OYB August 19
Julie FerwerdaAre you ready for change in 2009? Grab a One Year Bible (NLT), commit to reading it daily, and join Julie Ferwerda on an extraordinary adventure that will transform your life as you experience its relevance in a fresh, understandable way. In addition to 20+ years in Bible teaching ministry, Julie is a professional speaker and writer. Her works have appeared in publications such as Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal, Christianity Today, Marriage Partnership, Brio, and Revolve Biblezines & Devotional Bible (for teens). She's also the author of "The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love," and also the upcoming book, "One Million Arrows for God: Raising Your Children to Change the World." Learn more at www.JulieFerwerda.com.
- 2009 Aug 19
4:14 "If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?" Every one of God's chosen people were set in place for "such a time as this," and we would do well not to forget as we encounter the dangers and trials of life. I just finished Papa's biography this week, and he often refers to this passage. Another one that ties to it is in the NT when Paul says, "Everything that happened to me happened for the furtherance of the Gospel." All of the difficult things we encounter are not about us, but for the furtherance of the Gospel for the saving of many lives...for such a time as this! Let us reframe our trains and struggles so that we see the profound reason God has planted us at this time in His-story! Let us have the heart of Esther...
4:16 And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die."
I was overcome with tears as I read today's reading. Indulge me for a moment as I chronicle the beauty of my personal journey, which is a parallel of today's reading. Even now, I have a "wicked Haman" (actually two) in my life. I hope if you have a Haman, that you too will be encouraged by my testimony, as anyone who is fully serving Christ WILL have Hamans!
One of the two Haman's in particular is a "happy woman," dining on what she feels is her banquet of honor in the sight of the King (5:9). But it does make her furious that I don't tremble in fear of her position of power over me that she flaunts as she passes by (also vs. 9). She goes home to boast about her great wealth and many children, and how she has been honored and promoted in all her efforts (vs. 11). She has built the gallows on which to hang me (figurative, of course) with her own hands (vs.14).
But some day, a "that night" is coming for me (6:1), when the good King will consider the records. He will open the books to display my faithful and patient service at His gates in the presence of my enemies. While my Haman is asking herself, "Whom would the king wish to honor more than me" (6:6), I will be somewhere else, on my knees saying, "If Your Majesty is pleased with me, my petition is that my life and the lives of my people will be spared (7:3). One attitude is steeped in the pride of "I am pleased in myself," and the other is a heart of humility, "If you are pleased with me, my King..." All the difference!
I pray that I will someday be worthy for the same honor as Mordecai in the presence and participation of my Haman (I have put a slant on it to apply to my situation):
6:10-12 "Excellent!" the King said to Haman. "Quick! Take the robes and my horse, and do just as you have said for my servant, Julie (feel free to insert your name instead), who sits at the gate of the palace. Leave out nothing you have suggested!" So Haman took the robes and put them on Julie, placed her on the King's own horse, and led her through the city square, shouting, "This is what the King does for someone He wishes to honor!" Afterward Julie returned to the palace gate, but Haman hurried home dejected and completely humiliated. Okay, I'm really not trying to make the Bible all about me. But seriously...isn't that what it's for? Rhema (God's Word spoken into our personal lives)? I can't tell you the comfort this brings me today as my Haman has been taunting and plotting injury for me, while I have been patiently waiting outside the palace gate for the King to take notice of my faithful service. My patience in dealing with my Hamans of life (and yours) will pay off! How will it all play out in the end?
7:8,10 And as soon as the king spoke, his attendants covered Haman's face, signaling his doom... So they impaled Haman on the pole he had set up for Mordecai, and the king's anger subsided. You see, God DOES care about injustice. Patience for Him to act is the key! In the mean time, what joy is in this testimony today as my heart is lifted up to remember my Good King and His plans for me.
12:4-11 Have you identified your gifts of the Spirit? Just as importantly, are you using them for the common good of all?
- To one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit
- To another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit
- To another faith by the same Spirit
- To another gifts of healing by the one Spirit
- To another the effecting of miracles
- To another prophecy
- To another the distinguishing of spirits
- To another various kinds of tongues
- To another the interpretation of tongues
12:12-13 For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. I love the point here. We've talked about divisive gospels being taught lately (some people wrongly teach that there are TWO different gospels taught by Paul and Peter, one for Jews, one for Gentiles), but we see here that Jesus is referred to as ONE BODY. How could Jesus have two bodies? We are all baptized into this body, whether Jews or Greeks! You see, God is all about unity and oneness.
12:18 But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. I believe God's called out ones (chosen) perfectly form a complete body, with each person having a different and unique set of gifts that fully complement all the others in a way that is indispensable! An eye can't be switched out for a foot. A heart can't take over for a kidney. Each part of the body has been carefully gifted to make a complete, whole, fully functioning body. It will be AMAZING to see that in operation in the Kingdom (and no divisiveness for the first time ever)!
36:1-4 This song is dedicated to all the Hamans in the world...
Sin whispers to the wicked, deep within their hearts. They have no fear of God at all. In their blind conceit, they cannot see how wicked they really are. Everything they say is crooked and deceitful. They refuse to act wisely or do good. They lie awake at night, hatching sinful plots. Their actions are never good. They make no attempt to turn from evil.
36:7 (NASB) How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. They drink their fill of the abundance of Your house; And You give them to drink of the river of Your delights. Who are "the children of men"? I believe that would be the called out ones for the work of the Kingdom. Remember all the pictures we discussed from Scriptures? The called out ones are the: body, bride, priests, kings, and children!