Esther Chapter 1 notes

Just to add my mix to what Beth Moore teaches in her study of Esther.
Week 1 Esther 1:1-22
We all have troubles. Jesus say it in John 16:33 and Job in Job 14:1. Sometimes we have troubles because of our own actions, sometimes from the actions of others and sometimes there is no apparent reason. Like Beth says, “something is always wrong…whether in a sky high mountain of small annoyances or an earth-splitting canyon of crisis.” I say, “but there is also always something that is right.”
Beth talks about the story of Esther being a story within god’s story. God’s story is still being written and it is such an overwhelming concept that he cares about each and every one of us that we are part of the story. He will always do his part to bring about the happy ending no matter how much grief we go through. When we allow god to write our story we will experience a more than happy ending. We don’t have to wait for troubles to pass or to wait until heaven to begin to live. We can begin to live now no matter what we are going through. don’t let troubles keep you from all that God has for you.
More verses on trouble:
Psalm 46:1, Psalm 107:13, Proverbs 11:29, Proverbs 24:10, Matthew 6:34, Romans 8:35

King Xerxes flaunted his wealth. He should have been meditating on Psalm 49:6-20. When you consider that God is the creator of everything good and holds the rights to all splendor, majesty, strength and glory, we can be more as a servant in God’s kingdom than we will ever be as any kind of a ruler over an earthly kingdom whether it be in our home, our work or position in society.
When we mix people and personalities, we can have problems. When we add alcohol or any mind altering substance we can have big problems. Xerxes let his boundaries down to be accepted by the people. A weakness we can all fall prey to. We are to be on guard and have boundaries/rules for our protection. Trouble comes when we are insecure and allow our boundaries to crumble. Queen Vashti was secure and did not compromise her boundaries. We can be secure if we place our confidence in Christ and allow Him to give us our value. He will heal our insecurities. Xerxes had no limit but when someone else held to their limit, he got mad. We shouldn’t allow someone else’s unrighteous anger or any other behavior cause us to let down our boundaries.
Why should we allow others to have power over our mood? Xerxes became furious and burned with anger. Who likes to be angry? I see a lack of personal control in Xerxes. With the right conduct, we can be happy in ourselves and in Christ. It is our reactions more than our actions that reveal our true selves. Beth touches on the fact that our moods are exaggerated when under the influence of mood altering substances. That is a good reason to be sober. It can save us from making a fool out of ourselves with actions that are not pleasant. Being sober will help us refrain from doing and saying something you would not do if you were in your right mind.
King Xerxes’ failure to keep the party under control and keep lines of communication open with his wife and ultimately turning to ungodly advice has set him up for a grand embarrassment. When seeking counsel, we need to do some thinking and praying of our own. What seems to be wise counsel may prove to make the problem worse. Don’t look to counsel that tells you what you want to hear. The truth may hurt but it is what will bring the best results. Take time to pray and time to let emotions settle before reacting. Our feeling can take us to places we don’t want to go. Proverbs 31:4-5 would be wise to anyone because we see people do things they would not normally do if they were not under the influence pointing to the thought that they are forgetting what the law decrees.
The advice of others is not always good advice to follow. It may be altogether bad or there is a chance it is good advice but maybe not for us. We should also be careful not to think our advice may be right for another. We want to be careful not to lead someone down a wrong path. We can also be on the lookout for someone headed down the wrong path. No one was brave enough to interrupt Xerxes decision to follow Memucan’s advice.
respect is earned by showing respect or by loving. How it is earned depends on the relationship. Respect given because of power brings resentment. Those in authority over us receive more respect when they get it through love than through power. Consider the power of God and He only wants us to love Him if we choose to love him. He knows it is only sincere when it is our choice rather than by force. Also consider how it breaks his heart when we choose to turn our backs.
God is sometimes more present in our lives when we least see him. We can have moments in our lives that seem unconnected and come to discover they were all stepping stones used by God to make us someone we would have otherwise never become.

Powerful Statement – Worth Sharing

This statement was found among the possessions of a young Zimbabwe, Africa pastor who was martyred for his faith.
Zimbabwe Pastor’s Declaration: My Banner is Clear

I’m part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have the Holy Spirit power.
The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been
made—I’m a disciple of his. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back
away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is
secure. I’m finished and done with low living, sight walking, smooth knees,
colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed
goals.

I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits,
or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised,
regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on his presence, walk by
patience, am uplifted by prayer, and labor with power.

My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my
way is rough, my companions are few, my Guide is reliable, my mission is
clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back,
deluded, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the
presence of the enemy, pander at the pool of popularity, or meander in the
maze of mediocrity.

I won’t give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed
up, paid up, preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus.
I must keep going until he comes, give until I drop, preach until all know,
and work until he stops me. And, when he comes for his own, he will have no
problem recognizing me. My banner will be clear.

Important Prayers

We spend so much time on this earth seeking pleasure. Maybe basking in the sun on the beach thinking “this is as good as it gets”. We avoid thinking about heaven, hell, eternity and what comes after this earthly life. We involve ourselves in so much to distract ourselves from what comes next. When we come up against earthly problems, we are so quick to go to God and want His help. We will go to Him when we want something in this life or when crisis hits. Our prayer life reflects our focus.
We spend more time praying for the sick (which keeps them out of heaven) than we do praying for the salvation of unbelievers (which could keep them out of hell).

What are we doing to distract ourselves from the thought of eternity that God has put in our hearts?
Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV)
11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

What has God prepared for us in heaven?
1 Corinthians 2:9 (NIV)
9 However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
the things God has prepared for those who love him—

Afraid To Get Dirty

The problem is not always that we are unwilling to help someone in pain. We are simply blind to the fact that they exist. We overlook hurting people because we are in a hurry or because we don’t want to deal with the mess of a broken life.

Jesus Christ willingly gave up Heaven and came to Earth as a man … and went straight for the messiest lives, those in the greatest pain … the losers and the misfits.

Jesus felt every pain we have ever felt or ever will feel.

Jesus was misunderstood and slandered.

Jesus was beaten, tortured, and then crucified to pay for our sin.

It must break the heart of God when we so easily toss aside what cost Him so very much … the chance to help one of His broken lambs.

Look around you, friend. Someone needs you to see them – to really feel their pain and then be willing to do something about it.

The Great Commission