It's been a few weeks. We've since we last did our series on women of the Bible, but we're going to finish that Series this week and next week today. We will talk about a woman in the Bible. Her name is aster and always remember ask because that was my mother's name. And so my mother when I was young and I would give her a hard time. She would tell me remember. My name is Esther and Esther was a queen. So, you know, anyway, my mama was teaching me to buy believing when she didn't know she was teaching me the Bible. She was just trying to tell me to shut up. But the Book of Esther is a dramatic account. Has anybody ever read the book of Esther? Who's read the book of Esther? in it the dramatic book and it gives us insight into God's special and purposeful plan for our lives. And in the story of Esther. I see six powerful lessons about courage Divine timing and Dodge Supreme.
Now if you read the book of Esther, you know that Esther was a Jewish woman living in Persia, and she was reared by her cousin Mordecai. Mordecai took her to the king of the Persian Empire. His name was Xerxes and she went there to become part of Xerxes Harem. But because there was something special about Esther the king made her Queen. But what all this was going on Mordechai failed to tell the king one major detail about Esther and that was Esther's Jewish heritage.
Now I can imagine just from reading the scripture. That Esther was probably drop dead gorgeous. She was a Flawless woman and probably had a very tantalizing personality. She Charm King Xerxes so much that after deposing his prior Queen. He could have chosen any woman he want it, but he chose Esther.
Course, every story has to have a scoundrel and in this story of Esther and Haman. He is vengeful. He's egotistical and he's the advisor to the king. He hated Mordecai. He hated Mordecai because Mordecai would not bow down to him. So in response Heyman plotted to destroy the Jewish people. Hayman went to the king and he said, you know, there are some people that are scattered around. Vendor dispersed among all the peoples of your kingdom and well, they're a little different there Customs a different. They don't obey the king's laws and then he told the king, you know what this strange group of people who refuse to a bay you it's probably not a good idea. It's probably not in your best interest to tolerate them much longer. the king gave Haman the authority to handle the faith of the Jewish people and return Hammond announced a government issued an executive or if you were a genocide So what could the queen do for her people the king had not requested her presence in a month. Did he no longer love her? Was she just an object to him? All the Jews only asked for had access to the king. Mordecai persuaded asked her to speak to the King on behalf of the Jewish people reminding her of her very unique place in history and he told her that silence was not an option. And one of the most poetic Bible passages Mordecai speaks of God's purpose full timing and we see that and Esther 4:14 and says for if you remained completely silent at this time, this is Mordecai and Esther relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place. But you and your father's house will perish get who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this.
Three times. You heard that That last part of the verse for time such as this in other words Mordecai. Let's as her know that even her outer beauty was a reason and it would not go to waste I thought about this when Joyce was talking about Fanny Crosby Fanny Crosby who was blind and she wrote wonderful hymns, but just think she wrote those why she was blind and it showed God's power show Dodge influence. We think about her because she was blind and how God used her. She was there for moments such as that for a moment to write music about Christ it to reach the lost about pricing. I wonder if Fanny Crosby would have written as many Helms as she did if she wasn't blonde and we'll see later that God uses everybody. No Ester new of course that going to the king unsolicited could be her Steph sentence. Even the queen even the children of the king could not going to the king's presence without being summoned if you did you were executed. So what does she do she needs to go see the king but she knows if she invited she could die. Before making a life-or-death decision the scripture tells us that she calls for the Jewish people to join her on a 3-day fast. When the Jews fast if they pray it was a time of fasting and prayer following the fast she put on her best Royal robes approach the king and told him, payments plot against her people. And the Jewish people were saved. Hammond was hanged on the same Gallows that have been prepared for Mordecai and Esther receive Hammons estate the dramatic unfolding of events moves like a novel and played like a great chess game with several life lessons here are six lessons from the Book of Esther. I think that we can apply. to our own life lesson 1 God has a plan for our lives. Mordecai nailed it when he said for if you remain silent at this time.
Who knows what will happen? And then he said you were made for such a time as this. God love the Jewish people and he didn't create Esther's Beauty and finest for her and her alone Esther was placed in a Royal position to assist in the delivery of God's divine plan. Now we have more opportunities than any generation that has come before us technology material wealth global interconnectedness. And it's all presents the average American with more potential than our parents could have ever imagined. For the believer. We are told to trust God and know that his will is perfect Christians often Echo. The Lord's words that we find and Jeremiah for I know the thoughts that I think toward you says the Lord thoughts of peace and not of evil to give you a future and a hope. God desires good for his children and this theme is repeated throughout his were. The plans that he has for you not the plan that you have for you. Nah, I Hate Everything But the Prosperity Gospel stands for but too often. I live like one who believes it when I think about God's plan for me. I picture when I was a young man, I pictured myself getting married and raising a family as soon as I could. I dreamt of becoming a supervisor in my Navy career and I wanted to do so by the time I was 30. And then I just knew that I was going to retire comfortably at 60 and other words my way of you and God's plan for me look ugly like the American dream. These things are all good gifts, and there's nothing immoral about wishing for a comfortable life in the right context. In fact, we should pray that God blesses us and his people the problem arises when we wish for such a temporary things more than the ultimate joy that we receive through Jesus Christ. The reality is that for most of history and in most of the world today Christians have been severely oppressed marginalize and kill for their beliefs. Jar of the wives of the early Apostles almost all of them were martyred these men. We celebrate didn't fret over career decisions. But instead they made a life of learning how to live for God's glory when the stakes are high and the cost or steep. In the battles you are facing. What do you need the Lord to do for you? Now we're going to do a little thing together here. I've got a few statements that are going to come up on the screen and we're going to read them together. Y'all ready.
The Lord will provide peace for me. I need only be still the Lord will make things happen for me. I need only be still the Lord will take care of my situation for me. I need only be still the Lord will provide his strength for me. I need only be still the Lord will take care of my worries for me. I need only be still the Lord will watch after my family for me. I need only be still and the Lord will resolve the problem for me. I need only be still. The second lesson that we learn from Esther as we are given Divine moments to alter circumstances as Believers. There are no such things as accidents or coincidences God's timing is providential Esther's Divine moment of Providence came by accepting her responsibility to go to the king. However, Mordecai was clear when he said to ask her that she could be the one who saved the people. Friends. God will use you only if you're ready. Too often we pray about and wait on God to give us a sign when he has already given us his word. We don't have to pray about loving or forgiving others. God has already commanded that we are to love one another and forgive one. Another When someone tells you to forgive you say to pray on that. But what is there to pray about we don't have to pray and wait for a sign about sharing the gospel in Prospect and beyond God has commanded us to go into all the world sharing the gospel and making disciples. There is no need for us to pray and wait for a sign to feed the hungry visit the sick and imprisoned come for the hurting or clothe the naked. We don't need a sign. We just need to get busy. Lesson number 3 we must stand with courage.
Esther 4:16 says and so I will go to the King which is against the law. And if I perish I perish Esther was willing to die to save her people. Sometimes we must and encourage even when it is not popular to do so and in the process risk it all. Lady died in 1916. Her name was Hetty green. Anybody ever heard of Hetty green? She was called America's greatest Miser when she died. She left in the state valued at 100 million dollars. I was in 1916, but she was so miserly that she ate cold oatmeal in order to save the expense of heating the water when her son had a severe leg injury. She took so long trying to find a free clinic to treat him that his leg had to be amputated because of the advanced infection. I'm sure she was worried about losing her wealth so she didn't even enjoy her life. What is a speech essay teaches us that fear is a thief it will paralyze you it will keep you lonely. It will lead you to make foolish decisions and eventually write a review of life itself. Unless you master it and mastering fear requires courage conquerors possess the courage to defeat their fears. But what is courage what does courage look like? We tend to equate courage with heroism firefighters running into a burning building soldiers preparing for battle police arresting and armed criminal. We think of extreme sports like bungee jumping a free climbing activities that involve a great bit of Courage. Sometimes we think that is extraordinary something unusual something people are called upon to exhibit only and dangerous life-threatening situations. But most of the time we don't need we don't think that we need it most of the time we view Our Lives as being governed by more mundane character qualities like honesty and integrity and faithfulness. We just don't c-care courage coming into play very often but that point of view is a mistake courage is not the same thing as heroism courage is not just for extreme situations. In fact courage is basic to the exercise of every other virtue. Courage is foundational to Virtual to virtually every virtue so much so that it's really impossible to mature in Christ without it. It's impossible to consistently live in obedience to Christ had to have fellowship with him and please him as long as we're dominated by fear instead of courage and that's why this topic is so important. So Central to our daily lives as followers of Christ without courage. All of our other virtues will be weak and easily compromised will fade away at the slightest challenge. In order for us to be strong god-honoring disciples. We must exercise courage. The fourth lesson we learn from Esther. Is that prayer brings Clarity and hope for deliverance? If you read the entire Book of Esther, you will notice it's somebody's missing. This person has not been mentioned one time in the Book of Esther is a by know who that is dog. God is not mentioned at all in the Book of Esther but ask it was clear that in this particular situation. I having a response was needed for an Earthly situation. Esther need a direction when we need God's grace prayer open the portals for spiritual growth. It removes distractions and places us on a path to humility. The fifth lesson we learned is that God demands obedience. This is something the church has 10 not what to say anymore. Demands obedience Astros obedience save God's people from Genesis. The reality is that Esther didn't know what would happen when she approached the king she acted in obedience by by doing so she saved a nation and she received the best in return. I believe the most direct path to Unity and love for our church family is through conscious obedience to God. Ross to be obedient to fulfill the purpose God has for each of us and for this church. We need to be willing to obey Disobedience will perfect our love and our unity and we need to have a strong vision of how great God really is how great his love is and giving Jesus Christ for our sins and for the whole world around us, if we could grasp this Vision, we would not hesitate to stand in the streets and say here am I send me I believe God let each one of us to Glenn memorial for a reason and I believe that reason is to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and minister to the emotional physical and spiritual needs of our church family and the community we need to look at God's calling and each of our lives and in the church family as a whole if we continue to move forward and obedience by straight piping in this body through love unity in prayer and God will bless this church family and use us to fulfill his vision in our lives. The sixth and final lesson. God uses everything and everybody. For his Divine Purpose. No part of our Lives is untouched. God is in control of every aspect where the weed want him to be or not. And there is nothing that is not subject to him. And the best thing we can do for our lives to search for and surrender to his will. have you ever felt like God couldn't use you to serve him because you are just two ordinary.
When I was in seminary, I heard a parade of gifted Dynamic successful Pastors in Christian leaders, sometimes I would think to myself that I'll never be where they're at because I'm not that gifted. Sometimes I just wish that they would bring and Joe average pastor of the Podunk Baptist Church.
like that futon Baptist Church friends ordinary people have ordinary fears Do you have any fears if you say no you're like the guy in a dr. Seuss book, we used to read to our kids. He needs a pair of pants which walks around with no one inside them. He says I do not fear those pants with nobody inside them. I said and said and said those words I said that but I lied them. We all have to take our fears to the Lord in prayer and the open to ask for prayer for our fears. The people God uses ordinary people with ordinary fears ordinary people have ordinary send again, the point is not that we tolerate our sin, but rather that we not despair that God can use us because we wrestle with send your Neri people. God uses our ordinary centers just like you and me. Ordinary people have ordinary hassles if you ever thought about why God allows hassles in your life. Maybe it's a hassle with your car or the tire coming off of your lawn mower or the plumbing in your house or a hassle at work. If you don't know I was cutting the grass in the tire came off. If you'll submit to the Lord and be teachable you'll discover that he uses everyday hassles to move you closer to the place where he wants you the place of His blessings. Ordinary people have ordinary family problems. If you are sending to Ward your family you need to deal with it. But I do want to encourage those whose homes are not perfect. And that's all of us many come to church every Sunday with smiles on their faces and sorrow in their hearts, we see the smiles and assume that their homes must be perfect Christian homes, but our home is hurting. So we mask our hearts and prevent the healing they could take place if we would learn to Bear one another's burdens and Christian love. God uses Ordinary People to obey him today. We need to see ourselves in the Stream of what God is doing in history. He has blessed us not just so that will be blessed with so that we can become a blessing to others. We can't bottle it up. He wants us ordinary though. We are to be his channel for taking the message of the Savior to all the nations that sounds glorious. But all too often, it involves hassles as mundane as digging Wells and contending with aggressive people. We have to struggle inch by inch hassle by Hassle and taking God's message of Salvation to those and Prospect and every part of the earth. So remember to view the hassles of your life and light of God's bigger plan for history. If you'll obey him. He will use those everyday problems that you his ordinary child go through to accomplish his purpose of blessings to all the nations. Let us pray. Alibaba Florida, I think you Lord for the story of Esther Lord. I Thank you Lord for using her. Thank you Lord for giving her the courage to stand up for your people. I thank you Lord for putting her in the place at that time. Lord I Thank you Lord for putting us here Glenn Memorial Baptist Church In this community of prospect Lourdes church was founded many years ago. The Lord is we seeing Christianity struggling as we see the church beginning the fault or Lord. I believe that you have placed us here for a Time such as this and Lord. I pray that you will open your eyes that you will help us that you will help us with that courage that we need help us to obey which the word that you have for us Lord. Help us help one another send us into our prayer causes Lord help us reach the community in the name of your son Jesus Christ Lord. I Thank you for this church Community. I thank you Lord for the community of prospect. I thank you Lord for all the saints of this congregation Lord who work so diligently for you or I pray that you will continue to bless us continue to help us and we pray these things in Christ name. Hey, man.