Man did I love being back at my church this week! It was so good to my soul to be back after missing 2 weeks. In service, Pastor Davey was in Esther 4 and talked about divine destiny. I feel as though my notes won’t make much sense if you don’t know the background of the story of Esther, so I will try to just share some points that will make sense. Basically, none of us (as with Esther being made queen) are in the positions we are by accident. God has divinely put us in the family, time period, job, position, situations, ect. according to His perfect plan and will. We need to recognize that there is a greater purpose to our situations/circumstances and there is more than what we may see going on. We must not keep silent anymore and as Esther decided to do, we must choose what identity we will live out (we must choose to live out our Christianity, the name of Christ). We must be willing to give up everything. There is no safety in a significant life and there is no significance in a safe life. While this chapter was Esther’s defining moment, we have many defining moments as well: our defining moments are the times we act like the disciple of Christ we want to be; when we choose to live out the name of Christ; it is the small steps of obedience. Our defining moments are also the small steps of faith where we trust God the way He ought to be trusted and deserves to be trusted.
On the high school service, Aaron spoke on John 12:1-8 and loving Christ. We looked at how Mary truly loved Christ because she knew Him as her Lord and her Savior. As an act of that pure love, she poured out what was probably her most prized possession without even thinking twice. She was single minded in her love for Him. She didn’t care how it made her perceived by others; it was a selfless act and she understood the worth of her Savior. This is contrasted by the actions of Judas, who everyone thought to be a disciple of Christ, but was not truly saved. Judas’ heart was revealed by his response to Mary’s actions; money and power were extravagant to Judas, while Jesus was extravagant to Mary. Judas was entirely selfish (the opposite of Mary). What about in our lives? Are we one who claims Christ, but are ashamed of His name, more concerned with self and what we can get? Do we know people like this? How do should we respond to people like this? Well, we are to love them. We are to pray for them. Christ will polarize people and it will become clear who is His disciple and who is not. If we love Christ more than anything and others more than ourselves, we will naturally be set apart from those who are not genuine. We must have both Truth and Love to be genuine. With only Truth, we have only head knowledge and with only love, we are not giving people the one thing they need to know Christ and true Love. Our love for Christ will be expressed by lavishing love on Him and other people; and we will only have this love by knowing the Truth of Christ.
In college class, Don was in Titus 1:10-16 and we talked about severe reproofs. We listed some of the biggest lies in the world about Jesus, the Bible, human beings, and salvation/being right with God. We should be quick to recognize these lies and reprove them. So why are we reluctant to correct false ideas?
- we don’t recognize it in the first place
- we are people pleasers, afraid to offend
- we view all ideas as te same
- we view truth as relative, or person-dependent
The Don gave 3 life instructions:
- discern between God’s Words and men’s words– even wise, good men. (Matthew 15:1-20) We must also discern God’s Word from man’s opinion– even in sermons.
- be careful of outward conformity without heart “transformity.” We can’t be deceived by those who only look like Christians outwardly…
- in the end, your words will not be more powerful than your actions. Professed faith without fruit is a denial of God (v. 16). Don’t live a double life.
So what is required to live rightly in a world full of lies?
- knowledge: be an expert in the Truth
- vigilance: keep awake, eyes and ears open
- courage: truth always wins in the end and people still admire people of conviction
- pure heart: the heart is always the place to start; keep it in check. Those with a pure heart always ask “What does God think about that? Why do I do what I do? If I do this, how will it affect others?