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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

U is for Unbelieving Wife (Women of the Bible)

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U is for Unbelieving Wife.




Scripture Reference:

1 Corinthians 7:12, 14

12 To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her.
14 For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. 

1 Peter 3:7

Husbands, in the same way (in the previous verses he was referring to women with unbelieving husbands) be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

No specific name is given because Paul and Peter are referring to an unbelieving wife of any Christian husband.


Interesting Facts about an Unbelieving Wife:

  • Paul gives explicit instructions to the unbelieving wife's husband to stay married to them if the unbelieving wife consents to staying married.
  • An unbelieving wife is made holy (shares in the blessings of God) through her believing husband as he is blessed of God.
  • She is under the influence of God's work by the witness (and Godly love) of her husband's life.


What We Can Learn to Reach an Unbelieving Wife:

  • Don't ever give up praying for the salvation of a friend who is an unbelieving wife.
  • Be a godly influence in the life of an unbelieving wife.
  • Encourage the marriage relationship where there is an unbelieving wife.

I'll note my observations of three attitudes Peter references in verse 7 that husbands are to have toward their unbelieving wife:

  1. Consideration (Be considerate with your wife...be sensitive to her needs and feelings which includes her intimate desires.)
  2. Chivalry (Being physically weaker than man, protect her as the stronger vessel. Provide for her.)
  3. Companionship (The unbelieving wife is an heir of the gracious gift of marriage ordained by God. This calls for friendship and fellowship in the marriage relationship.)
When a believing husband of an unbelieving wife lives by these three attitudes, his prayers will not be hindered.


It's hard to believe this #abcblogging challenge from my friend, Marcy at Ben and Me is almost at an end. Thanks for taking the journey with me! Find all of my posts in this series on my Women of the Bible page.

Walking in His Grace, 
Laurie


Click on the image below to read more posts from others who are Blogging through the Alphabet!



Ben and Me

Goodbye 1 Peter! Hello 2 Peter and 1 John (Blogging Through the Bible)


Wow, we are moving right along, aren't we?! Hang on tight for the next several days as we make our way through 2 Peter and 1 John!



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Hooray, we finished reading in 1 Peter on Sunday with chapter 5! Here is my S.O.A.P. for chapter 5 of 1 Peter:

Sunday, September 14, 2014

1 Peter

Scripture: 1 Peter 5:5-7 In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

12 With the help of Silas, whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it.

14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

Observations: In these verses Peter speaks of 7 attitudes we should have as Christians:

1.     An attitude of submission (v. 5)
2.     An attitude of humility (verses 5 and 6)
3.     An attitude of trust (v. 7)
4.     An attitude of vigilance (v. 8)
5.     An attitude of self-control (verses 8 and 9)
6.     An attitude of faithfulness (v. 12)
7.     An attitude of affection (v. 14)


7 Attitudes for Christians Living in Opposite World


Application: It is only as the truth of God is poured into us every day as we sit at His feet in His Word and as we attend church to learn and grow there too, that our character and our attitudes will begin to change into these 7 attitudes I’ve observed in 1 Peter 5. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank You so much for the truth of Your Word. Help me to understand the importance of being in your Word daily and sitting under the teaching of my Pastor at church. I pray that You would mold and shape my character with these attitudes I’ve found in your Word so that Your glory may be seen in me and draw other Christians into a deeper relationship with You. I want to be a vessel for Your honor and glory. In the wonderful name of Jesus I pray. Amen!


Moving on to 2 Peter

Monday we began reading in 2 Peter, and we are finishing it today since it's only 3 chapters! *smile* 

I would love to read your thoughts on what you've been reading this week in 2 Peter. Please be sure to leave your comments below and let's grow in the Word of God together!


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Here are my S.O.A.P.s for the reading we've done in 2 Peter:



Monday, September 15, 2014

2 Peter 1

Scripture: 2 Peter 1:1-4 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

Observations: Grace, God’s divine power, has been imparted through the Holy Spirit to all believers so that we can live out a godly life while here in this world. This is what we have been called as believers to do and God has equipped us with His Holy Spirit – His empowering presence – enabling us to live as He is calling us to live. We have been called to live as new creations and have the glory and goodness of Jesus Christ’s life as our example in how we should live. We can have His grace and peace in abundance as we choose to surrender to His power at work within us.

Application: God will not ask us to do anything that He will not equip us to do. As we grow in our knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ by spending time daily in His Word, we learn more of how He is calling us to live as believers. We learn more of the power of His divine grace that lives within us that equips us with His power to overcome in such an ungodly world. We can walk in a peace that surpasses understanding as we surrender to His power at work within us.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your empowering presence in my life as a believer. I surrender my heart and life to Your power at work within me. Help me to be who You created me to be and to do all that You have called me to do. Thank You, Jesus, for Your example in the life You lived while here on this earth. I pray that as I spend time in Your Word daily, that Your truth would continue to transform my heart and my life for Your glory. I love You and thank You for giving me everything I need for living a godly life in such an ungodly world. I pray that my life would be a witness to others who have yet to call on the name of Jesus and would give them the desire to do so. All glory and honor and praises to Jesus alone! In His life-changing name I pray. Amen!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

2 Peter 2

Scripture: 2 Peter 2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.

Observations: False prophets have always been around. In the previous chapter, Peter was speaking about the men that were inspired by God to write His truths. Here he is telling us that there were false prophets as well during his time and warning us that they will be among us today too. These false prophets are from the devil sent to spread destructive heresies –
beliefs or opinions contrary to the true Word of God; they deny the sovereign Lord who gave His life for all who would believe; and they bring their own destruction upon themselves because of their denial and the destructive heresies they spread.

Application: It’s so sad to see how false prophets have perverted the Word of God. It’s rampant in our world! The Bible is our final authority. We must hold everything up to the light of the true and inspired Word of God. I must be in His Word every single day – reading it and studying it – so that I am not deceived by the lies of today’s false prophets who are led by the devil in their deception and mishandling of God’s Holy Word.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You have given us the truth of Your Word that we can hide in our hearts so that we might not sin against You. Thank You for giving us the sword of the Spirit, Your very spoken Words, to fight off the lies of the devil. I pray that I would continue to hunger and thirst for Your Word every day and not let anything get in my way for time spent in Your truth. Open up our minds so that we can comprehend Your Scriptures as Jesus did with His disciples. Help us not to be deceived by the devil or his false prophets. In the powerful name of Jesus I pray. Amen!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

2 Peter 3

Scripture: 2 Peter 3:1-2 Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.

2 Peter 3:8, 10 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.
10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.

2 Peter 3:17-18 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

Observations: This is Peter’s second letter to persecuted Christians. Scoffers who follow their own evil desires are mocking believers because Jesus hadn’t returned yet. We still wait for His return today because our time is not God’s time as we see in verse 8. We are told in verse 10 how God will destroy everything by fire.

Peter wrote this letter to encourage the persecuted Christians of his time and it is our encouragement for today as we too are living in a world that is filled with scoffers who follow their own evil desires. There is truly “nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 4:9). We are to find comfort and WHOLESOME THINKING in the Word of God given to the holy prophets and by the apostles who share with us the commands given by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Our timing is not God’s timing. We can be certain that the Day of the Lord is coming when He will destroy everything with fire.

We have been “forewarned” through the Word of God what is going to happen in the day of the Lord. Knowing this, we are to be on our guard against the errant twisting of God’s Word by false prophets and by the scoffers who deny the return of Christ. The only way that we can guard ourselves in these matters is to be growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. We do this by spending time reading and studying the Word of God.

Application: I find in the Holy Scriptures of God the way to wholesome thinking needed to live in such an ungodly and evil world. The only way I can “recall” any information gleaned from the Word of God, to “grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ” as Peter encourages us to do, is to actually BE IN THE WORD OF GOD FOR MYSELF.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of Your Holy Scriptures. Thank You for the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ that is found in Your Word that helps me guard against the lies of false prophets and scoffers. You desire wholesome thinking as we live in this evil and ungodly world and have provided us with everything we need in Your Word. Give us a hunger and a thirst for more of You and Your Word I pray. In the powerful name of Jesus I pray. Amen!


Well, friends, I'll see you back here at Grace-Filled-Moments on Friday where we will be discussing our reading of 1 John!

***It's your turn...please share your thoughts about 2 Peter in the comments section below!

To read all of my posts in this #BloggingThroughtheBible series, please click on the image below.

Walking in His Grace, 
Laurie

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

1 Peter 4 and Week 3 Reading Plan (Blogging Through the Bible)

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Happy Sunday everyone! What a blessing it has been to dig into the rich truths of 1 Peter! Our reading in 1 Peter ends today, and on Monday we begin reading in 2 Peter. Here is our reading plan for week 3 of Blogging Through the Bible.


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Here is my S.O.A.P. for 1 Peter 4:

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Scripture: 1 Peter 4:1-3 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. 2 As a result, they do not live the rest of their ear
thly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3 For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.

Observations: The sin of humanity (yours and mine are included) is what killed Jesus. How could anyone who professes to be a Christian continue to enjoy a life of sin? Sin is an act of disobedience toward the will of God by fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. Our battle with sin will be fought as long as we are living in this flesh, but we triumph over it in our death. Redeemed through the precious blood of Jesus, we as believers are now to live for the will of God and desire to please Him instead of the lusts of our flesh that war within us.

We must remember that it was Jesus’ greatest suffering (His death) that led to His greatest triumph (victory over Satan, sin, and death)! Praise God our battle with sin will be over when we see Him face to face with the precious blood of Jesus applied to our hearts!

Application: When tempted to sin, remember the suffering and death of Jesus Christ on the cross. Remember also that sin violates the will of God for our lives. We must watch and pray lest we enter into temptation as Jesus warned His disciples that night in the garden of Gethsemane. We must hate what is evil and cling to what is good.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the blood of Jesus that has been applied to my heart! I thank You for the whole armor of God that You have given me for my battle with the devil that can help me overcome His evil schemes. I pray that I would always hate what is evil and cling to what is good. I desire to be in Your will and to love You with my whole heart. Thank You for the forgiveness I have received through the blood of Jesus. It is in His overcoming and victorious name I pray. Amen!


* * * * *


I'll see you here again on Wednesday! We'll be sharing our thoughts on 1 Peter 5, 2 Peter 1, and 2 Peter 2. Thanks for joining me on this journey of reading through the entire Bible!

Now it's your turn! Please share your thoughts in the comments below for 1 Peter 4.



Walking in His Grace, 
Laurie

http://womenlivingwell.org/

 

Friday, September 12, 2014

1 Peter Chapters 1 - 3 (Blogging Through the Bible)

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We started reading 1 Peter on Wednesday. I'm so glad to have you here with me as we learn and grow in the Word of God together!

Here are my S.O.A.P.s so far for 1 Peter. Please feel free to share your thoughts or your S.O.A.P. in the comments section below!



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

1 Peter 1

Scripture: 1 Peter 1:13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.


Observations: We are running a race towards the finish line of Heaven! The promise of Jesus’ return and eternity in Heaven is our hope as children of God. Here in this verse we are told how we should set our sights on this hope – and that’s “with minds that are alert and fully sober”.

We are to fix our hope on seeing Jesus face-to-face.  I want to hear “well done, good and faithful servant”. How do I get to the end of this finish line of Heaven to hear these words…with a mind that is prepared for action and fully sober.  

One translations puts it this way, “gird your mind”. In ancient times, people wore tunics – kind of like a dress or a loose fitting garment. Well whenever they were running, going into battle, any kind of labor, etc. where they needed to push aside any hindrances so that they could focus their attention on the end goal, they would put on a sash or a belt so that they could pull up and tie tightly the loose pieces of their tunics so they would not be flapping everywhere.

It’s the same idea we see in Hebrews 12:1 where we as believers are called to lay aside anything that would so easily entangle us as we run the race that has been set before us – the finish line of Heaven where we will meet Jesus face-to-face!

Our minds are to be fully sober, not becoming intoxicated with the allurements of this world. We are to keep our minds set on things above where our Heavenly home awaits us.

Application: We cannot be longing for heaven and at the same time be drinking from the wells of sin that this world offers.  Spiritual self control is absolutely necessary in the life of a believer. As believers we have to remember who we belong to and that this world is not our home. We are not our own, we have been purchased by God through the precious blood of Jesus Christ. We need to 
remember the promise we made to turn away from sin when we surrendered our lives to Jesus.
 
Philippians 4:8 tells me how I can gird up my mind and keep it sober: Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the hope and assurance of Jesus’ return and of eternity in my Heavenly home. I pray that through the power of Your grace at work within me I would keep my mind girded up by the truth I find in Your Holy Word so that I can run the race that has been set before me. Help me to have a sober mind that is set above on my Heavenly home and against the allurements of this sinful world. My heart’s desire is to see Jesus face-to-face and to hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” It’s in His life-changing name I pray. Amen!


Thursday, September 11, 2014

1 Peter 2

Scripture: 1 Peter 2:2-3 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

Observations: A life that is seeking to “grow up in salvation” is marked by a hunger and love for the Word of God. Only when we are daily in the Word can we learn the heart of God and His desire for how we should live our lives. Like newborn babies that only crave pure milk and need it to survive, a characteristic of a believer is a delight in the Word of God and a desire to be in His Word daily. In order to survive spiritually, we must crave – have a very strong desire – for the Word of God.

“now that you have tasted that the Lord is good” – Our responses to our salvation that we’ve seen so far in 1 Peter have been 1) Holiness towards God and 2) Love towards others from chapter 1, and now 3) Desiring the Word of God for ourselves as believers.

Why should I desire the Word of God? So that I might believe and have life (John 20:31). Faith comes by hearing the Word (Romans 10:17). The Word of God is life (Philippians 2:16). The Word of God is alive, active and powerful (Hebrews 4:12). The Word of God performs its work in me (1 Thessalonians 2:13)

Application: As believers, we are to LOVE the Word of God, DELIGHT in it, and CRAVE it! Before I can read it, search it, study it, meditate on it, teach it, or hide it I have to DESIRE IT. Do not let my first love for the truth of the Word of God that brought me to salvation fade. It was the preached Word of God that brought me to salvation when I learned that “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have life everlasting” (John 3:16.) It was the power of the Word that transformed my life and that same power of the Word will continue to transform me as I go into it daily.  

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word! I love Your Word and desire to be in it daily because I know that it has the power to transform my life! Thank You for saving me through the power of your Word. Continue I pray to give me a hunger and a thirst for more of You. As I learned yesterday, help me to gird up my mind…help me to push aside any hindrances that would seek to distract me from my time each day in Your Word. Help me to have enough spiritual self control in my life to take an account of how I am spending my daily time. If I find there are unnecessary things that threaten to take away my time spent in Your Word, I pray that You would impress upon my heart to remove those things from my life.  I love You and thank You. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen!


Friday, September 12, 2014

1 Peter 3

Scripture: 1 Peter 3: 1-4 Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

1 Peter 3:8-11 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. 11 They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.

1 Peter 3:14-15 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord.

Observations: It is important to remember the salvation we received and the hope it gives us. Our salvation and living hope of Heaven remind us to be an example before others. I’m reminded of Courtney’s blog series on “Living in Opposite World” and that is part of what came to my mind this morning as I read 1 Peter 3 because in it we are asked to live an example that is TOTALLY OPPOSITE of what the world SCREAMS at us. There is so much hostility, persecution, and rejection from this world that doesn’t believe the way we do and in turn makes it difficult for us to live as God is calling us to live.

I love the encouragement from Peter in verses 14-15! We are blessed by God when we suffer for doing what is right! We are not to fear the threats of this world for living right in God’s eyes. We are not be frightened when as we look all around us and see how OPPOSITE this world really is! Instead, we are to revere (deeply respect and admire) Christ as Lord of our lives by living our lives in the example that He set for us.

Application: Realize that this world is indeed opposite of what I have been called to live like as a believer in Jesus Christ. Live as Jesus is calling me to live in these verses. Do not fear what this world thinks as I live according to the will of God for my life as a believer. When I live this way, I will be a living example to others that I am His, and I will show deep respect and admiration to Jesus as Lord of my life.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank You for Your Word that is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Help me to walk in the truth revealed to me today. Help me to submit in all of the relationships of my life as You so willingly submitted Your very life. Help me to always seek the good of others, even when they aren’t seeking my good. I pray that I would focus more on my inner spiritual growth rather than getting caught up in outside appearances that this world puts so much emphasis on. Thank You, Jesus, for Your willing sacrifice that restored my broken relationship with the Father. Help me to remember that this world is not my home and may I live in such a way that my life would be an example to others and would point them to a saving relationship with You. It’s in Your saving name I pray Jesus. Amen!


Walking in His Grace,

Laurie
 
I'm #bloggingthroughthebible with Courtney Joseph at Women Living Well home of Good Morning Girls! Please click on the image below to read others posts for Blogging Through the Bible.

http://womenlivingwell.org/2014/09/a-steady-diet-of-beauty-magazines-will-starve-your-soul-1peter3/







Thursday, September 11, 2014

T is for Tabernacle Women (Women of the Bible)

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T is for Tabernacle Women.



Scripture Reference:

Exodus 38:8 (NIV)

They made the bronze basin and its bronze stand from the mirrors of the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting.


Names Unknown:

These Tabernacle women are not named.


Interesting Facts about the Tabernacle Women:

  • The Tabernacle Women were worshipers of God who would serve at the entrance of the Tabernacle.
  • They surrendered some of their most prized possessions, namely mirrors made with fine brass that they brought with them from Egypt.
  • Their fine brass mirrors would be melted down and used to create the bronze basin (and also the basin's bronze stand) which the priests would use to wash their hands and feet in before they went into the holy place to minister (and after they came out of the holy place) so that they would not die (Exodus 30:17-21).


What We Can Learn from the Tabernacle Women:

  • Sacrificing for the good of others is pleasing in the eyes of God.
  • Be devoted in our worship of God.
  • Give generously to the work of the Lord.
  • Have a willing heart ready to serve wherever there is a need in the church.



What a brass basin would look like:

Attribution: "Book of Exodus Chapter 31-2 (Bible Illustrations by Sweet Media)" by Jim Padgett - Biblical illustrations by Jim Padgett, courtesy of Sweet Publishing, Ft. Worth, TX, and Gospel Light, Ventura, CA. Copyright 1984. Released under new license, CC-BY-SA 3.0. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.



The Tabernacle:

(Notice the brass basin just before the entrance to the holy place.)

Attribution: "Scinia" by Anonymous work - http://www.rjews.net/gazeta/Photo/hram.php3?id=1. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.


We are nearing the end of this #abcblogging challenge from my friend, Marcy at Ben and Me. Thanks for taking the journey with me! Find all of my posts in this series on my Women of the Bible page.

Walking in His Grace, 
Laurie


Click on the image below to read more posts from others who are Blogging through the Alphabet!



Ben and Me

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Finishing Esther and Day One of 1st Peter (Blogging Through the Bible)

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Wow, we have made it through the book of Esther! I hope you have enjoyed your time in Esther as much as I have! There were so many wonderful lessons in the book of Esther. I have really loved reading your thoughts and your S.O.A.P.s. Thanks so much for sharing!


Grace-Filled-Moments


Here are my S.O.A.P.s for chapters 8, 9, and 10 of Esther.



Sunday, September 7, 2014

Esther 8

Scripture: Esther 8:1-2
That same day King Xerxes gave Queen Esther the estate of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. And Mordecai came into the presence of the king, for Esther had told how he was related to her. The king took off his signet ring, which he had reclaimed from Haman, and presented it to Mordecai. And Esther appointed him over Haman’s estate.

Esther 8:15 When Mordecai left the king’s presence, he was wearing royal garments of blue and white, a large crown of gold and a purple robe of fine linen. And the city of Susa held a joyous celebration.

Observations: The same day that Haman was hanged, Queen Esther was given the estate of Haman. Mordecai is able to come into the presence of the king because Esther reveals to the king that he is her cousin. In the past, Mordecai was only able to come as far as the gate, now he is in the presence of the king. The king gives his signet ring to Mordecai after taking it from Haman. Esther appoints Mordecai as the overseer of the estate.

God has exalted the humble. When Mordecai leaves the king’s presence, he is wearing royal garments of blue and white, a large crown of gold and a purple robe of fine linen. Praise God!

Application: Just when we think the worst is going to happen, God steps in with a different ending that we could have ever imagined! When we live in humble submission to God, He will lift us up in due time – in His time, not ours. All I have to do is what is right before God. He tells me in His Word in Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” What a harvest Mordecai and Esther reaped because they did not give up…they were faithful to God and trusted in Him. We can be persistent in our requests to God as Esther was with the king as she interceded for the lives of her people.

In this chapter, I am reminded of how the veil was torn in the temple the day that Jesus died for our sins. Because of the sinless life of Jesus, He was the perfect sacrifice for our sins that paid the debt we owed and could never pay. The penalty for sin is death. There had to be a sinless sacrifice and Jesus was our sinless sacrifice. His life and death have given us direct access to the very throne of God. We can boldly approach the throne of God with our requests (Hebrews 4:16) because we are in right standing with God with the blood of Jesus applied to our lives.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for hearing our prayers. I am so grateful that I can enter into Your presence and fellowship with you in prayer because of what Jesus has done for me. Help me to never give up in doing good, trusting that victory awaits me in Heaven when I finally see You face to face. Thank You, Jesus, for paying a debt I could never pay when You lived a sinless life and died in my place. The penalty for sin is death and You have redeemed me through Your precious blood. It’s in your sinless name I pray. Amen!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Esther 9

Scripture: Esther 9: 1 On the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, the edict commanded by the king was to be carried out. On this day the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, but now the tables were turned and the Jews got the upper hand over those who hated them.

Observations: God has given us the victory through Jesus Christ. Satan has already been defeated by the precious blood of Jesus! Although we have this truth to stand on, we will continually be fighting a spiritual battle until God calls us home because Satan will not give up in trying to steal, kill, and destroy with his lies. We have been provided with the power of the Holy Spirit and the armor of God to wear for our battles here on this earth. We have to surrender to the power of the Holy Spirit at work within us and we have to take up and put on our spiritual armor of God every day. The difficulties we face in this world remind us that this world is not our home. We must recognize the spiritual battle we are in…we must keep our eyes on Jesus and recognize our need for His power at work within us that will give us the strength we need to stand against the wiles of the devil and his temptations to revert to the ways of the old man that we exchanged for new life in Christ.

As I was reading chapter 9 about Mordecai’s edict that was given as a defense to Haman’s edict that couldn’t be revoked, the Holy Spirit brought to my mind the law of sin and death (which cannot be revoked) and the law of the Spirit of Life (that was given so that we could overcome the first) available when we surrender to Jesus Christ. Paul speaks of this battle with the law of sin and death and the Spirit of Life in Romans 7:19-25.

Application: I am a new creation in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17). In Him, I have been created for good works (Ephesians 2:10). The same Holy Spirit power that resurrected Jesus Christ now lives in me enabling me to walk in this newness of life (Romans 8:11). Romans 8:2 says I have been set free from the law of sin and death through Jesus Christ through Whom we have the law of the Spirit of Life.

It is God’s grace – His empowering presence that now lives in us – that enables us to be who He has created us anew to be and to do what He calls us to do. God’s grace is our hope that we do not have to remain defeated by the power of sin as we surrender to the power of the Holy Spirit now at work within us as His children. Praise His holy name!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the power of the Holy Spirit that is alive and active in my life as Your child. I pray that You would plant this truth deep down inside my heart. Help me to surrender to Your strength at work within me to overcome the power of sin and death that is still at work in this evil world. Help me to be an overcomer through the blood of Jesus and through the power of the Spirit of Life that is living in me. I pray this all in the life-changing and overcoming name of Jesus! Amen!

 
Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Esther 10

Scripture: 10:3 Mordecai the Jew was second in rank to King Xerxes, preeminent among the Jews, and held in high esteem by his many fellow Jews, because he worked for the good of his people and spoke up for the welfare of all the Jews.

Observations: Mordecai’s faithful conduct and concern for his fellow Jews led others to hold him in high esteem. His life’s example influenced Esther’s life as well and caused her to place her life on the line for the Jewish people. Mordecai’s convictions were backed up by a life of action. Because of Mordecai’s servant heart, God exalted him and placed him where he could serve his people more effectively. The same can be said of Queen Esther as well.

Application: Is my life having a Godly influence on others He has placed in my life and put in my path? How am I applying action to my convictions? Am I living a selfless life like Queen Esther lived? Am I fearing God more than fearing man like Mordecai and Queen Esther? Am I effectively serving where God has placed me?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, as we come to the end of our study in Esther, I pray that You would help me to examine my heart and my life. Please help me apply what I’ve observed in these passages to my own personal life. Thank You, Jesus, for living a life of serving the needs of others. Help me to love and serve others by the example You have shown. In the loving name of Jesus I pray. Amen!

Now it's your turn! Please share your final thoughts on these chapters in Esther in the comments section below.

Today...Wednesday...we begin reading in 1 Peter! Here is our reading plan for the rest of this week:

Grace-Filled-Moments

I hope you'll meet me back here on Friday to begin our discussions on 1 Peter! Thanks for joining me!

Walking in His Grace, 
Laurie


Be sure to check out Courtney Joseph's latest Blogging Through the Bible post by clicking on the link below, and let her know you are coming over from Grace-Filled-Moments! :)

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