The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Thursday, April 20, 2017
Message summary: Today all over the world God is working through His people, accomplishing His purpose. At times we can especially sense His work through us in a specific way. What a great joy these experiences bring to our spiritual walk. May the Lord grant all of us these "Esther moments" when we bloom where we are planted. We may not immediately sense the significance of our obedience but obedience always brings blessing. Let us stay faithful!
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"And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14).
Earlier this week we visited a company that is set in a beautiful rural location in Lebanon County which is located along Swatara Creek. While waiting for Brooksyne I took a little nature hike and came across many beautiful miniature wild flowers growing along the banks of the creek like the photo shown above. It occured to me that I might be the only human to see these lavender flowers although they are every bit as beautiful as the flowers planted in home gardens or purchased at a florist shop.
The Creator has a purpose for them and He has a purpose for each of us.
I recall first hearing this phrase, "Bloom Where You're Planted" from my years in Bible College. The saying has the sense that we are to let God use us and seek to be fruitful wherever we find ourselves. Sometimes we may find ourselves providentially planted where we would rather not be. A true test of character is the way in which we bloom in such circumstances.
An example of this is Esther. Esther is a remarkable book. Most Bible students are aware of the fact that God is not specifically mentioned by name in the entire book (the only book of the Bible with this distinction.) Esther was one of the Jewish exiles in Persia who, due to her natural beauty, was unexpectedly placed in a position she probably never imagined herself being in. She was selected to be the Queen!
Just as Ruth reminds us that God is at work in the lives of "ordinary people", Esther reveals God at work among the "higher classes." Both remind us that His work is often "behind the scenes." He is, as a song states, "quietly sovereign."
I recall hearing a teaching a number of years ago on "Esther moments". These are those special times when God's purpose for our life is especially apparent. This concept is based on the daily text when Mordecai encouraged Esther to take a stand. The Jews faced annihilation (as they so often have throughout history) and Esther was in a position to act for their preservation by appealing to the king.
Esther's uncle Mordecai* was confident that, in one way or another, the deliverance of the Jews would come. "And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" He goes on to say, "For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place." Amazingly in the bigger picture God's grand purposes are always fulfilled with or without our cooperation. However Mordecai challenged Esther to be the agent of God's deliverance as expressed in the daily text, "And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"
Scripture records that Esther did listen to Mordecai and heeded his challenge to present herself to the king, even if it meant death. Consider the resolute attitude she expressed when she made up her mind to be the mediator for her people, "If I perish, I perish." When we're weighing various options there's a point that we've got to make up our mind and act upon that decision.
May our hearts be as resolute as Esther's and other Biblical characters such as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who refused to bow down to the golden image. Their unyielding response was, "The God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if He does not (rescue from the fiery furnace), we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up" (Daniel 3:17,18).
Through these outstanding examples of devout faith and a consecrated stand, God sends a message to all true worshippers; we are not to fear the trials the world offers, but we are to persevere even if it means death.
Today all over the world God is working through His people, accomplishing His purpose. At times we can especially sense His work through us in a specific way. What a great joy these experiences bring to our spiritual walk. May the Lord grant all of us these "Esther moments" when we bloom where we are planted. Often we may not immediately sense the significance of our obedience but obedience always brings blessing. Let us stay faithful!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, in certain situations I am fearful when You speak to my heart about being obedient. When You move upon me like you did Esther to do or say something that's not within my comfort zone, I become fearful of the outcome which prevents me from stepping out in faith and following through with an obedient heart. Would You remind me that there is great blessing when I follow Your leading. Help me not to fear the outcome, for that is in Your hands. Thank You for Your prompting and entrusting me to be a part of your grand purpose. What a privilege and responsibility. Amen.
The Swatara Creek is a pleasant stream that meanders through Lebanon County and I've been told a bald eagle flies along the creek. Hopefully we'll capture that on camera in the near future and share it with you!
These tulips at the Hotel Hershey are a spectacular sight!
For over ten years we have been sharing photos from Doris High's photo blog (with her permission). We met Doris and her husband Cerwin when I spoke at a retreat for truck driver chaplains at "Transport For Christ". She is surely among the most prolific photo sharers on the entire internet! Today's photo is from this collection. It appears that the blue bird might be knocking on the door to see if anyone is home!
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Use Me" Video The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
"Field of Souls" Video The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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