Saturday, February 27, 2010



Read the book of Esther

     That night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles, the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him…."What honor and recognition has Mordecai received for this?" the king asked.    Esther 6:1, 3
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     The book of Esther contains some similarities to the story of Joseph in Egypt. Esther and her guardian, Mordecai, were captives in Persia, and like Joseph, God’s providence brought them into favor with the King. Esther was crowned Queen - and Mordecai, in the end, was second only to King Ahasuerus. He (Mordecai) …was great among the Jews and well received by the multitude of his brethren, seeking the good of his people and speaking peace to all his countrymen. (10:3b NKJV)
* * *
     Mordecai ‘just happened’ to hear about a conspiracy against King Ahasuerus in time to warn Esther, and the king ‘just happened’ to awaken in the middle of the night–calling for the record that Mordecai had saved his life – just in time to foil the conspiracy by Haman to annihilate the Jews. (Esther 6-7)
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     The truth is that nothing ‘just happens’ to God's people. If we truly believe this, we will live with the confidence that God works out everything according to His good plan. Lord, remind me when I forget, that I will never be sorry for trusting in You.
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     This morning as I look at my calendar and see that tomorrow (Feb 28, 2010) is the feast of Purim, I am moved to pause and pray for Israel.  In God's special purpose Esther was placed in her position as queen to the king of Persia (Iran) . She called on the people to fast and pray as she risked her life to plead for her people. God answered their urgent prayers and the Jews were given permission to rise up and defend themselves against their enemies.
     Today Israel is once again surrounded by her enemies, in particular Iran. The Bible tells us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and in so doing, we are also praying for the peace of America. This feast of Purim is a good time to stop and pray to our God who has promised never to forget His people.
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"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, "thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."   Jeremiah 29

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Read: Luke 19:28-40

…the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying: "'Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the LORD! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"   Luke 19:37-38 NKJV

* * *
After leaving Zacchaeus' home in Jericho, Jesus went on toward Jerusalem, where a colt was already prepared for Jesus to make His entry. Jesus knew the donkey would be there, because His Father had prophesied "Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey." (Zechariah 9:9b NKJV) The praise of the crowd echoed the words of the angels at His birth - all planned since the beginning of time.
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Lord, I want to praise You for all Your mighty works. You are the King of Kings who will one day return to Jerusalem again. You have ordained that the mouths of babes would praise You. I pray for the "babes" in my household that their lives will be lived in praise of the King and that one day we will all stand together and see You face to face.
* * *
And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, "Teacher, rebuke Your disciples." But He answered and said to them, "I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out."   Luke 19:39-40 NKJV

Friday, February 19, 2010




Read: Luke 19:1-10

When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, "Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house." Luke 19:5 NKJV
* * *
Zacchaeus was a man who was small in stature, but a big shot in his position as tax collector for the Roman government. The price for his dishonest position of wealth was contempt by his own people.
* * *
Unlike many who stood by, Zacchaeus knew he was a sinner and believed that Jesus could forgive him. He also knew what he had to do next: He said, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount." (19:8 NIV)
* * *
Jesus never did anything the way the leaders expected. To call a tax collector down from a tree and announce that He was going to his house; that was unprecedented behavior. But Jesus did things purposefully for eternal results, not human applause.
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Lord, I want to live for You in a way that pleases You, not just as others expect. I want to teach my children to seek Your will in their lives, not the applause of the world.
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And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." Luke 19:9-10 NKJV

Thursday, February 11, 2010




Read: Luke 18:9-14

The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself,'God, I thank You that I am not like other men -- extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. Luke 18:11 NKJV
* * *
     This religious leader may have had much to be proud of in avoiding gross sin, but he missed the fact that he was still a sinner.  The tax collector, so despised for his sin, had it right.  He, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!' (18:13)
     The Pharisee was like the rich young ruler who thought he could gain eternal life by doing good works. We must all come by way of repentance from sin and faith in Jesus Christ. Only then can we do genuinely good works, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
* * *
     Lord, forgive me when I am guilty of looking down on someone I judge to be more sinful than I. As You have extended mercy to me, I must desire mercy for others. You look beyond the outward appearance and see our hearts. Help me to discern the heart attitudes of my children and teach them humility by example.
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". . . everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." Luke 18:14 NKJV

Friday, February 5, 2010




Read Luke 17:11-19

…There met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" Luke 17:12-13 NKJV
* * *
     There were many in Israel willing to be healed of their diseases, to be fed with free bread and be part of an adoring crowd. But there were few who were willing to accept Jesus as Messiah, the Son of God, and commit their lives to Him. In the case of these ten very sick men, only one came back to give glory to God for his healing. In spite of the fact that ten were cleansed of leprosy, to only one he said, "Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well." (17:19)
     There is a sickness of the soul that is far worse than leprosy and that is sin. Only faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, can heal us of that disease.
* * *
     Thank You Lord, that You were willing to cleanse me from sin, just as You cleansed those men from their leprosy. Forgive me when I go day after day without remembering to stop and say thank You. Help me to teach my children to be thankful as well.
* * *
     So Jesus answered and said, "Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?" Luke 17:17-18 NKJV