West End Assembly of God
Saturday, March 08, 2014
Daily Devotional Guide
THE QUEEN OF BEAUTY AND COURAGE – Esther
MONDAY – March 3
Esther 1:1 – This is what happened during the time of Xerxes, the Xerxes who ruled over 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush.
The key word in the book of Esther is PROVIDENCE. Although the name of God is not mentioned, the imprint of God and His ways are obvious throughout the book, particularly in the lives of Esther and Mordecai. This book was written (possibly by Mordecai or Ezra) to show how God protected and preserved his people from the threat of annihilation in the fifth century B.C. Although God disciplines his people, He never abandons them. The book provides a study in the survival of God’s people amidst hostility. Esther demonstrated remarkable bravery in order to save her people from certain death. God sovereignly placed her in the palace and gave her favor with the king in order that she would advance His divine purposes. We can learn many timeless truths from this book of the Bible. One of them is that we should always employ any advantaged position for the welfare of God’s people and mission. Where has God planted you? How has He sovereignly blessed you? How are you using His blessings to benefit others?
TUESDAY – March 4
Esther 2:10-11 – Esther had not revealed her nationality and family background, because Mordecai had forbidden her to do so. Every day he walked back and forth near the courtyard of the harem to find out how Esther was and what was happening to her.
Mordecai had taken Esther under his wing like his own daughter when her father and mother had died (vs. 7b). These were two of the most unlikely people to be chosen to play roles in saving a nation. He was a Jewish Benjamite exile and she was his adopted, orphaned cousin. Both walked in wisdom. Their restraints proved critical (6:1-14; 7:9-10). They both feared God and risked their lives to save that which the enemy had planned to destroy. As a result, they were able instruments in God’s hand to save the Jewish people from annihilation. We usually do not realize how strategically God has placed us in this world. Most likely, our roles are influential in less visible arenas of service. Nevertheless, your role counts. People will be influenced toward God or away from Him based on your personal witness and lifestyle. Where do you serve? How are you serving? Like Esther, determine to make a difference with your life.
WEDNESDAY – March 5
Esther 2:22-23 – But Mordecai found out about the plot and told Queen Esther, who in turn reported it to the king, giving credit to Mordecai.
God’s sovereign oversight becomes noticeable in that Esther alerted the king and credited Mordecai. The credibility earned early in the story served God’s purposes later in the story. Our behavior today will affect our future. Every lesson learned and engaged here and now will help open doors and guide us into the fulfillment of God’s calling on our lives. Life brings challenges, but correct responses to those challenges enable us to develop the kind of character that will equip us for our future. Be faithful to live for God today, with all your heart. Allow the Holy Spirit to teach you wisdom, divine timing, and the power of prayer. Let patience and longsuffering and kindness grow deep roots in your heart during the tough times. God wants to groom us so that we can accomplish His purposes and advance His Kingdom on earth.
THURSDAY – March 6
Esther 4:14 – Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
God can use anyone at any point in time to accomplish His purposes (Acts 8:26). He will not violate our will in order to use us. Yet, when we recognize and engage the opportunities He gives us to participate with Him in accomplishing great goals, we find deep, abiding joy. He calls us to be emissaries of God’s peace. He calls us to stay the hand of the enemy through our prayers. He calls us to speak words of encouragement and wisdom. He calls us to illustrate abundant life in Christ. He calls us to use our unique giftedness to facilitate His Kingdom work on this earth. He calls us to step up and into life, not sit on the sidelines and watch. You have been born with a purpose, so glorify God and edify people through your Kingdom service.
FRIDAY – March 7
Esther 4:16 – Fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day.”
Esther needed a spiritual breakthrough, and fasting paved the way. Fasting can be crisis-related, but God wants us to integrate it into our rhythm of life as part of our Christian lifestyle. It positions us to hear the Father clearly. It cleanses us from anything that the enemy could use to stumble us or distract us from our mission. It enables us to see things as God sees them, pray with divine authority, and see results. It breaks the power of evil (Matt. 9:15; Mark 9:29; Acts 14:23). It neutralizes evil plans. If you have not yet learned how to “fast and pray,” begin studying about this important spiritual discipline. You will begin to understand a whole new dimension of prayer that is effective and powerful.
SATURDAY – March 8
Esther 8:17 – In every province and in every city to which the edict of the king came, there was joy and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating. Any many people of other nationalities became Jews because fear of the Jews had seized them.
The story of Esther took place over a period of four years and ended in high drama as God protected His people and destroyed their enemies. God promises us: “No weapon formed against you shall prosper” (Isaiah 54:17). God turned around the enemy’s intent and used it to destroy him. We must note the righteous obedience of two ordinary-yet-extraordinary exiles. God does not forget our acts of righteousness. He rewards them openly in His proper timing. God wants to use you and me in our day and age to accomplish equally extraordinary feats for His Kingdom. Do you dare believe that?