August 18

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“So, my dear brothers and sisters, when you gather for the Lord’s Supper, wait for each other” (1 Corinthians 11:33 NLT).

From: August 18, 2018

The divisions within the Corinthian church were especially on display during the Lord’s Supper. This is ironic and particularly troubling because the breaking of bread was to be both a reminder of their oneness in Christ and with one another as His body. The Corinthians were apparently having an Agape (“Love”) Feast, which would have been a full meal, that concluded with a remembrance of the Lord’s Supper. This is a beautiful practice and mirrors somewhat the Passover feast. However, the wealthy and well-to-do members of the church were apparently not waiting on its poorer members to arrive before beginning the meal. Some were overeating and even getting drunk on the wine, so that most of the food and drink was gone before the poor arrived. Paul was infuriated at news of their behavior and rebuked them to remember that they were all the family of God because of Christ’s sacrifice.
Those who remember Christ in the breaking of bread together are reminded of His sacrifice for them, but they are also reminded of their relationship to one another as brothers and sisters in God’s family. The practice of breaking bread together is a crucial devotion for those that would experience the fellowship of the Spirit of Christ.

“In the first month, which is the month of Nisan, in the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus, they cast Pur (that is, the lot), before Haman to determine the day and the month, until it fell on the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar” (Esther 3:7 NKJV).

From: August 18, 2017

The book of Esther explains the origin of the Jewish holiday called “Purim.” The name is taken from the Persian word “Pur,” which meant “lot.” After Haman was promoted by King Xerxes (“Ahasuerus”), he was enraged by Mordecai the Jew’s failure to bow down at his passing. He determined to go before the king with a scheme to murder not only Mordecai, but the entire Jewish population within Persia. The casting of lots (“Pur”) was called for by Haman in order to determine the most fortuitous date for carrying out his scheme. Yet, even though the name of God is not named even once in the book of Esther, His hand is clearly seen in the result of the lot falling twelve months later. For this gave both Mordecai and Esther time to mediate for the Jewish people and ultimately save them from Haman’s plot. As the proverb is written, “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord” (Prov. 16:33). Even when the Lord is apparently absent, He is still working behind the scenes His purposes to unfold.

“Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup” (1 Corinthians 11:28 ESV)

From: August 18, 2016

Paul rebuked the Corinthians for coming to the Lord’s table without treating one another as members of the Lord’s one body. Their disunity and selfish behavior flew in the face of the sacrifice of Christ which the Lord’s Supper represents. He challenged them to first “examine” themselves before taking communion. Self examination should include asking the Lord to reveal any area of sin to confess. And by context, it should include reconciling to those with whom there is disunity or offense. Of course, the Lord’s Supper shouldn’t be the only time that such self examination takes place. Keep short accounts. Don’t let the sun go down on disunity. But the Lord’s Supper is an appropriate time to do a heart check, asking, “Lord, am I right with You and with others at this time?” The Supper should never be allowed to become a meaningless religious ritual. It should always move us to remember Christ’s sacrifice and proclaim His death until He returns.

“For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you…” (1 Corinthians 11:23 NKJV)

From: August 18, 2015

The apostle Paul’s teaching concerning the Lord’s Supper was faithfully passed on from the Lord to the church at Corinth. Paul reminded them that his authority as an apostle came from the Lord, as did his message. Having established his credibility, he corrected the unworthy practices of the Corinthians concerning their remembrance of the Supper. His desire was that they handle it with the same discernment with which he had given it to them, always recognizing the Lord’s body and blood, broken and shed for their redemption. Paul used this same “received/delivered” phrase in 1 Cor. 15:3 concerning the gospel. He recognized his calling to pass on intact and unchanged that which was given to him. Are we delivering the faith to the next generation just as we received it?

“And the king loved Esther more than any of the other young women. He was so delighted with her that he set the royal crown on her head and declared her queen instead of Vashti” (Esther 2:17 NLT)

From: August 18, 2014

The book of Esther is unique not in what it names, but in what it doesn’t. For the name of God is not mentioned. Yet clearly, God can be seen between the lines of every chapter. When God’s people find themselves under persecution, they often feel that God has abandoned them. They don’t see that He is at work behind the scenes. Esther, whose Hebrew name was Hadassah, became the queen of Persia, not by accident, but by God’s purpose in order to save the Jews from genocide. This little orphaned Jewish girl was adopted by her cousin Mordecai and chosen by King Xerxes to be Queen. She was the winner of the king’s Miss Universe contest. Her Persian name, Esther, means “star” (the word “aster” as in “asteroid,” is derived from the same root.). She was indeed a “star” in Persia and in the history of the Jews, as God used her to influence Xerxes decision to save them. Why has God given you your position of influence? Perhaps it’s for more than you think.