Esther

One more quick post today! I’m going through one Psalm and one chapter of another book during my quiet time with God. I’m currently going through the book of Esther. Today, I’m on chapter four. Here’s a link where you can read the entire book if you’d like.

In chapter four, Mordecai finds out that Haman is going to give a ton of money to the king’s treasury if the king issues a decree that all the Jews be killed. The king agrees and all the provinces are told to destroy the Jews in the kingdom. Mordecai finds out Haman’s plans and is talking to Esther (via a eunich) about how she (as queen) has to do something to spare her people. She pretty much tells him she can’t do anything about it. In order for her to go before the king (her husband), he has to summon her. If anyone enters his court without permission, they’d be killed. In verse 13, he basically challenges her to intervene on behalf of her people. What blew my mind was where Mordecai says in verse 14,

“…And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Not only does he challenge her to act on his behalf, but he also tells her to question whether or not this was the reason God made her the queen. Imagine what had happened if he hadn’t challenged her to think about what God was doing through her and where He had her. Scary, huh?

I, like Esther, question if I can make a difference. Granted, I’m probably not going to be killed for standing up for Christ, I still question my ability to impact people’s lives. I think that I’m not smart enough, motivated enough, pretty enough, likable enough, or whatever to make a difference in the kingdom. I think what Mordecai had to say to Esther is so awesome. He’s hinting to her that she might have been put into the kingdom just for this purpose! He’s telling her, “Esther, open your beautiful eyes! Look around you. Where are you? WHO are you? And most importantly, who is your God?” I need people like that in my life to remind me of God’s sovereign providence. He knows what He’s doing. He has us where He wants us and where He can best use us.

I think we forget that we play an important role in God’s story. We each have our own Esther story. God has amazing plans for us. We may lead people to Christ, show people Christ’s love, lead people into worship, preach the gospel, heal people, serve people, etc. Whatever it is, God uses us.

This summer I learned a few questions that I should ask God daily:
1. What do you want me to do here?
2. Who do you want me to talk to today?
3. What are you trying to say to me?

I forget to ask these questions. Instead of keeping one eye on God and one eye on where He has me, I tend to either have my eyes closed or I’m distracted by something that is unimportant. This passage really has awakened me to stay more focused on what He’s doing. I’m fully confident He has me where He wants me. He can and will use me here. Awesome! ๐Ÿ™‚ Whoever you are, God has plans to use you too. Be encouraged!

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (New International Version)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Mary

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Motivation to Check My Motives

I read a really great devotional (Yes, it was Tiegreen’s!) that addressed something I’d been struggling with all summer. I have a tendency to forget about building the kingdom of God. I get into this mode of either just doing things thoughtlessly or intentionally doing certain things to make me look better. This summer God really showed me that there is no room for me to be building my own kingdom. I am here solely to worship Him and build His kingdom. Psalm 16:2 says,

All a man’s ways are innocent to him, but motives are weighted by the LORD.

I am trying to really weigh what my motives are behind the things I do. Keeping in this in check is such a hard thing for me. Hopefully, I can continue to do things for the glory of the LORD and not to be building my own kingdom. I feel like doing this parallels dying to self. If I’m not daily dying to myself then my selfish ambitions are going to come through. I’m sinful. I’m fallen, but He restores my soul for His name’s sake. Not mine.

God’s Steadfast Love

The past few months the words “steadfast love” have really stuck out to me. It’s a beautiful combination of words. In the book of Psalms, David uses this phrase to descirbe how God loves His people. Here’s the definition of steadfast:

โ€“adjective
1. fixed in direction; steadily directed
2. firm in purpose, resolution, faith, attachment, etc.,
3. unwavering, as resolution, faith, adherence, etc.
4. firmly established, as an institution or a state of affairs.
5. firmly fixed in place or position.

This is so beautiful to me. God’s love is fixed in our direction, firm in purpose, unwavering, firmly established, and fixed in place! It isn’t going anywhere! ๐Ÿ™‚ Awesome!

I went and got this tattooed on my foot today. ย It is to remind me that even though I don’t feel worthy at times, God loves me like this. And when I don’t feel like loving others, it’s going to remind me how to love and why I should.

Mercy and God’s Faithfulness

My devotionals blew my mind this morning! The Tiegreen devotional I mentioned two posts ago made me think about how little I really understand God’s mercy. I think I’ve come to expect His mercy instead of realizing that I don’t deserve it. I deserve condemnation, but God, so lovingly and so freely, gives us mercy. Often times, I find myself holding onto that mercy instead of extending it to others.

Having been abundantly blessed with God’s mercy-the unmerited grace and forgiveness we’ve received for our rebellion against the Most High-do we stand in judgement of others?- Tiegreen.

This is me. I fail to extend the same grace that has been so sacrificially given to me. As hard as it is to see my sin, it is humbling to know I’m not perfect. And this summer I’ve both hated and thoroughly enjoyed being humbled! As much of a pain as it is, God is able to work wonders in the meek and humble.

For the other part of my quiet time I go through a Psalm and one chapter of another book (right now it’s Ecclesiastes). It was so funny how God orchestrates how often the Psalm study and Tiegreen’s devotional to correspond with one another.

My favorite verse of Psalm 40 was verse 11,

As for you, O Lord, you will not restrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me!

Mercy again! ๐Ÿ™‚ I wonder sometimes if I miss what God has to say to me. Today is one of those days where I know I’m in tune with Him. And that’s awesome because what God has to say is awesome!

Mercy is extended from God. He alone saves. He is faithful to do what He’s promised because of His steadfast love for us. God’s steadfast love for us is the reason why Jesus was sent. And that is a beautiful thing.

Caitlyn, Jasmine and I had plans to go to the water hole today, but it was raining so instead we watched Monsters, Inc. Slightly childish I know, but there was something super sweet about all of us cuddling up on the couch in our pj’s to watch a Disney movie. After the movie, we went to Aretha Frankenstein’s. That’s seriously one of the most amazing breakfast places to eat. They specialize in freakishly large pancakes. ๐Ÿ™‚ If you’re ever in the ‘Noog you should eat there! After Aretha’s we went to The Knitting Mill.

Here’s some pictures from today. Enjoy them!

Scary much?
too excited!