happening around and in me. So need to cling to my Rock!! Not to pat you on the back or anything, but you are an excellent mom and wife. I admire all you do in your home, church, and community. You inspire me!

  3. I really needed to read this, this morning. Thank you!


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