After winning such a stunning victory over their enemies, the people were once again faced with the realities of life. Taxes were raised, new enemies came along, and there were more battles to be fought. The peace they enjoyed was only temporary. All this was a reminder that the peace man works for doesn’t last. True lasting people can only be found in Jesus Christ. Have you ever brought your troubled heart to Christ to find peace?
The king turns his favor toward Mordecai and Esther, and evil Haman is hanged on his own gallows. But was it really Esther’s cleverness that brought all this about? No, once again we see that God was lining these events up long before Esther spoke a single word. And the same is true in our lives. Even when God seems absent, He is actually at work behind the scenes, moving in ways we cannot see, and in this we take great comfort!
King Ahasuerus was once the most powerful man on earth. He threw a party for six months to proudly display the vastness of his kingdom and wealth. But where is this great man now? He is dead and gone. Yet 2,500 years later, our God still sits enthroned in heaven, unmoved and unshaken by all the so-called great leaders who have come and gone. Don’t be impressed by earthly power. Put your trust in God alone!
Every now and then, you will come across someone who feels the freedom to be confrontational when they find out that you are a Christian. They may ask you a loaded question or raise an objection that challenges your beliefs. This message is designed to encourage you with some key reminders about the awesome God you worship and the solid foundation on which your faith rests. It will also help you to be more thoughtful before responding in those highly charged encounters. Lastly, it will remind you that our Lord Jesus was also confronted by a hostile culture, and we can look to His example of how to respond with humble, quiet confidence.
There is, in all our hearts, a rebellion against authority. We see it in everyone, from the infant who screams when she doesn’t get her way, to the old man who still cheats on his taxes. We don’t like anyone ruling over us, but we were created to live within the boundaries of God’s authority. Is there still rebellion in your heart; areas where you are determined to go your own way? Surrender those to God, find joy under His authority, and you will finally discover true freedom!
There’s no denying it — God has blessed us beyond belief! We have received so much from His hands. But why? Why has He blessed us and what are we supposed to do with those blessings? Are we supposed to keep them all for ourselves, or does God have a bigger purpose in mind? Once we learn this important principle, we will discover the real definition of what it means to be blessed.
Humans are forgetful by nature. We forget where we put our car keys, we forget birthdays, appointments, people’s names… but far too often we also forget God’s blessings to us. We either complain about what we don’t have or we become complacent with what we do have. The Bible instructs us to always remember God’s blessings and goodness to us, and to give Him thanks, regardless of our circumstances. How often do you remember?
How many blessings have you been given? Our first reaction to that question might be to think, “Compared to whom?” But regardless of our circumstances, we are the recipients of more blessings than we could possibly imagine. God’s goodness to us never ends. He continuously blesses us with countless physical and spiritual blessings in every area of our lives. If we would just open our eyes, we would see that we truly are blessed beyond belief!
C.S Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity; “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world”. We have hopes, dreams, and expectations in life. But what happens when those dreams, hopes, and expectations aren’t fulfilled. Do we react like a 3 year old whose balloon just popped, or is there something better to ground us as we experience the ebbs and flows of life?
There are certain chemicals which, when combined, produce tremendous change. Once they come in contact with each other, they cannot stay the same. In a similar way, a genuine encounter with God always produces change. John says if we claim to have had an encounter with God, but our lives have not been radically changed as a result, then we do not really know Him. Does your life show proof of this change?
What would you do differently if you knew you only had one year to live? This is not a hypothetical question. What if you really knew your life would end one year from today? What plans would you change, what relationships would you mend, what values would you embrace? Now, imagine the kind of difference your life could make if you started living that way today!
For many Christians, prayer is something they only think about in a crisis. Churches have also filled their calendars with so many activities that prayer meetings have become a thing of the past. But what they fail to realize is, there is no effective substitute for prayer. None! When we neglect prayer, we are missing out on one of the greatest privileges in life. What might happen if we really understood the privilege of prayer?