From: August 18, 2018
Scripture for today: Esther 1:1-3:15; 1 Corinthians 11:17-34; Psalm 35:17-28; Proverbs 21:19-20
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.
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.
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?
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.
From: August 18, 2012
Have you learned to live beneath your means? Wise stewards have learned to pay God first (tithe), pay themselves second (save) and live off the rest (budget). Stop following this foolish consumer culture. Live on less, so that you can give more!
From: August 18, 2011
For what human tongues were meant. A mouth full of worship cannot chew others up with worldly chatter. No gossip, no lies, no accusing, no filthy joking. Just speech salted with thankfulness and praise. That’s a daily diet that could change human hearts.