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Showing posts from August 16, 2015

Mordecai Learnings

Thursday morning I sent out a very long Today's Word with twenty-one bullet points. I'm sorry, but it was an intriguing study of the book of Esther seen through Mordecai's life. It reviewed his circumstances and responses. I asked you to come up with a specific "learning" that you captured in this review. Here's some from me: Mordecai had four negative events that impacted his life but that moved him where God wanted him. They reveal the strength of the fiber within the heart of the man. Key words were captivity: "taken captive to Susa" (placing him at the right place at the right time); recruited daughter: "adopted daughter taken into the King's harem" (seemingly to never see Mordecai again but placing her in the right place at the right time); annihilation of his people: Haman's order to annihilate the Jews (Mordecai depended on God to stop this); threat of personal death: gallows were built to hang Mordecai (imminent death). Co…

Working for the Good of Others

It was said in the book of Esther, "Mordecai the Jew was second in rank to King Xerxes, preeminent among the Jews, and held in high esteem by his many fellow Jews, because he worked for the good of his people and spoke up for the welfare of all the Jews." (Esther 10:3) That is the end of Mordecai's story and here are excerpts of how it came to be: Mordecai adopted his cousin Esther as his own daughter because her parents had died (2:7)Mordecai and Esther were taken captive and carried into exile from Jerusalem to Susa under the Babylonians (Esther 2:5-6)Esther was taken from Mordecai to King Xerxes harem as part of a search for a new queen for Vashti who had disobeyed the king (2:8)Mordecai sought the welfare of Esther daily and provided instructions for her from the king's gate where he sat (2:11, 19-20)Mordecai overheard a plot to kill the king and passed it onto Esther who passed it on to King Xerxes who recorded i…

Lord's Supper

We pass the plate of bread pieces and drink a small cup of juice to participate in the Lord's Supper with other believers. We do this because Paul said, "I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you." (1 Corinthians 11:23) He went on to share the event that surrounded the inauguration of this way to remember the sacrifice of Christ's body and blood on our behalf, it was the last night Jesus would be with the disciples before the cross. Participating in the Lord's Supper is a solemn yet joyful time. Paul wrote about this to the Corinthian's because of their misuse of it. They seemed to have a dinner included in this time and although all were invited, some did not have food or drink and the problem was that those who did were not sharing. He said there were divisions among the people and when they gathered to eat together each one went "ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk." (11:21) There were some …

Change for the Best

There is an old lesson about change and a frog. Take a frog and place him into a boiling pot of water and he will immediately jump out but place him in room temperature water and he will remain. Now, turn up the heat on him ever so slightly, increment by increment, and he will remain to boil along with the water. God wants believers to be agents who change the world not agents who are changed by the world. Nehemiah found that when he went back to Jerusalem at the end of the captivity of Israel the "frogs were boiling in the water." An enemy of Israel, Tobiah, had been given a residence in the Temple of God, defiling it, because he was related to Eliashib the priest who had been left in charge. Further, the house of God had been neglected; tithes were not given and work was not done to keep the house ready for worship. Also, business people desecrated the Sabbath by keeping the people active in trading on that day of the week. And lastly, men of Judah had married women outsi…

The Principle of Liberty

This principle is touted among believers; amplified as all-inclusive in the Christian life. We are no longer in bondage but have been given liberty by God. Those who misunderstand this statement say they are free to do whatever they like and no one can bind them. This is a wrong application. Liberty does have boundaries. Paul spent time explaining this to the Corinthian church where it was being abused. He said, "Everything is permissible—but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible—but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others." (1 Corinthians 10:23-24) So, what Paul is saying is that the principle of liberty has natural limitations and is best applied when combined with the principle of love. Liberty seeks your own interest but it is not done in a vacuum. If your liberty hurts, harms, damages or destroys others or even yourself, then your liberty should not be enacted. So, he says, it is improperly applied when …