I have had such a great time just reading and re-reading Esther this Spring/Summer. Today I would like to conclude by reminding all of you (and this is the Teacher/and Mom in me doing so) how precious you are to God and how the trials and struggles you face this very day are all for a purpose.
God has made each of us with gifts and talents and abilities, and when we choose to bring Him glory with those gifts we can just see how our life becomes fuller and more blessed (but we will always have hurdles to cross and trials to bear in this life).
Esther was able to use her inner and outer beauty (Beauty is power, and it truly is a gift) to win the heart not only of the King but the eunuchs and every one she came to meet. There was something about this beautiful, lady. And that was the fact that she sought God and listened to Mordecai (her surrogate uncle and mentor).
God has put people in our lives that we really should pay extra close attention to. Godly mentors and accountability partners can give us a wealth of good advice and if we take the time ask God to put people like that in our life, He will! But then we have to be wise enough to LISTEN to them when they speak/correct/chastise us!
I'll never forget my accountability partner Pam Z. meeting with me weekly and doing a Bible study and praying with me the year after I graduated college. I started seeing John again (who was NOT saved at the time) and she quickly told me to cut ties with him and be serious about praying for his salvation. I didn't want to listen to her, but I knew in my heart she was right...and months later I watched John come to Christ and make a full decision for the Lord and was able to be a part of watching that transformation. If I had never cut ties with him we both would not be where we are today. Was it hard? YES! Because my heart cared for him so! But God had been calling me to do that and it wasn't until my mentor said it that I felt convicted enough to do it! To this day John and I both have thanked Pam for her wise advice (although John did not like it at the time...he came around!)
Mordecai was a godly man who would not bow or bend the knee to someone of no integrity. One thing I love about Mordecai was that he saw right through Haman. Others may have thought he was a powerful man but Mordecai knew all along how wicked Haman was. In this life there will be people who are in our sphere of influence and we have the choice to bow to them, become like them, or if we see they are doing something wrong stand up to them.
How brave of Mordecai to be bold enough to stand up to this wicked man and expose his evilness. Mordecai was also a faithful man who when he saw something wrong being done, he got involved, he wasn't a sideline person or a person on the fence. Kind of like how God talks about in Revelations about how the lukewarm people he will spit out of his mouth. We need to be all about God or not about Him at all, we don't have the luxury of being in the middle. I'm praying that God helps me to be bold, loving, and sensible this year!
How Loving of Esther and Mordecai to come up with this plan to save the Jewish people when they could've just waited for their death to come. Instead they risked their lives and trusted that God would spare them! And God did just that. He also honored Mordecai to be even higher in power than Haman was!
(Esther 10: 3 For Mordecai the Jew was next unto the King Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews, and accepted of the mulitude of his brethern, seekign the wealkt of his people, and speaking peace to all his seed.")
The Jews were able to stand up to their enemies and defeat them (Chapter 9: 5 Thus the Jews smote their enemies with the stroke of the sword!") because of Esther, Mordecai, and the King. Will you boldly come before your King today and trust Him with your life? Will you trust that He has great plans for you? Will you allow him to help you use your gifts and talents to glorify Him and bless others? Will you lovingly give of yourselves for the people around you who still don't know Jesus?
My prayer for all of us is that we can be bold, loving, and sensible and glorify God with our lives!
Our theme verse for MOPS this year is just this:
He does not want us to be shy with his gifts but bold, loving and sensible--2 Timothy 1:7
*Be bold and stand up for what you believe in! And share your faith.
*Be loving and find ways to serve those around you with a happy spirit!
*Be sensible by seeking ways to make your life simpler, and easier, so you can take time to glorify God!