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Called for such a time as this

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John 7:1–9 NKJV
1 After these things Jesus walked in Galilee; for He did not want to walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill Him. 2 Now the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles was at hand. 3 His brothers therefore said to Him, “Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing. 4 For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” 5 For even His brothers did not believe in Him. 6 Then Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil. 8 You go up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come.” 9 When He had said these things to them, He remained in Galilee.
Jesus knew that the time for Him to be glorified through His death on the cross was not yet.
How did He know this?
Because He had not yet finished the work His Father had given Him to do.
Do you know why you are still alive?
Because God still has work for you to do!
This means your life here on earth has meaning and a purpose.
I am reminded to Esther, who’s life had a very important purpose. She literally saved the Jews in the kingdom of Persia and Media from extermination.
Let’s look at her story...
King Ahasuerus was the ruler of the kingdom of Persia and Media. His territory included 127 provinces, and stretched form India to Ethopia.
He put on a big feast and asked his wife, Queen Vashti, to come in order to show off her beauty to the people and officials.
But she refused to come.
This made the king furious, and he banished her from his presence, and instigated a process for someone else to replace her as a queen.
Why did all that happen?
The answer is simple: God was getting the scene ready for Esther. the one he had chosen, to be queen.
Lesson: You never know what God is doing behind the scenes. God’s name is not mentioned once in the whole book of Esther. This reminds us that God often works in secret, in the background. And right now God is working and arranging things for you, so that you can fulfil your purpose.
All the beautiful virgins in the Persian kingdom were gathered together so that the king could choose the one he liked.
Among them was a Jew named Esther (Hadassah is a Hebrew name). After her parents died, her older cousin Mordecai raised her as his own daughter.
Esther 2:12 NKJV
12 Each young woman’s turn came to go in to King Ahasuerus after she had completed twelve months’ preparation, according to the regulations for the women, for thus were the days of their preparation apportioned: six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with perfumes and preparations for beautifying women.
Each woman had to received beauty treatments for 12 months before they appeared before the king!
This reminds us that God will prepare us for our assignment. There will be a time of preparation, and we must be patient through it.
When Esther went to the king , we read...
Esther 2:17 NKJV
17 The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.
Now, there was a wicked man, named Haman, whom the king made the second in charge in the kingdom. Mordecai refused to bow before him, and so Haman hated him, and determined to wipe out all the Jewish people.
So he told the king that there was a certain people in the kingdom he didn’t follow his laws, and obtained permission to issue a decree in the king’s name that all Jews were to be killed.
Mordecai urged Esther to speak to the king (the king didn’t know that Esther was a Jew, as Esther had kept that secret)
Esther 4:14 NKJV
14 For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
Lesson… not only is God setting things up for you, His timing is perfect. You are in the right place at the right time!
There was a problem though.
You couldn’t just go and see the king. If you went to see him uninvited, even if you were the queen, you would be put to death. The only exception would be if he extended his golden sceptre, then you could approach him.
Esther 4:15–16 NKJV
15 Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!”
Two observations here...
1. A few weeks ago we looked at a wrong reason to fast. Here we see a correct reason to fast. Fasting shows God that you are serious! In order to fulfil your purpose, you will need to be serious about it.
2. Esther had to take a risk. She did it because she love God and her people more than she loved her own life. In fulfilling your purpose, you will need to take a step of faith. You will need to be willing to step out of your comfort zone.
Recklessness isn’t encouraged.
But there are some situations where being reckless is the only option! Is there anything in your life that is important for you to take risks?
When Esther approached the king, he stretched his sceptre towards her, and so she approached him.
However, Esther didn’t immediately make her request, she used wisdom...
Esther 5:3–4 NKJV
3 And the king said to her, “What do you wish, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given to you—up to half the kingdom!” 4 So Esther answered, “If it pleases the king, let the king and Haman come today to the banquet that I have prepared for him.”
Esther 5:6–8 NKJV
6 At the banquet of wine the king said to Esther, “What is your petition? It shall be granted you. What is your request, up to half the kingdom? It shall be done!” 7 Then Esther answered and said, “My petition and request is this: 8 If I have found favor in the sight of the king, and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and fulfill my request, then let the king and Haman come to the banquet which I will prepare for them, and tomorrow I will do as the king has said.”
She knew that the way to a man’s heart was though his belly!
You too will need to use wisdom to successfully your purpose:
Colossians 4:5 NKJV
5 Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.
Ecclesiastes 10:10 NKJV
10 If the ax is dull, And one does not sharpen the edge, Then he must use more strength; But wisdom brings success.
Like Solomon did at the beginning of his kingship, make sure you ask God for wisdom!
James 1:5 NKJV
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
The passage continues...
Esther 7:1–7 NKJV
1 So the king and Haman went to dine with Queen Esther. 2 And on the second day, at the banquet of wine, the king again said to Esther, “What is your petition, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request, up to half the kingdom? It shall be done!” 3 Then Queen Esther answered and said, “If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request. 4 For we have been sold, my people and I, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. Had we been sold as male and female slaves, I would have held my tongue, although the enemy could never compensate for the king’s loss.” 5 So King Ahasuerus answered and said to Queen Esther, “Who is he, and where is he, who would dare presume in his heart to do such a thing?” 6 And Esther said, “The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman!” So Haman was terrified before the king and queen. 7 Then the king arose in his wrath from the banquet of wine and went into the palace garden; but Haman stood before Queen Esther, pleading for his life, for he saw that evil was determined against him by the king.
Esther 7:9–10 NKJV
9 Now Harbonah, one of the eunuchs, said to the king, “Look! The gallows, fifty cubits high, which Haman made for Mordecai, who spoke good on the king’s behalf, is standing at the house of Haman.” Then the king said, “Hang him on it!” 10 So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the king’s wrath subsided.
So Esther saved the Jews, and new decree was issued.
Lesson: favour is not just for yourself. It is so that you can be a blessing to others. How are you using the favour God has shown you?
Esther 8:17 NKJV
17 And in every province and city, wherever the king’s command and decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a holiday. Then many of the people of the land became Jews, because fear of the Jews fell upon them.
Esther planned to save the Jews, but God did more than that… many people became Jews as a result!
Lesson: God’s plan is always bigger and more far reaching than we expect. Never underestimate what God can accomplish through you!

Summary

God often works in secret, in the background.
God is working and arranging things for you, so that you can fulfil your purpose.
God will prepare us for our assignment. There will be a time of preparation, and we must be patient through it.
Not only is God setting things up for you, His timing is perfect. You are in the right place at the right time!
In order to fulfil your purpose, you will need to be serious about it.
In fulfilling your purpose, you will need to take a step of faith. You will need to be willing to step out of your comfort zone.
You will need to use wisdom to successfully fulfil your purpose
Favour is not just for yourself. It is so that you can be a blessing to others.
God’s plan is always bigger and more far reaching than we expect. Never underestimate what God can accomplish through you!
Joan
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