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GOD’S HEROES: Esther. Rough Starts Don’t Mean Bad Endings

By on August 6, 2019

Esther was an orphan girl who was brought up by her uncle. She became queen and was almost killed because of nothing other than her race! Then, she connected to God’s plan, took bold steps and saved the Jewish people from destruction!

What happened here and how does it apply to us?

Esther, Chapter 1, Verses 11-19.
King Asaheurus sent for his wife Queen Vashti to come to his party so people could see how beautiful she was. But when the attendants delivered the king’s command, Queen Vashti refused to come. Then the king became furious and burned with anger. Since it was customary for the king to consult experts in the matters of law and justice, he spoke with the wise men who understood the times and were closet to the king. (All those guys in verse 14), the seven nobles of Persia and Media who had special access to the king and were highest in the kingdom.

Verse 15. “According to law, what must be done to Queen Vashti?” he asked. “She has not obeyed the command of King Xerxes that the eunuchs have taken to her.” Then Memucan replied in the presence of the king and the nobles and the peoples of all the provinces of King Xerxes. For the queen’s conduct will become known to all the women, and so they will despise their husbands and say, King Xerxes commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, but she would not come.

This very day the Persian and Median women of the nobility who’ve heard about the queen’s conduct will respond to all the king’s nobles in the same way. There will be no end of disrespect and discord. Therefore, if it pleases the King, let him issue a royal decree and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media, which cannot be repealed, that Vashti is never again to enter the presence of King Xerxes. Also let the king give her royal position to someone else who’s better than she.”

You can be in a place of privilege, but you can also lose out.

A lot of people start out privileged, blessed with Christian parents who love them, pray for them, guide them even though sometimes they don’t listen to good advice. Vashti didn’t FEEL like doing what the king said, so she didn’t. She didn’t feel like doing what her husband said so she didn’t. 2 authorities here: government and family – she didn’t submit to him on either! It never dawned on her what her stubbornness would cost her. We never hear of her again but it’s clear she lost out on her position! Does this happen to believers today? Whose choice is it? They don’t think there are consequences for their choices.

He hadn’t asked much of her.

The King just wanted her to come out and let people see how beautiful she was, how well taken care of and she was pampered! That’s all God asks of us at times: Let your father which is in Heaven! Some people let themselves get negative, follow the counsel of negative people who aren’t making it and won’t do what God says. What does the Lord require that anyone couldn’t do? For what He’s given us and blessed us with, He asks very little. King Ahasuerus wanted to bless Vashti even more but she didn’t want to be bothered! Maybe her hair wasn’t right or she didn’t feel she was ready.

Always be ready, available and presentable for the Lord to use you.

Be ready be praying, being close to him and listening to the Holy Spirit. Read. Listen and be willing. What do I mean when I say presentable? Well, here it is! How we look DOES matter. If we look like we’re barely making it, that we have no self-image, dressed sloppy and dirty like we don’t think much of ourselves then who’s going to listen?

A poor orphan girl gets to be Queen instead!

Esther 2:15 “When the turn came for Esther, the girl Mordecai had adopted, the daughter of his Uncle Abihail, go to the king and she asked for nothing other than what Hegai, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the harem, suggested. And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her. She was taken to King Xerxes in the royal residence in the tenth month, the month of Tebeth, the seventh year of his reign. Now the king was attracted to Esther more than any other women and she won his favor and approval more than the others. So, he sat a royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. The king gave a great banquet, Esther banquet, for all his nobles and officials. He proclaimed a holiday throughout the provinces and distributed gifts with loyal liberality. When the virgins were assembled the second time, Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate. Esther on the other hand, kept her secret, her family background and nationality. She was Jewish. She did what Mordecai told her to do, for she continued to follow Mordecai’s instructions as she had done when he was bringing her up.

You can start off wrong but end up right.

Learn to listen and learn and you will overcome your past not matter how negative it may have been. Learn to drop the bad habits.
Esther 2:17. And the king loved Esther above all the women and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. See, what hold most people back are their habits! Many people are beautiful, or at least cute on the outside, but on the inside they’re very cruel, selfish, and hateful and their personality is ugly.
Know what’s important to you.

We need to be prepared for God’s opportune moments. Like a coach tapping Esther, saying you’re in. We never know when He will tap you and say, “You’re in. This is your chance.” Vashti was unprepared when she was called to come before the king, so she didn’t do it. She didn’t show up. When God calls us to show up, do we come? Are we available to Him in public? Are we willing to respond to his request to be associated with Him or do we refuse to respond? Many voices are calling out to us and when only one is necessary to listen to.

Get good counsel and DO what they say to do.

Esther was ready because she had a teachable spirit. That’s one reason God chose her. She was willing to learn from those that God placed in her life. Chapter 2:15 says, when she was being coached by one of the eunuchs, she asked for nothing other than what he suggested that she ask for. She took his advice. Chapter 2:20 says, that she continued to follow her uncle Mordecai’s counsel, like she had done when he was bringing her up.
She knew how to be in submission to those who had been around longer and were put over her, for her blessing and protection. They knew what to do and what to avoid, so she could be prepared and not give up in what God set before her. Good counsel keeps us on fire and determined to follow God fully.

Because she walked in Godly counsel, she didn’t miss God’s opportunity.

God has got something very important for you to do and bless others in but you’ve got to be willing to learn and listen. Esther had been given natural beauty as a gift but she didn’t stop there. Vashti had been given natural beauty as a gift but Esther chose to learn especially from those who God had placed in authority. Many people have missed out on God’s greatest blessings, new jobs and opportunities simple because they weren’t where they needed to be at the appointed time and didn’t know where to look!

Things aren’t always what they appear.

Esther 3:8-9. Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, there is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the people of thy kingdom; and their laws are different from all people; neither keep they the king’s laws: therefore it is not for the king’s profit to allow them. If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed and I will pay 10 thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business to bring it into the king’s treasuries.

We need to stay close to the Lord because many times we don’t recognize evil because of the package it’s wrapped up in. Many people have been destroyed because they were overconfident, judging by outward appearance rather than letting God reveal to them what was going on in the heart.
Perhaps you have been chosen for such a time as this:

Esther 4:14. “…who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

Think about where you are. Where has God placed you in your job? What specific opportunities do you face? What might God be asking you to do at your job in order to further the kingdom? Ask Him to show you and to speak to you His opportunities to make a difference in someone’s life.

There are people who will never come to the Lord if you don’t speak to them. You’re a part of God’s plan and you have a divine purpose. There’s something you are meant to do with your life. We’re not her at random nor are we numbers. God has put us HERE for His purposes. Jesus put it this way. You didn’t choose me but I chose you.

THE WORD OF YOUR TESTIMONY CAN HELP MILLIONS

By on July 31, 2019

The Bible says in Revelation 12:11 that the saints (that’s what God calls us Believers) overcome the enemy by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.

The Bible is very clear that we overcome the enemy. It’s also very clear of the 2 greatest tools in defeating him.

First, there’s the blood of the Lamb. It’s the blood of Jesus that gives us the legal right to become the children of God. It’s the death of Jesus on the cross, where His blood was spilled that secures our place as members of the family of God.  The second tool is the word of our testimony. That’s when we speak of the things God has done for us.

God has done wonderful things for each of us. Some people spend so much time talking about what they’re NOT pleased with, or criticizing other people, that they rarely get around to talking about what God has done for them. People like this are easily overcome by the enemy. When you talk about what God has done, it helps you to overcome the enemy in 3 ways.

First, it builds YOUR faith to hear yourself speaking the things God has done for you to think on, and to speak of the good things God has done in your life. It’s good to call to mind the blessings God has bestowed on you. It helps you get a perspective on what God’s doing rather than wallowing in your own problems and life’s injustices.

Second, when you speak about the good things God has done, it strengthens other Believers. Sometimes, when a person is feeling beat down and discouraged, they just need to hear that God’s still alive and is blessing someone.

Your testimony, whether it’s the testimony of protection, guidance or of an answered prayer can ignite a fire of faith in someone else whose light’s growing dim.

Many times, when I feel worn out or overwhelmed, someone will call me to share something wonderful that the Lord has done for them. It just blesses me to hear how God didn’t leave them in a place of despair, but instead how He brought them a season of refreshing. When that happens, it’s not long before my own spirit is soaring and recharged.

Focus, Excitement and Walking With God in Power

By on July 16, 2019

This is a great way to start a week. What makes it great is that you have taken a stand, you have put aside circumstances, situations and all the things calling for your attention and you came out to serve God, to sing praises to Him and to hear a word from Heaven that will bless you. The blessing of God is available to everyone, but it doesn’t just happen. A person has to really want it. Jesus said we have to hunger for it and thirst for it and then He promised that if we hunger and thirst for the blessing of God that we will be filled. It doesn’t matter if you’re old, young, single, married and where you came from. All that matters is your heart is open for God to move in it and you making room for Him to move in your life. Is that what you really want? That peace of mind, that freedom comes when Jesus sets you free and it doesn’t take any special ability and all it takes is your availability and being available to God, being to the Holy Spirit and giving Him your heart and time and just taking time each day to spend in the presence of Jesus. You’ll have to make some sacrifices, cut out some things and during that time, you will be able to build a strong and spiritual life.

1 Peter 2:2, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.” Spend time with God in the Bible each day. Take some time and spend it in prayer. Spend time in church and being available to God. Step up your church attendance and make time for the Lord by being in some of the meetings that you haven’t been attending – and expose your spirit man to more worship and more of the Word of God. You can grow 2 or 3 times faster by adding a couple of church services a week to your life and spend that time in the presence of God and His people and His word. Life is filled with distractions and part of growing in wisdom is learning what can be cut out. What can be left off? What isn’t worthy of your time or effort? You can get 500 channels on your TV and there’s no end to the radio stations, internet distractions and other things trying to steal your time and attention. So, that’s why we need to make room for Jesus to operate in our lives.

I remember when I first started going to church and the church where I gave my heart to the Lord. It was the people who were there that impressed me with what salvation could mean in my life. The people were passionate about life. Even the old ones were excited about life, people, and worked together to reach the world with the Gospel. They weren’t all the same, as far as background, education or social standing, but they learned to set aside their differences to do something significant for the Kingdom of God. I used to wonder could I ever be like one of them.
I would pray and ask the Lord to work in my life so that I could have what they had. None of them knew it. They didn’t know they were creating hunger in me. They didn’t know I looked up to them, but I did. The Lord used different ones of them to make me WANT to have the Lord in my life in a very real and solid way. I wanted to have what they had but that’s what began my quest to be a real part of the Body of Christ. I didn’t know it at the time, but that’s what I wanted. I wanted peace, joy, happiness and freedom. I had this emptiness inside of me.

When I would sit in church and listen to Pastor Wolfe bring the word of God, it gave me hope, vision and the desire to do whatever had to be done so I could live like people in the Bible days, in the presence of the Lord. It wasn’t about religion but instead had everything to do with my LIFE, having a purpose, something worth living for and a vision for reaching other people and helping them to find this new life in Jesus.

Hearing the Gospel and being with the people of God caused me to hunger and thirst for my own walk with Jesus and to part of what God is doing in the earth. I wanted to take my side with the men and women whom God was working with, people who stood for what is good and right and be a part of the move of God with these people who had honor, love and the blessing of God on their lives. They say that if you’re going to be successful in the world, you have to have goals. It’s a major thing to teach people to have goals. You get taught that poor people usually don’t have any real goals and all they’re concerned about is basic survival skills. Then we’re taught that, rich and successful people are pointed out and most of them have 2 or 3 goals: (1) Get more money, (2) Gain more power, and then set another goal. But for the most part, people have TOO MANY GOALS.

They try to do so many things that they never get anything significant done in their lives. They get scattered, distracted and spend their lives going to and from resulting in getting very little done.

Our number one goal has to be to know God and to serve Him. Philippians 3:13 “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but (this) one thing (I do), forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.” It’s about getting focused. People try to fill that hunger with a new car, new outfit, new TV, expensive vacation and new furniture. Repainting their living room once or twice a year. That isn’t the change you’re looking for in life. The change your spirit is yearning for comes from the inside, from the heart.

When the change happens on the inside and that’s when you feel fulfilled. It’s a choice, a decision, a decision to be on fire for God. A decision to be excited about the hand of God in your life. To be filled with joy, passion and excitement from being used by God. Excitement has to do with faith, with hope and with belief and a person with no hope cannot be excited. Excitement belongs to the realm of hope, faith and belief.

Excitement is not about being loud or jumping up and down. A person can be quietly excited. Excitement is about loving God and loving life. It’s not about living life to the fullest. It’s about becoming all that God put you on the earth to become.

The Holy Spirit gives you the attitude of “I’ll do whatever it takes” to be all that God created you to be and that’s what gets you through the trials and helps you overcome those things that are trying to overcome you.

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