On the very day that Haman had planned the destruction of the Jews, the tables were turned and the Jews gained victory over their enemies. In much the same way, Satan plotted and planned the destruction of the Son of God, and all hell celebrated when He hung dying on the cross. But on that very day, the tables were turned and Christ triumphed over His enemies, bringing salvation to all who believe in Him.
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!
Today we were blessed to have Praveen Chakravarthy from India with us at LifePoint. We have supported his ministry for many years, but it was encouraging to hear in person what God is doing to rescue children from slavery, establish churches, train pastors, and spread the Gospel by providing clean drinking water. Thank you, Praveen, for sharing this special Sunday with us! (There are some audio problems on this recording.)
What do you do when the trials and temptations of life feel overwhelming? Is there someone you can turn to or some place you can go to find hope and help that will get you through those moments? Today’s message teaches us an important biblical principle that will not only help us be prepared before those battles come, but will give us hope long after those battles are over.
God’s truth is wonderful to hear and be encouraged by, but it is even better to apply those truths to real situations. This session builds on the principles we established the previous week by applying them to real questions that a lost world is asking. Listen as we go step by step and discuss how to respond to those questions in a thoughtful and Christ-honoring way which communicates not only the Truth of God, but also the Heart of God.
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.
Some people say that if a Christian is not baptized, he will not go to heaven, but is that really what the Bible teaches? Did Christ’s death on the cross provide everything necessary to wash away our sins, or are the waters of baptism necessary to wash away the rest? Today we tackle a controversial verse in 1 Peter and discover that it really isn’t that difficult to understand after all.
When we were little kids, there were certain stories we loved hearing again and again. They never got old, no matter how many times the book was read to us. What about the Gospel story? Have you grown tired of it yet, or does it become more wonderful each time you hear it? Once we come to understand and appreciate exactly what Christ has done for us, this is one story that will become our favorite of them all.
If Jesus is Lord of your life, people around you will begin asking questions about why you live the way you do. In those moments, you don’t have to know every answer about Christianity. You don’t need a seminary degree. You just need to tell them your story — how Jesus has changed your life and given you hope. Yes, it’s true, your simple story can bring hope to others and help point them to Jesus!
John 3:16 is a significant passage for everyone. Do you understand it the way it was originally intended, or has the original meaning been lost to modern cultural and social thinking? Do you believe the same thing that Christians from the first century did?
How do we face moments of suffering when we know that we simply do not have the strength or the wisdom to make it through? We must recognize that Christ has already provided everything we need for those moments, and it is by His power and righteousness that we can face whatever trials may come our way. Are you facing life’s difficulties in His strength or in yours?
The birth of Jesus would have been very different if you and I had arranged the details. We would have chosen a better place for Him to be born instead of an unsanitary stable. We might have chosen a different time in history, a different city, even different parents. But God knew exactly what He was doing when He chose such lowly circumstances, and our lives are forever changed because of it.