Saturday, July 27, 2013

Set Free

The author of Ecclesiastes is thought to be Solomon. He reflects on the experiences of life. His philosophy of conflicting thoughts on materialism, pleasures of life, and our duty to God. Ecclesiastes deals with the feeling of emptiness even when people have everything.

Solomon, the son of David became king at a very young age. God gave him wisdom, a discerning heart, and great wealth. He ruled under a time of peace and the economy flourished. Solomon was a great intellectual; known all through the world during his time for great wisdom. Unfortunately, he married many wives from other nations and they led him astray. He began to follow other gods and his kingdom began to tear apart.

As we read in Ecclesiastes 1:1-11, life to Solomon is repetition and is tiresome. It was as if he had nothing to live far, nothing more to accomplish. He’s recording his own folly, shame, and his disappointment. He’s learned a hard lesson that wealth and the things of this world do not benefit the soul, judgment, or eternity.

I once heard a story about some people who were doing some studies of whales. They came across one whale that was hung up in a net and dying. After hours of work, they were able to set the whale free. The whale put on a display as he was free and gained speed in the water; doing some of those “Sea World” whale jumps with an expression of joy and thankfulness for those that set him free.

We too get mired in nets that trap us in life and we need help being set free. Let us be reminded before we pray today that God is sovereign, majestic and all-powerful. Nothing is too difficult for Him; He is bigger than any problem we could bring to Him.

This day with God, we know that Jesus sets us free and we can leap for joy at God’s amazing grace. 

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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Good Things Happen to Good People

At the second feast as recorded in Esther 7-8, Esther request that her life be spared and the life of her people be spared. Esther’s open identification with her people emphasized to the king that it was people close to her that would be destroyed. She approached the king with reverence and didn’t expect too much but the king set in action a series of events that went beyond her wildest dreams.
Haman was someone that had an evil plan against the Jewish people and only cared for his own self- interest. He was impaled on the pole that was meant for Mordecai (Esther 7:10). The king gave Esther the estate of Haman and his evil plan was overruled. A new decree was written to benefit the Jews. There was joy and celebration wherever the edict was read and placed into law throughout the provinces.
Mordecai had been a part of saving the king from assassination and we learn that he was appointed over Haman’s estate. Every successful person is surrounded by people that contribute to their success. As you go throughout this day, recognize those people who help you along the way. Pray for your spouse, your parents, and your children. Pray for those that helped you come to Christ. Pray for those that have brought peace in war-torn parts of the world. Pray that God would use you to work for His glory.
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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Excellent Leaders See Potential and Greatness in all People

Reading in Esther 3, Haman was honored by the king and his servants but Mordecai would not kneel down before Haman. Tensions grew between them because Mordecai was Jewish and his conscious would not allow him to give that much honor to Haman. For a Jew, bowing down and giving honor was reserved for God. It was against the law of God to give reverence to someone like Haman who worshiped idols.
Haman was full of pride and not only wanted to take out his anger against Mordecai but to all Jews by destroying them. Human plotted revenge and convinced the king that the Jewish people had customs that were different from those of all other people; not willing to obey the king’s laws and therefore not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them (V. 8). He even offered great sums of money to help carry out his plot.
We get a picture of the lack of leadership from king Xerxes; his character and values were lacking and his kingdom needed the money since history records that the empire was impoverished at this time. The king readily accepted Haman’s proposal to carry out his diabolical plot. The king saw that the life of certain people was unimportant and that the life of his own people was more important than others.
Our basic values should respect people with customs that are different than our own because all people are very valuable to God. He knows everyone by name and sees the potential and greatness in all people. God sees each of us as a work in progress with value and is loved so much that He sent His Son to die for us. He encourages each of us to become much more than we can ever imagine.
This day with God will be amazing because if tempted to judge, we are reminded of the cross and that that everyone has tremendous value in His eyes. Let us pray that we see all people in our world as God sees them.
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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Birthday America

Have a Happy 4th of July. For America’s Birthday, I’ve included some amazing sites across this land along with a poem about them at this link: