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DAILY RENEWAL – BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD

DAILY RENEWAL – BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD

November 10th, 2018 || Scripture of the Day

Haman went out that day happy and in high spirits. But when he saw Mordecai at the king’s gate and observed that he neither rose nor showed fear in his presence, he was filled with rage against Mordecai. Nevertheless, Haman restrained himself and went home.

Calling together his friends and Zeresh, his wife, Haman boasted to them about his vast wealth, his many sons, and all the ways the king had honored him and how he had elevated him above the other nobles and officials. “And that’s not all,” Haman added, “I’m the only person Queen Esther invited to accompany the king to the banquet she gave. And she has invited me along with the king tomorrow. But all this gives me no satisfaction as long as I see that Jew Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate.”

His wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, “Have a pole set up, reaching to a height of fifty cubits, and ask the king in the morning to have Mordecai impaled on it. Then go with the king to the banquet and enjoy yourself.” This suggestion delighted Haman, and he had the pole set up.   

Esther 5:9-14

How do you handle life when death seems to be looming larger and larger over you? How do handle it when you know there is an enemy who just can’t wait to see you destroyed? How do you handle it when that enemy does not even hide his disdain or animosity toward you? How does it feel to be in the shoes of Mordecai? Who is there to protect you from Haman?

Haman could not hide his seething anger toward Mordecai. He was enraged by the refusal of Mordecai to show fear in his presence. He restrained himself only because he knew it was only a matter of time before Mordecai would be put to death at his instigation.

Haman was self-consumed and power drunk. He went home and boasted to his family and friends about his vast wealth, influence and possessions. But he candidly added that “all this gives me no satisfaction as long as I see that Jew Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate.” To him, the death of Mordecai would be his most satisfying accomplishment. Accordingly, his wife and friends encouraged him to have a fifty-cubit pole erected for Mordecai to be impaled on it the very next day. The pole was erected, and Haman was pleased. But was God asleep?

The enemy relently pursues the destruction of God’s children. He has great hatred and animosity toward God’s kingdom Builders. He is busily erecting poles to impale God’s children. But the truth is: Our God makes it clear that “no weapon formed against us will prosper and we shall condemn every tongue that rises up against us in judgment.” (Isaiah 54:17).  So, be still and know that He is God. No matter how many poles are erected in anticipation of your impalement, be confident that our God is protecting you behind the scenes. He will have the enemy impaled on the very pole erected for you. Just be still!

Prayer: Father, I will be still and know that you are God. I will not die but live to declare your works. Amen.

Courtesy of RENEWAL CHRISTIAN CENTER

DAILY RENEWAL – GOD CONTROLS EVERY GOLD SCEPTER

DAILY RENEWAL – GOD CONTROLS EVERY GOLD SCEPTER

November 9th, 2018 || Scripture of the Day

On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the palace, in front of the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the hall, facing the entrance. When he saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her and held out to her the gold scepter that was in his hand. So Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter.

Then the king asked, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be given you.”

“If it pleases the king,” replied Esther, “Let the king together with Haman, come today to a banquet I have prepared for him.”…

So the king and Haman went to the banquet Esther had prepared. As they were drinking wine, the king again asked Esther. “Now what is your petition? It will be given you. And what is your request? Even up to half the kingdom. It will be granted.”

Esther replied, “My petition and my request is this: If the king regards me with favor and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and fulfill my request, let the king and Haman come tomorrow to the banquet I will prepare for them. Then I will answer the king’s question.”   

Esther 5:1-8

Approaching the king in the inner court without invitation was risky business. It could result in immediate death unless the king extended the gold scepter in his hand toward them and spared their lives. Even as Queen, Esther was no exception to this rule. She was keenly aware that without divine favor and protection, she could instantly lose her life if she approached the king without invitation. That was the essence of the three days of fasting and prayer by the entire Jewish community including Esther herself. They fasted and prayed for divine favor upon Esther and God heard their cry. The Gold Scepter was extended by the king toward Esther and she did not perish. But the battle was first won in the Spirit Realm through fasting and prayer!

Scripture makes it clear in Proverbs 21:1 that: “In the Lord’s hand, the king’s heart is a stream of water that he channels toward all who please him.” A person walking in divine favor is able to approach even the highest authority with favor because of the covering of God over that individual. Divine favor opens doors that no one and nothing else will open. Divine favor causes the Gold Scepter to be extended toward the righteous because ultimately, it is God who has the final control over every Gold Scepter. If you seek God in earnest fasting and prayer, He will cause every necessary Gold Scepter to be extended toward you to ensure that His purpose for your life is accomplished. God controls every Gold Scepter, not man!

Do not be anxious or afraid as you go about your Father’s business. Be assured that God controls the heart of every “king” with whom you have to deal. You will not perish. You will find favor beyond your imagination. Your petition will be granted. The Gold Scepter will be extended to you because your Heavenly Father is the one in ultimate control. God controls every Gold Scepter. It all starts in the spirit realm to be manifested on earth!

Prayer: Father, I thank you that I am never alone. I walk in the assurance that because you are in control of every power and every authority, I will always find favor before anyone with whom I have to deal. Amen  

Courtesy of RENEWAL CHRISTIAN CENTER

DAILY RENEWAL – WHEN PHYSICAL BEAUTY IS NOT ENOUGH

DAILY RENEWAL – WHEN PHYSICAL BEAUTY IS NOT ENOUGH

November 8th, 2018 || Scripture of the Day

Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai. “Go, gather all the Jews who are in Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day and I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And If I perish, I perish.”

So Mordecai went out and carried out all of Esther’s instructions.   

Esther 4:15-17

Esther was a most beautiful and lovely young lady. But beyond that was her wisdom, maturity and godliness. Her godly character is underscored by the fact that she heeded the godly counsel of her father. She recognized the need to listen to the counsel of her destiny helpers. She not only listened to and obeyed her father, but earlier on, we saw her also listening to the counsel of Hegai, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the beauty contest. She did exactly what Hegai recommended and she reaped the wonderful results of obedience.

Esther’s “physical beauty” was instrumental in her being in the position of Queen; but she also knew that her beauty had limitations. As much as she desired to obey her father and approach the king at the risk of death, Esther knew that she needed more than physical beauty. She needed to be clothed in the “beauty of divine favor” as well. This prompted her to ask Mordecai to call upon the entire Jewish community to unite in fasting and prayer. She was determined to approach the king only after she had been upheld in fasting and prayer by all the people. Her natural beauty and royal connections as queen were simply not enough!

The truth is: As wonderful as our natural gifts and talents, as well as our socio-economic and political connections might be, they are woefully inadequate for the accomplishment of our divine destinies. We need the power and favor of God to succeed. Scripture reminds us that it is not by power or by might but by the Spirit of God.

So, before you rush into the “presence of any earthly king,” first spend time in fasting and prayer in the “Presence of the Heavenly King” who controls the heart of every earthly king. Sometimes, “physical beauty” is just not enough. You need to be clothed in the beauty of divine favor as well.

Prayer: Father, I thank you for all the gifts, talents and abilities you have so graciously bestowed upon my life. Please help me to be dependent upon you rather than on those gifts and talents as I walk in my destiny. Amen.

Courtesy of RENEWAL CHRISTIAN CENTER

DAILY RENEWAL – HAS GOD CALLED YOU FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS?

DAILY RENEWAL – HAS GOD CALLED YOU FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS?

November 7th, 2018 || Scripture of the Day

So, Hathak went out to Mordecai in the open square of the city in front of the king’s gate. Mordecai told him everything that had happened to him, including the exact amount of money Haman had promised to pay into the royal treasury for the destruction of the Jews. He also gave him a text of the edict for their annihilation, which had been published in Susa, to show Esther and explain it to her. And he told him to instruct her to go into the king’s presence to beg for mercy and plead with him for her people.

Hathak went back and reported to Esther what Mordecai had said. Then she instructed him to say to Mordecai, “All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned, the king has but one law that they be put to death unless the king extends the gold scepter to them and spares their lives. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.”

When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house, you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”    

Esther 4:6-14

Haman was determined to destroy the Jews. He came from a long lineage of “Jew haters’ which could be traced back to the days when his ancestors attacked Israel as they escaped from Egyptian slavery. With his position as the most honored official in the royal palace, Haman saw a golden opportunity to deal a final death blow to his long-standing enemies, the Jews. Killing Mordecai who had offended him personally was just not enough; every one of God’s children had to die in order to satisfy him. He was even prepared to pay a huge sum of money to accomplish his demonic goal. But God is always a strong tower of refuge for His children.

So, God touched Mordecai to fight for the plight of the Jews by reminding Esther that God had placed her there not just to enjoy the privileges of being Queen; but for a much larger purpose than that. Listen carefully to Mordecai’s appeal: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house, you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

Mordecai’s admonition to Esther is full of gems. There are two notable things that must not escape us:

First: Whatever position or place in life we find ourselves in, is meant to fulfill a divine purpose much bigger than ourselves. Mordecai reminded her own daughter, Esther, not to forget that God had given her the privilege of being queen to serve a divine purpose. The position was not meant for her personal comfort and self aggrandizement but to bring relief and deliverance to God’s people. Her beauty, her adoption by Mordecai, her upbringing, the favor she had before the king were all meant to serve a higher divine purpose.

Question: What if we each realized that all the blessings, gifts and talents God has endowed us with are not meant just for our own enjoyment but for a bigger purpose beyond ourselves?

Second:God’s plan can never be thwarted. Mordecai also makes us see that if we fail to live up to our calling in God’s kingdom, God will raise up another person to fulfill that need: “If you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise from another place.”

So question: Are you remaining silent when God is clearly asking you to arise and fulfill a responsibility? Is God asking you to use your time, talents, treasures and position to make a difference? Have you turned your back on Him? Please listen: God can raise someone else to do what you are refusing to do for Him; but remember that you will be the loser if you fail the test. So, has God called you for such a time as this? Don’t let this opportunity pass you by!

Prayer: Father, you have a purpose for me to serve. Please help me to recognize that purpose and fulfill it by your grace. Amen

Courtesy of RENEWAL CHRISTIAN CENTER

DAILY RENEWAL – DESPERATE TIMES CALL FOR “DESPERATE CRIES”

DAILY RENEWAL – DESPERATE TIMES CALL FOR “DESPERATE CRIES”

November 6th, 2018 || Scripture of the Day

When Mordecai learned of all that had been done, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the city, wailing loudly and bitterly. But he went only as far as the king’s gate, because no one clothed in sackcloth was allowed to enter it.

In every province to which the edict and order of the king came, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping and wailing. Many lay in sackcloth and ashes.

When Esther’s eunuchs and female attendants came and  told her about Mordecai, she was in great distress. She sent clothes for him to put on instead of the sackcloth but he would not accept them.

Then Esther summoned Hathak, one of the king’s eunuchs assigned to attend her and ordered him to find out what was troubling Mordecai and why.  

 Esther 4:1-5

It is bad enough to live as a foreigner with seemingly no hope of ever returning to the land of your birth or ancestors. It is painful enough to have to explain to your children that others despise you because of your refusal to live and act like everybody else. It is difficult to live a separate life under the glaring and scornful eyes of the rest of society because your life is dedicated to the only true God, Yahweh. Your ways are different. Your customs are different. Your faith in God compels you to ignore the norms of the society you live in because they contradict the moral and ethical values of God. That was the pressure under which the Jews lived as exiles.

But then, how do you respond when you wake up one morning to be told that the king in whose land you live has issued an order that on a certain date, at a particular time, you and all the members of your family and community are to be put to death in every city in which members of your nationality live? How do you respond when you hear your neighbors whispering among themselves about the fact that they will soon plunder your property? What do you tell your children? How do you respond to such terrifying news? Where do you turn to?

The response of Mordecai and the Jews is full of worthy insights. Let’s look at three of them:

First: Mordecai “Tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes, and went into the city, wailing loudly and bitterly.”  Mordecai knew that the situation was a desperate one and so he took very desperate measures to call attention to his plight and that of all the Jews. To him, a dire situation of that nature was no time to walk around quietly in fine clothes. It was a time for desperate measures: He tore his fine clothes, put on sackcloth, a rather uncomfortable outfit, and put some ashes on his body as well. This was a sign of great mourning, pain and distress.

Second, Mordecai “went into the city wailing loudly and bitterly. The entire city was already bewildered by the command to kill the Jews. Mordecai launched a public protest by his loud and bitter public wailing. He roamed the streets of the city to draw attention to the injustice that was about to befall his people. Mordecai lay his dignity aside by his loud public protest.

Third, “In every province to which the edict and order of the king came, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping and wailing. Many lay in sackcloth and ashes. Even though prayers are not directly mentioned, one can conclude that the fasting and wailing were accompanied by prayers. They cried out to God in their desperation!

Desperate times call for desperate cries:

God responded to the desperate cries of the Israelites and sent Moses to their rescue: “I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them…” (Exodus 3:7-8). Blind Bartimaeus cried out in desperation and Jesus stopped and healed his sight. Even our Lord Jesus Himself cried out to Father God when he was overwhelmed in the Garden of Gethsemane as he faced the cross and God sent angels to strengthen him (Luke 22:39-44).

Question: Are you facing a rather desperate situation? Is it an unfulfilled desire or need? Is it a health crisis? A financial situation? An unsaved loved one? A ministry need or challenge? An unfulfilled vision? A difficult job situation? A challenging exam or school situation? A messy marriage or family situation?

Cry out to our God! Our God knows and understands your situation. Jesus Himself identifies with your struggle. He Himself cried out in desperation when things got discouraging for Him. He will come to your rescue!

Prayer: Lord, I cast all my cares upon you today because I know you are able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that I can ever ask or think. Amen

Courtesy of RENEWAL CHRISTIAN CENTER

DAILY RENEWAL – DIRECTED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT

DAILY RENEWAL – DIRECTED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT

November 5th, 2018 || Scripture of the Day

Paul and his companions traveled throughout  the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them. So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas.

During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the Gospel to them.

Acts 16:6-10

Paul and his companions were very eager to preach the Gospel wherever they could. But it is evident that they carefully followed the directions of the Holy Spirit as to where and when they were to minister God’s word. As essential as it was to spread the Gospel, it is rather interesting that twice, the Holy Spirit did not allow them into particular cities. They were actually “kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia.” However, Macedonia was different. God gave Paul a vision to confirm the need to preach in that city.

We live in Jesus, move in Him and have our being in Him. This means, in effect, our daily activities should be directed by the Spirit of Jesus. There are times when the Spirit will give us the green light to respond to a Macedonian call. But there are also times when the Holy Spirit will prevent us from moving in certain directions no matter how obviously sensible the move might seem to us. Sometimes, the Holy Spirit will forcefully say no!

There are many times when Satan would seek to hinder or block our “godly endeavors.” But there are also times when the Holy Spirit might say no because God has different “Macedonian plans” in store. We need to know the difference.

The Bible declares that the steps of the righteous are ordered by the Lord. The Holy Spirit is called to walk alongside us and direct our paths. I believe this is a reality that is most ignored by many of us. So, what if we really allowed the Spirit of Jesus to order our steps? Won’t life be more enjoyable, purposeful, fruitful and less complicated?

May the Holy Spirit direct your steps. May He help you to know the difference between a door He chooses to open and a door He chooses to close.

Prayer: Father, the need to know what is of You and what is not is rather critical in these confusing times in which we live. May the Holy Spirit close doors that are not of You and lead me only along your chosen path for me. Help me to clearly hear your voice at all times. Amen.

Courtesy of RENEWAL CHRISTIAN CENTER

DAILY RENEWAL – WHEN THE PLOT THICKENS, DON’T BE AFRAID.

DAILY RENEWAL – WHEN THE PLOT THICKENS, DON’T BE AFRAID.

November 4th, 2018 || Scripture of the Day

Then Haman said to King Xerxes, “There is a certain people dispersed among the provinces in all your kingdom who keep themselves separate. Their customs are different from those of all other people, and they do not obey the king’s laws; it is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them. If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them and I will give ten thousand talents of silver to the king’s administrators for the royal treasury.”

So the king took his signet ring from his finger and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. “Keep the money,” the king said to Haman, “and do with the people as you please.”

Then on the thirteenth day of the first month, the royal secretaries were summoned. They wrote out in the script of each province and in the language of each people all Haman’s orders to the king’s satraps, the governors of the various provinces and the nobles of the various people. These were written in the name of King Xerxes himself and sealed with his own ring. Dispatches were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces with the order to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews – young and old, women and children – on a single day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods. A copy of the text of the edict was to be issued as law in every province and made known to the people of every nationality so they would be ready for that day.

The couriers went out, spurred on by the king’s command…The King and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Susa was bewildered.     

Esther 3:8-15

If only we could catch a glimpse of what happens in the Spirit Realm where the enemy is furiously plotting our demise. If only we could see the anger raging in the hearts of agents of the enemy against God’s children. These are real and even frightening things. When you are innocently going about your business, the enemy is filled with rage and hatred against you because you are a child of God determined to separate yourself for the Lord.

That is exactly what the Jews faced: “There is a certain people dispersed among the provinces in all your kingdom who keep themselves separate. Their customs are different from those of all other people…It is not in the king’s best interest to keep them…let a decree be issued to destroy them.” The plot was thickening but so was the heavenly defense.

The Jews, God’s chosen children, were determined to honor the laws of God even in the land of captivity to which they had been forcibly exiled. Under the pretext that this was not in the best interest of the king, Haman convinced King Xerxes to issue a decree for every Jew – man and woman, boy and girl to be killed and their possessions plundered.

The Jewish people were to be wiped out in all the provinces in a single day because of the hatred of one man against them.

Having meticulously planned and nurtured his heinous plans, Haman sat down with the king to drink. He must have been very confident that it was all over for the people of God! But was it?

You see: The truth is, God is always working behind the scenes to protect His children. God was not asleep and he had the power to intervene and overthrow the plans of Haman, and He did!

Listen: Do not be afraid. Be confident that God is aware of every plot against you and He will come to your defense. When the plot thickens against you, stand still and see the deliverance of the Lord your God! God is always in control. He will never leave you to the destructive plans of the enemy!

Prayer: Father, I might not know all that is going on behind the scenes against my life. But that is rather immaterial because I am totally confident that you will fight every battle on my behalf, Thank you, Father. Amen.

Courtesy of RENEWAL CHRISTIAN CENTER

DAILY RENEWAL – THE ENEMY COMES TO STEAL, KILL AND DESTROY; BUT GOD IS OUR PROTECTION!

DAILY RENEWAL – THE ENEMY COMES TO STEAL, KILL AND DESTROY; BUT GOD IS OUR PROTECTION!

November 3rd, 2018 || Scripture of the Day

After these events, King Xerxes honored Haman, son of Hammedatha, the Agagite elevating him and giving him a seat of honor higher than that of all the other nobles. All the royal officials at the King’s gate knelt down and paid honor to Haman, for the king had commanded this concerning him. But Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor.

Then the royal officials at the king’s gate asked Mordecai, “Why do you disobey the king’s command?” Day after day they spoke to him but he refused to comply. Therefore they told Haman about it to see whether Mordecai’s behavior would be tolerated, for he had told them he was a Jew.

When Haman saw that Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor, he was enraged. Yet having learned who Mordecai’s people were, he scorned the idea of killing only Mordecai. Instead, Haman looked for a way to destroy all Mordecai’s people, the Jews, throughout the whole kingdom of Xerxes.  

Esther 3:1-6

There is a lot more to this portion of Esther than meets the eye. At the time of these events, Esther had been queen for about four years. The refusal of Mordecai and the intention of Haman to destroy all the Jews is tied deeply into both the history of the Jews and God’s redemptive plan for mankind through Jesus Christ who was birthed through Jewish lineage. Mordecai was a Jew and Haman was an Amalekite. They knew the history of their respective peoples and the long-standing animosity which had existed for generations between the Jews and the Amalekites.

The Amalekites were the first to attack Israel when they were fleeing Egypt into the Promised land. For this reason, God promised to be at war with the Amalekites from generation to generation (Ex. 17:8-16;) Israel was to blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven (Deut. 25:17-19). The conflict was an ongoing one which had spiritual ramifications for God’s redemptive plan for the entire humanity. This is the reason why God commanded Saul to attack and wipe out the Amalekites. Saul was not completely obedient (I Samuel 15).

So, many generations later, Haman the Amalekite, knowing the ongoing conflict with his enemies the Jews, saw an opportunity to kill off “the entire Jewish people.” The account says: “Having learned who Mordecai’s people were, he scorned the idea of killing only Mordecai. Instead, Haman looked for a way to destroy all Mordecai’s people, the Jews,  throughout the whole Kingdom of Xerxes.”  Question: Why wasn’t Haman satisfied with just killing Mordecai? Why did he wickedly plot to annihilate the entire race of Jews throughout the whole kingdom? What was his motivation? What did he hope to accomplish?

The Amalekites attacked Israel when they were fleeing as a weary and worn out group of people from Egyptian bondage. They attacked those who were lagging behind! Now as a helpless group of people living in a foreign land another Amalekite, Haman, set out to wipe them all out. Think about it. The enemy seizes every opportunity to wreak havoc on God’s people.

The enemy, like the Amalekites, comes to steal, kill and destroy. His goal is to abort the plan God has for His children. He doesn’t just attack us as individuals, but he attacks as broadly as he can to damage as many as possible. He attacks homes, marriages, families, Churches, peoples and nations to wipe out as many as he can. He attacks relentlessly until his mission is accomplished.

We must be vigilant. Like Mordecai, we must know who we are and stand up to him. We must not give in to the destructive plans of the enemy. God is with us; and if God is for us, who can be against us? The enemy comes to steal. Kill and destroy but Jesus has ordained and already established an abundant life for us. By His grace, you will defeat every Amalekite!

Prayer: Father, I thank you that I am more than a conqueror through Jesus my Lord and Savior. Thank you that no weapon formed against me shall prosper. Help me to stand as bold as Mordecai. Amen.

Courtesy of RENEWAL CHRISTIAN CENTER

DAILY RENEWAL – FULFILLING YOUR DESTINY: GOD BRINGS “DESTINY HELPERS”

DAILY RENEWAL – FULFILLING YOUR DESTINY: GOD BRINGS “DESTINY HELPERS”

November 1st, 2018 || Scripture of the Day

When the virgins were assembled a second time, Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate. But Esther had kept secret her family background and nationality just as Mordecai had told her to do, for she continued to follow Mordecai’s instructions as she had done when he was bringing her up.

During the time Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, became angry and conspired to assassinate King Xerxes. But Mordecai found out about the plot and told Queen Esther, who in turn reported it to the king, giving credit to Mordecai. And when the report was investigated and found to be true, the two officials were impaled on poles. All this was recorded in the book of the annals in the presence of the king.

Esther 2:19-23

The story of Esther is one of the most fascinating in all of Scripture. God’s name is not explicitly mentioned. There is no direct mention of prayer or worship. But the sovereignty of God is seen all through the Book. We see the hand of God directing the lives of His children without a direct reference to Him. God is always in control whether He is directly mentioned or not. It is evident that God’s hand was at work in the selection of Esther to be Queen. Esther’s destiny was directly tied to the destiny of God’s people. We see this as the story unfolds.

Two things are worth observing:

First: Even though we have a wonderful admiration for Esther, we see clearly that Mordecai was used by God to groom Esther for her destiny. Mordecai raised up Esther well and Esther used her wonderful upbringing effectively as Queen. She “continued to follow Mordecai’s instructions as she had done when he was bringing her up.” Esther did not forget her father or her upbringing. Even as Queen, she continued to listen and adhere to the fatherly advice she received in her childhood.

Second: Mordecai was used by God to uncover the plot to assassinate the king. Mordecai passed the information to Esther. Esther promptly reported this to the king who had the plotters killed after investigations had uncovered the truth. This was something that endeared not just Esther to the king but also to Mordecai. God had used a foreigner and his adopted daughter to save the king of the very land that had attacked their country and hauled them off into a strange land. The relationship between Esther and her father was critical to the unfolding of the divine agenda.

No matter how high we rise or what position we attain in life, it is important to recognize that God would always use certain people to help us accomplish that destiny. Those “God-given” relationships must always be discerned, nurtured and carefully protected. They are spiritually critical to God’s agenda when understood. Esther’s destiny was divinely tied into that of Mordecai. Esther obviously recognized it so she continued to listen to and obey her father even as Queen. May we recognize and nurture the “destiny helpers” God brings our way.

Prayer: Father, please help me to acknowledge and understand my “destiny helpers.” Amen.

Brought to you by RENEWAL CHRISTIAN CENTER

DAILY RENEWAL – LISTEN TO THE AUTHORITIES GOD PLACES OVER YOU

DAILY RENEWAL – LISTEN TO THE AUTHORITIES GOD PLACES OVER YOU

October 31st, 2018 || Scripture of the Day

Before a young woman’s turn came to go in to King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments prescribed for the women, six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics. And this is how she would go to the king. Anything she wanted was given her to take with her from the Harem to the king’s palace. In the evening she would go there and in the morning return to another part of the harem to the care of Shaagaz, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the king’s concubines. She would not return to the king unless he was pleased with her and summoned her by name.

When the turn came for Esther (the young woman Mordecai had adopted, the daughter of his uncle Abihail) to go to the king, she asked for nothing other than what Hegai, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the harem, suggested. And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her. She was taken to King Xerxes in the royal residence in the tenth month, the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.

Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins. So he set a royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. And the king gave a great banquet, Esther’s banquet, for all his nobles and officials. He proclaimed a holiday throughout the provinces and distributed gifts with royal liberality.  

Esther 2:12-18

Who would have thought that a young girl who had lost both parents and had been adopted by her uncle as his own daughter would end up as Queen in the very land into which her family had been forcibly sent to live as foreigners?

The Bible makes it clear that the plans God has for each of us are for our good and never for our evil. They are plans to prosper us and not to harm us. They are plans to give us hope and a future. So, no matter what twists and turns our lives might take, the plans of God for our lives can never be thwarted by either Satan, his demons or any human agent of the devil. No one can destroy the plans of God for your life as long as you remain steadfast and faithful in your commitment to Him. No sickness, no demon, no curse, no death in the family, no boss – absolutely nothing in all creation can ever stop God’s ordained plans and blessings for your life.

Remember what Scripture says: In all things, God is working together for your good. God knew the plans He had for Esther and not even the death of her parents would destroy those plans. God gave Esther new parents through adoption because He knew what opportunities would be opened to her for the fulfillment of her destiny. Our God is just amazing! He works all things out.

As I ponder this passage, there is one thing that keeps popping out to me: Esther’s character.

Esther listened to the advice of the authorities God placed her under.

First, she listened to her father Mordecai and never revealed her nationality. This was divine because such a revelation would have derailed what God was putting in place.

Second Esther listened to the advice of Hegai and did only what Hegai instructed her to do. God does not just throw people our way. God places people strategically in our lives. This is especially so with those whose authority He brings us under, even when they are ”unbelievers like the king’s eunuch, Hegai, under whose care Esther was placed.

But especially for us Christians, we should be very careful and very grateful when God places us under godly spiritual authority and we should be very careful to listen to the godly advice they give us. Turning our backs and arrogantly despising the godly advice of such authorities God places us under could prove very costly to our lives and very destiny.

Esther humbled herself and listened to her father and the Eunuch. Are you humbling yourself to listen to your parents, your teachers, your bosses at work, your spiritual leaders? Or are you arrogantly disrespecting them and doing your own thing? Do you realize that it could cost you your blessing and bring you much regret? Think about it!

Prayer: Father, I repent in every way in which I have sinned against you by spurning the advice of the authorities under which you have placed me when they have only been acting according to your word and in my own best interest. Please help me to truly repent and listen. Amen

Brought to you by RENEWAL CHRISTIAN CENTER