"Do NOT labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting LIFE..." - The Gospel of John 6:27 (NKJV)
A systematic and daily reading of the Word of God is important in maintaining a strong Christian life. Establish a daily quiet time with God and His Word. Pray that the Holy Spirit will help you understand what you read. By following our daily Bible reading schedule through this blog, you will be able to read the Bible through in a year. Please note that you may utilize the ‘BIBLE READER’ app that is installed at the bottom of this webpage to assist you in reading the specified scripture portion for today.

To get the MOST from God's Word, please do the following intentionally:
1. REQUEST God to connect with you as you read the word of God with FOCUS and OPENNESS to see what God wants to speak with you.
2. READ the selected sections of Scripture slowly as you mark the words and phrases that intrigue you, even reading them the second time to get a better understanding.
3. REFLECT on what God is communicating to you; stopping long enough to let the seed of God's Word take root in your heart.
4. RESPOND to the passage speaking directly to God about what is in your heart, and then look out for ways to live out what you find - individually, and to others within your church and elsewhere.

As you read and meditate, ask yourself the following three questions:
a) What is God speaking to me through this passage?
b) Is there a command, a promise or a warning for me?
c) Is there an example for me to follow?

Please POST your comments below if there is a thought or message that the Lord has spoken to you through the passage that you are reading and meditating today. Please make sure that your post is aligned to the scripture passage mentioned at the header. All comments should pertain to the relevant scripture portions only, and should be aimed to glorify God (the true author of 'The Bible') & edify everyone who visits this blog site daily - both young and old. May God bless you abundantly for encouraging others through your comments!

Let's PRAY...
LORD, give me the desire to take a little time out of my busy schedule today as I read and meditate on Your Word. Give me this day MY DAILY BREAD. Speak to me clearly & lead me today as my Good Shepherd. Help me to be a blessing to others who interact with me as I attempt to be a living witness of Your Word today. In Your Name I pray, AMEN.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

May 22 Bible Reading: Esther Chapters 4-6

CHOOSING to SERVE God FAITHFULLY: Mordecai told them to answer Esther: "Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king's palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: "Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!" (Esther 4:13-16)

Chapter 4 tells us about the agony of Mordecai and Esther after they came to know that the king had ordered upon the persuasion of the wicked Haman to kill all the Jews.  Mordecai urged Esther to intercede on behalf of the Jews (v. 13). Esther realized that God had placed her as queen for this reason, and she finally resolves that she will come out of her own “closet,” and try to use her influence with the King to stop the slaughter of the Jews. There’s only one small problem.  By law, even Queen Esther was expected never to initiate contact with the King sitting in his court, unless summoned (v. 10-11).  His advisors and sycophants had seen to that – that no one could approach the King unless summoned, on pain of death!  But Esther resolves to risk her life for her people!

Why would a beautiful young queen decide to do so, to take such an enormous risk in “lobbying” the King to stop the slaughter of her people—the people she had conveniently declined to identify with once she had been chosen as Queen?  Esther fasted for three days and nights before she approached the king (v. 15-16) and we see that God granted her favor before the king when she approached him publicly in court (Esther 5:2).

This episode teaches us an important lesson: there are times we must take a stand for the good against the evil, even if it is at great cost or great risk. Every day we are being urged to take the moral high ground, live what is right, not wrong, and when necessary speak the truth to people of power even if we personally must suffer for it.  When we do that, God may work a miracle on our behalf - like the case of Esther who found favor from the king or, the three young men who escaped the fiery furnace in the book of Daniel. However, God may also keep silent at times – like in the case of His only begotten Son Jesus Christ who stood before Pilate but was crucified on the cross or, the Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer who stood up to Adolf Hitler and was executed for his faith.

We must realize that we may have been placed where we are for such a times as this! Whether we are great or small, or think ourselves too insignificant or too important, we should ask ourselves, “Has God placed me where I am to do the right thing, to take the risk, to stand up or stand out so that the day might be saved?” The answer is a resounding "YES". Whatever happens to us personally, like Esther, let’s choose to serve God faithfully…!!!

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