Such a Time as This

Esther was a simple, young girl, orphaned by the death of her parents, raised by her uncle, living in captivity in Babylon. A simple girl, but gorgeous! Her beauty, and obviously her charming personality, led King Ahaesurus to choose her to become his queen. When Haman plotted to annihilate all the Jews in captivity, she was able to use her position and intervene and prevent that from happening and as her uncle pointed out to her, she had been prepared for “such a time as this.” Joseph was rejected by his brothers, sold into slavery, falsely accused, thrown into prison, only to become the second most powerful man in Egypt, but as he wisely told his brothers years later, “you meant evil against me but God meant it for good.” You have had trials and tribulations, joys and sorrows. You have experienced things, endured things, learned things, that no one else has. You have been brought to this point in your life, and whether young or old, you are important to God and have something to share. You don’t know what tomorrow may bring, you don’t know what situation you may be called into or who may need your help, but be ready, for God has prepared you “for such a time as this.”


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Wrap Around The Son

Conflict, it’s everywhere. There is conflict between countries, governments, races, politicians, neighbors, religions. Can this world survive without conflict? It was meant to and yes it can! The world needs an example of life without conflict and that example should be God’s church. As God granted us His unmerited favor through Jesus, so should we to our brothers and sisters in the Lord. Our love for one another and absence of conflict should be a magnet to the world, attracting them not repelling them. From the beginning, the enemy has used a divide and conquer strategy and it breaks my heart whenever I hear of a church splitting up because it is usually over something trivial or bruised egos. Our conflicts need to be resolved and forgotten right away and that goes for any conflict you may have with your church family, any of your relatives, friends, or co-workers. As Christians we should not be in conflict with anyone and as a church we should be banded together. Solomon said, “A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” As a church, let us form that cord, with Jesus as the center, and if you think a cord of three strands is strong, think how strong a cord of hundreds wrapped around the Lord will be … unbreakable!


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Won & Done

When the king of Syria sent his army to capture Elisha and surrounded the city he was in, why didn’t Elisha become afraid? When David went out to battle Goliath, a mere shepherd not a soldier, why was he so courageous? When you face seemingly overwhelming odds, why should you be confident? Elisha was a man of God, he knew Him, he knew whose he was, and God gave him eyes to see the bigger picture, as He also allowed Elisha’s servant to see His fiery chariots surrounding the Syrian army. David, angered by the uncircumcised Philistine’s defiance of the army of the living God, told Saul, just as God delivered him from a lion and a bear, He would deliver him from Goliath. David trusted in God’s faithfulness. Do you, if you have received God’s grace, surrendered your heart to Jesus, ever really face overwhelming odds? There is none greater, there is none stronger than our God. Any battle you face, you’ve already won! Victories can come with scars, the other side does play dirty, but they can be used for reminders of His faithfulness. So, stay strong in the Lord, look to Him and trust in Him in all things, remember greater is He that is in you than he who is in the world, and know the battle is won before it has begun!


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Chasing the Wind

How times have changed. Once people from all over the world would travel to seek and hear the wisdom of Solomon. Now they just ask Alexa or Siri! Pretty sad, but the saddest part is they don’t get to hear the “rest of the story.” For all of Solomon’s wisdom, for all of his riches, for all of his luxurious living, for all his self-fulfilling pleasures, he was still left empty or as he called it, chasing the wind. Alexa or Siri will never tell you that! So, what wind are you chasing? That one more big promotion, that house on the golf course, that flashy foreign sports car that screams, “look at me, I’m a success?” Is that what makes you successful? Solomon, just like everyone, had that spot deep inside that no amount of worldly assets or pleasure could ever fill. God put that spot there and only He can fill it. Don’t waste your life chasing the wind . Open the door to your heart, allow Jesus to enter in, and before you know it, the wind will be chasing you!


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I Promise

Don’t you love how when you reprimand a little child for doing something wrong, they quickly promise they’ll never do it again, and they don’t … for at least 5 minutes. Promises, easily made, not so easily kept. How many promises have you broken over the course of your life? Did you know there are over 3000 promises from God in the Bible? If He made them, you can count on them! Let’s go over a few that Pastor Curt mentioned yesterday. He promises salvation for anyone and everyone who seeks it, Mark 16:16. He promises His presence, He will never leave you or forsake you, Matt 28:20. He promises His continued forgiveness, we have but to confess to Him to be cleansed, 1 John 1:9. He promises His provision for our needs (needs, not necessarily our desires) Luke 12:27,28. He promises to help us through temptations and provide a way of escape, 1 Cor 10:13. And He promises us eternal life, John 10:27,28. God’s Word is His Word, He promised it, He’ll do it! Next time you’re feeling down and discouraged, make your own list of God’s promises, look up and write down Scripture references yourself. Thank Him for all the undeserved guarantees He has promised you and the next time you sing “Standing on the Promises”, it will be with a renewed joy!
 

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You Talking to Me

When you speak, do people listen intently or do they have a blank yada yada yada look on their face? When Jesus spoke people listened. When the temple guard reported back to the Pharisees, they told them they had never heard anyone speak like Him before. When He taught the crowds, He spoke as one with authority not as an itinerant carpenter. When He walked among the hurting people, He spoke and touched them with love, and as John wrote, “through Jesus came grace and truth.” Authority, love, and truth… as in all things, Jesus’ example is the one to follow. You want people to listen to you? Know what you are talking about. Speak with knowledge and confidence in that knowledge. Speak with love and back up those loving words with loving actions. Telling someone Jesus loves them is great. Showing them Jesus’ love is much greater. Speak the truth, with love. Truth can be hard to take, yet truth is truth, but you don’t have to beat people over the head with it. Jesus reiterated He was telling the truth many times. Course He did have an edge seeing He was the way, the truth, and the life. So, speak with authority, love, and truth and watch those yada yada looks go away.


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Possessed

What is your most prized possession? What is it that you don’t have that you would give anything to have? I hope none of you are like Esau, who gave away his birthright, a most highly prized possession of that time, for a pot of beans! I mean, lentils are good, great source of protein, but Esau was hardly about to die of starvation. He was only concerned with his immediate needs and obviously didn’t have a very high value system. So, what is your greatest possession? You know what God thinks it is? Your soul. He gave His Son for your soul. He gave His Son for everyone’s soul. that’s how prized He considers it. He doesn’t care if you’ve amassed wealth, ran a Fortune 500 company, or own a jet. He is only impressed with your soul. As Jesus said, “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?” Want to have both of those things? You have but to give your soul to Jesus and you will have this whole world and the next one too! There is no possession greater than to have the Lord in possession of your heart!


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Salvation Is For ALL

It’s hard to understand when bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people but easy to understand when bad things happen to bad people.
Everyone is quick to say they got what they deserved, which may be true, but life happens to everyone, sickness, accidents, tragedies, to the good and the bad. Yet do you think things happen to people because some are bigger sinners than others? Is a murderer worse than a malicious rumor? Is an adulterer worse than a homosexual? Is someone who covets worse than someone consumed in lust? Sin is sin in God’s eyes, He doesn’t rate sin on a sliding scale. He doesn’t want any sinner, which we all are, to perish. That’s why He gave us Jesus, that’s why salvation is free! So many people think their sins are so much worse than others that God can never forgive them and when they hear “repent” thrown at them, they cringe. But there are two parts to repentance, and the first is the most important. People need to repent (change) their opinion of God. He needs to be seen as the awesome Creator and loving Father and Jesus as His Son who paid their sin debt and freely offers grace. Then they can repent (change) from their sins because He will help them do it. Jesus died for all us sinners, salvation is offered to everyone. Don’t get caught up being holier than thou because you have repented and received His salvation but instead get caught up in showing the world who God and Jesus really are that they may change (repent) their hearts toward Them and accept Their marvelous grace!

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Keep Going

Perseverance is easy, for a little while, but a little while won’t get you too far. Do you think Stephan Curry would be the all star he is today if he gave up when he didn’t get a scholarship to a major university? Do you think Albert Einstein would have accomplished all he did if he gave up because he didn’t get accepted into the illustrious Federal Polytechnic School in Zurich? Do you think Joseph would have become the second in command of Egypt if he had given up after his brother’s betrayal and settled to being just a slave? We are to keep praying, keep believing, keep going! As James wrote, we are going to have trials, but they will only strengthen us, keep going! As the widow nagged the judge for justice in one of Jesus’s parables, her persistence paid off, keep going! Jesus said to ask, seek, knock, and then sometimes wait, but while you are waiting, keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking! God wants what’s best for you and your loved ones and He will provide what is needed at the precise time. Believe in His promises, believe He will answer what you are praying for, be strong and firm in your prayers, and keep going!

 


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Your World

It’s amazing how many worlds there are within the world. Like there is the world of sports, the world of art, literature, education, music, acting, the world of boating, sailing, fishing, cars, racing, motorcycles, and on and on. These are all worthy pursuits but they can become all consuming. After spending however much time in your world, how much time do you give to God’s world? Whose world always gets first priority? Do you only pass through on Sundays or do you make yourself available? If you have given your life to Jesus, you are a part of His church. His church, the body of Christ. is God’s vehicle on earth and He wants you on board. Whether you’re a finger, a toe, or an eye, you are an important part of the body. We need to be a part of other worlds so we can be a witness for the Lord, but don’t get so consumed in your world that you don’t have any time for His! We are to love God and serve God, and love others and serve others and that begins at the household of Christ!


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