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Defining Moments

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CHURCH ON RANDALL PLACE SERMON NOTES 3/22/09

“FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS” A STUDY IN ESTHER

TODAY’S MESSAGE: “DEFINING MOMENTS” CHAPTER 4

I.       Introduction

II.    Tell the story

a.       Bad news travels fast

                                                              i.      Mordecai mourns publically.

1.      Assimilation is no longer an option.

a.       His identity as a recipient of God’s covenant has been confined to a select group of friends.

                                                            ii.      This open display catches Esther’s attention

b.      Esther called to make a stand

                                                              i.      The call is dangerous

1.      Xerxes is capricious

2.      She has not been summoned into his presence for 30 days

                                                            ii.      Mordecai’s compelling argument

1.      Your position as Queen will not save you from Haman’s plot [Do not think that wealth, position etc can save you from the flesh]

2.      Deliverance will come; will you play a part?  [God will be victorious, but will you play a role?]

3.      Who knows, perhaps God has positioned you for such a time as this.

c.       Esther responds

                                                              i.      Will shed the garment of compromise and become distinct.

1.      Calls for 3 days of fasting [why is prayer not mentioned?]

                                                            ii.      If I perish, I perish.

III. Abiding Principles

a.       God has a plan and purpose for this world

                                                              i.      To His people

1.      To demonstrate His glorious power to deliver the undeserving.  To exhibit His limitless grace that He would be glorified [He would be recognized to be of infinite worth].

                                                            ii.      To the empire

1.      Despite power, wealth and influence He is the Sovereign.

a.       That we might seek to “cast off His chains (Ps 2),” but in so doing play into His Sovereign plan.

                                                                                                                                      i.      Pharaoh, Satan etc.

b.      God uses people to accomplish His purpose

                                                              i.      Defining moments

1.      Called from compromise to commitment

a.       We become distinct, different from the empire. Where we identify ou/s we the plans and purposes of God

                                                                                                                                      i.      Ideas, morals, purposes are no longer shaped by the empire but rather by God.

b.      A death will occur

2.      For such a time as this

a.       Why has God put you here? 

b.      “If I make a stand I may lose.”  Yes, or you may save many

c.       God’s purposes will be accomplished with or without you

                                                              i.      Who loses if we resist God?  Joining God’s plan results in life.

IV. Conclusion

a.       Xerxes vs. Yahweh

                                                              i.      Yahweh welcomes us in our sorrows and burdens (John 7:37; Jeremiah 31:25; Isaiah 55:1)

                                                            ii.      Yahweh ever is calling us

1.      He never casts us out, the threat of death vs. the offer of life.

b.      God brings us to defining moments

                                                              i.      Choose this day whom you will serve.

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