Thursday Thoughts | January 11, 2017

 

My earliest memory of doing something bold was when I was around 7 years old with the kid across the street named Billy.  Billy thought he was the king of the block and one day he and a few of his friends came across the street to show me how tough he was and I assume how weak I was.  Being that this was nearly 40 years ago, I don’t remember all of the details, but what I remember is that he and his posse came across the street, said a few words and then he proceeded to shove me to the ground.  What did I do? Here is where the boldness comes in….I immediately jumped up from the ground and punched him in the gut!  He doubled over and then made his way back across the street in a type of  “walk of shame.”

In that moment, I wasn’t thinking about what if he and his friends ganged up on me after the punch, as I’m sure that I wouldn’t fare well.  I wasn’t thinking that my parents would be my back up if the whole “punch in the gut” thing didn’t work out, because they probably didn’t even  know what was taking place.  Of all the scenarios that could have taken place from that interaction, I just instinctively stood up to the bully…and thankfully it worked out!  Funny thing, and in typical boy fashion, Billy and I became great friends after that exchange, and until the time that he moved away,  we rode bikes around the neighborhood, played ball in the parkway and hung out together.   

Looking back, I remember that being a scary moment but more so being a glorious moment!  It wasn’t glorious because I won.  It was glorious because I had boldness to stand up to a bully! 

Do you know that God wants you to have boldness in your life, especially in your prayer life?  According to Paul in

Hebrews 4:16,  God wants you to come boldly to the “throne of grace”! The word, “boldly”, according to the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary, means “to act courageously, without timidity and fear, and with confidence”  and that definition gives me a clear understanding of how God wants us to pray.  God wants us to pray with confidence!  Our boldness/confidence in Christ should never be arrogant and centered around ourselves, but it should be about knowing that God is listening to us (Isaiah 59:1); that He won’t leave us (Hebrews 13:5); and that He has the best thoughts towards us (Jeremiah 29:11).  We should have confidence that the Holy Spirit in us “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20).  We should have confidence/boldness in our Heavenly Father because He is able and has given us the Holy Spirit to help us!

How do we get this boldness/confidence?  The answer is simple… Have Faith in God!  Look at these verses written by Paul and inspired by God:
  •  “For through him (Jesus) we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father”. – Ephesians 2:18  
  • In whom (Jesus) we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him.” – Ephesians 3:12
  •  “By whom (Jesus) also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” – Romans 5:1-2

I believe in God and I have confidence that He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that I ask or think!  I believe that God is with me!  I believe that God wants me to talk to Him!  I believe that He wants me to come boldly and confidently to Him because His Word says so.  Do you believe this?  I hope so!  

The Father is listening!  Let us come before Him confidently!

Matt Roller



Thursday Thoughts | January 4, 2017

 

One of my favorite passages in the OT is found in 2 Chronicles 20.  This chapter gives the account of 3 different armies that threatened to wipe out King Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah!  I’m not sure how many  were on the side of the enemy, but I do know that it was enough to cause fear for King Jehoshaphat and his people.   Look what the following verses have to say about the size of the armies:
  • Verse 2 – “there cometh a great multitude
  • Verse 12 – “against this great company
  • Verse 15 – “this great multitude

How many does the word “great” represent? We’re not told  the exact number but I do know it’s  A LOT!!!  A Whole Bunch!!  The Whole Enchilada!!  “Great Gobs!!  Heaps!! (I think that you get the picture!) 

In fact,  there were so many people that came to destroy Jehoshaphat and God’s people that it is no wonder what happened next…”And Jehoshaphat feared,” (20:3)  Who could blame Jehoshaphat and the rest of the people?  Not many of us have ever felt the type of fear that they had to have knowing that people were trying to kill them and that there was enough of them to complete the job.  I think that we would have been afraid too! 

However, the great part of this account is that Jehoshaphat didn’t go run into a cave and hide because of his fear.  He didn’t try to compromise to become slaves to the enemies so that their lives would be spared.  He didn’t even try to come up with a military plan to beat the enemy.  He didn’t live in that fear!  What he and the people did (found in verses 3 and 4) was this:

  1. He “set himself to seek the Lord
  2. He proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah
  3. They asked God for Help
  4. All Judah came to seek the Lord
Look at what the people said in verse 12, “O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.” 
 
Please read God’s response to their prayer in verses 14-17 and the results that took place in verses 18-30 on your own, but let me give you the end of this account…GOD GAVE A GREAT VICTORY!  
 
But when did the victory happen?  When the people believed on God and praised Him even before the victory was won (see verses 19-22)!  After I read this passage once again, I had to evaluate my prayers yet again.  Am I praying with belief that God can/will answer my prayers?  Am I praying with a song in my heart/mouth?  Am I even seeking the Lord with desperation rather than the comfortable little prayers that are easy to say?  I am reminded by this passage that God wants to give us victory over the battles in our lives, but He wants us to seek Him first!  He wants us to believe in Him!  He wants us to believe in Him to the point that we will even sing His praises before the victory is won!  
 
Have a BIG battle that you’re facing?  Seek God!  Believe in God!  Sing Praises to God! See a victory in your life that God will give you!  After all,  the battle is not really yours to begin with (verse 15)!  
 
Looking forward to a great and victorious Sunday with you!
9:30 AM – Traditional Service
11:00 AM – Contemporary Service and Life Dynamics
6:00 PM – Sunday Evening Service 

Matt Roller



Thursday Thoughts | December 28, 2017

 

Our family usually spends most New Year’s Eve nights watching the ball drop in New York City.  I don’t always like the entertainment surrounding that event but I have always liked watching the clock tick down on the old year which also brings in the new year!  To me,  this New Year’s celebration is a special thing to watch as it’s nostalgia and anticipation all wrapped into one event.  It’s nostalgic due to the great things that have happened in the past and anticipation due to the hopes for what is in store for the future.   I am sure that in my adulthood I have had some New Year’s Eve nights that I was looking forward to being done with the terrible year that we just had and was really looking forward to a fresh start!  Then there were other years that were much better but still the hopes for the new year were exciting to consider.  Either way, the beginning of the new year has always had a way of being motivating for me.  

I usually am motivated to do some of the following:

  • Read the Bible and pray more often 
  • Eat better and exercise more
  • Be a better steward of my time and money
  • Be a better husband and father

Are you ever motivated with the same thoughts?  

If so, I hope that you have been better than me in the past at following through and completing those things that motivated you at the start of the year.  I hope that you didn’t let a lack of discipline deter you from eating better!  I hope that you gave of your time and money better than the year before!  I pray that you spent more time with God like you set out to do!  I hope that you were a better husband and father!  A better neighbor and church member!  I hope that you were just…better than the year before!   But the question is, are you better?  

As I alluded to in the last paragraph, I haven’t always been great at following through with my resolutions (motivations) and I always get discouraged when I don’t!  I then wonder, why did I not follow through?  Why did I not press forward?  For me, the answer usually has several answers to it, but let me focus on one for this email.  The reason is that I get stuck in the past!  I default to the past and conform back to old patterns.  I lose motivation after I fall into these old patterns and think that it’s useless to keep trying!  I get defeated and I give up!  There it is…the truth, and it’s painful to admit!
 
But this year, I hope that I will have a different experience!  I believe that I am already in a different place spiritually and mentally than in past years and I believe that I will see victory in my life over the New Year’s funk that I fell into before.  The reason?  Because I am not going to look back and dwell on past regrets, setbacks and failures but I am going to just look forward to the hopes of a great 2018!  I believe that God is with me always (Hebrews 13:5) and that He won’t leave me!  I believe that I am more than a conqueror through Jesus Christ (Romans 8:37)!  I believe that I can do all things through Jesus Christ (Philippians 4:13)!  I believe that if God be for me, who can be against me (Romans 8:31)!  I believe that the devil wants to destroy me but Jesus wants to give me the abundant life (John 10:10)! I believe that God has a purpose for me (Jeremiah 29:11) and that He is going to use me as I yield to Him (Isaiah 6:1-8)!  I believe that I am a Child of God (John 1:12) by believing on Jesus!  Since I believe all of these things,  the question is, why would I look backward?  The answer is that there is no good answer!  We have everything to look forward to and very little that we should dwell on from the past!  To be sure,  we can learn from positive and negative life experiences or even sins, but don’t let the devil use anything negative to pull you back!  

I want to challenge you to look forward and look toward God!  Set some God-honoring goals for your life and press forward.  Don’t let the devil defeat you!  Don’t let negative influences sway you!  Stay focused and move forward!

I love you all – looking forward to a great 2018! 

Matt



Thursday Thoughts | December 21, 2017

 

I was flipping through channels the other night and ended up watching the tail end of the kids movie “Polar Express”.  I’m sure many of you have seen the movie, but if not, the premise is centered around a little boy who takes an unexpected ride on the Polar Express that is headed to see Santa Claus.  This boy, because of hard things that have taken place in his life, has chosen not to believe in Santa or anything good coming out of the Christmas season.  To sum up the movie, after a long, harrowing but magical ride with the other kids on the train, the boy meets Santa and has his joy renewed!  More than that, he believes again!  At the end, the conductor, played by Tom Hanks, validates the boy’s ticket by spelling the word “BELIEVE” on it!  The moral of the movie is to not let anything get in the way of believing. For the boy, believing was what he needed to have hope again!  Believing was what he needed to have joy again!  Believing is what he needed to enjoy life again!
 
The point of believing in this movie has an interesting truth to it!  BELIEVING is important!  Of course, believing in Santa Claus is not important but believing in the source of hope, joy and life are and we all know where this source comes from – it comes from JESUS!
 
Peter says in 1 Peter 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”  Paul says in Titus 2:13, “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” So we know that we can have hope because of Jesus!
 
In the Gospel of Luke (1:14) he tells us “And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth (Jesus) .” and then John says in John 15:11, “These things have I spoken unto you, that my (Jesus) joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” – John 15:11.  So we know that we can have joy because of Jesus!

 

Then in the Book of John, there is also another theme that is very prevalent!  Believe on Jesus to have life! 
  • For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16
  • Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation but is passed from death unto life.” – John 5:24
  • “For the bread of life is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.” – John 6:33

The greatest gift that anyone can have is new life in Christ!  How do we get it?  BELIEVE!  Believe in Jesus – He is the source of our hope and joy!  Believe in Jesus – He is the source of our life!  

This Christmas season, I hope that we all will treasure Jesus, because He truly is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE!  I hope that if there is anyone that is struggling this Christmas in believing in hope, joy and a fulfilled life that they will believe again!  That we will look to Jesus this Christmas as the source of all things good!  Turn your struggles over to Jesus; after all, He cares for you very much!!  

Merry Christmas everyone and I will see you on Sunday!  BELIEVE in CHRIST!!

Matt



Thursday Thoughts | December 14, 2017

 

I know that I told this story at least once in a service and another time in a Bible study, but I would like to share it again and probably at the disproval of my son Brandon :)!  When Brandon was little he went through a time that he was very stubborn and would be a challenge to discipline!  Can any parents relate to to us on this?  One particular time that he was being difficult around age 4 or 5 was when he lied about doing something that he shouldn’t have.  When we found out the truth and confronted him on the lie, he stated that it was just a “little lie” and he didn’t think he should be punished.  That is when God gave me a good thought.  It was dinner time and I asked him about the carrot that I had in my hand.  I asked, “
what is this?”  He responded, “a carrot!”  Then I took a bite out of the carrot and asked him again “what is this?” and he again answered “a carrot!” Then I repeated that process until I had just a little piece of the carrot left and Brandon’s answer didn’t change.  No mater the size of the carrot, it was still a carrot!  Then I told him that no matter how little the lie was it was still a lie!  I reminded him that telling the truth is always so much easier and better.  I think that he learned something that day that I hope he will keep with him the rest of his life.   That telling the truth and living in the truth is the best way to live!  
 
However, not everyone lives this way!  Many do live their lives in dishonesty!  Our American culture seems to be rampant with people who don’t have truth as a part of their fabric.  Many don’t trust public leaders, church leaders, supervisors, spouses, kids, etc… because there have been too many times that they have “burned”!  We also hear people say that they don’t come to church because there are too many hypocrites in church.  They assume that most in church are those who talk about godly things but don’t live it out.  There are definitely people that have or do those things.  I have in the past and I hope not to ever do again.  
 
So where is truth? Consistent, unfailing truth?  Let me give you a one word answer – JESUS!
 
Jesus said in John 14:6, “…I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life:  no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
John 1:17 states, “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”
John 1:14 states, “…the Word (Jesus)…is full of grace and truth.”
And there are many more verses that speak to Jesus as the truth!
 
The point is that there lies all around us we might not know what to believe, but please don’t ever lose sight of Jesus being the truth!  Of the Word of God being truth!  
 
This is yet another reason that we can rejoice this Christmas season!  Jesus came into the world to save us, but also to be truth!  He is the way to Heaven – that is the truth!  He is life – that is truth!  He is the way – that is truth!  He is the Light  – that is the truth!  He is love – that is truth!  He is the Creator – that is truth!  He was born of a virgin – that is truth!  He lived a sinless life – that is truth!  He died on a cross and rose again – that is truth!  He is coming again – that is truth!  
 
This coming week as we celebrate the birth of Christ, let us also celebrate that He is the TRUTH!  Believe in HIM!
 
Matt


Thursday Thoughts | December 7, 2017

 

Hey everyone I have a question for you… 

Have you ever been lost?  For example, have you ever been driving along and then realize that you’re lost and not sure where to go?  Or have you ever been hiking in the woods and gotten confused on how to get back out?  Or forgotten where you parked your car at the mall on the busiest day of the year and can’t find it?  Maybe you are directionally challenged?  If you are or have ever been lost, I think that you will agree that it’s not a great feeling!  After all, no one wants to be lost!   In fact, most people want to know where they’re going and how to get there.  

A couple of thousand years ago there were some Jewish people that I believed felt lost.  They were oppressed, poor and the hope of a bright future seemed impossible.  They were God’s chosen people but they couldn’t have felt blessed!  As a dad myself, I wonder how the Jewish dads had to feel to not be able to provide for their  family as well as they would have liked or to feel like they  gave their  children the very best chance of success in their lives.  I wonder if these dads felt lost?  I wonder if they felt like there was no hope? I wonder about the Jewish moms.  I wonder what they felt like when they couldn’t put enough food on the table, or able to see their children live in true freedom.  I wonder if these moms felt lost?  I wonder if they felt like there was no hope? What about the children?  Were they ever really happy? 

But then something happened…

Luke 2:8-14 states…

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” 
 
Christ’s birth was not  like any other!  It was miraculous given the fact that His mother was a virgin!  It was glorious because God Himself came down as a little baby to be the Saviour of the world!  It was marvelous because now the world had hope and light amidst its darkness!  It was great because it gave a “breath of fresh air” to a people without hope or direction in their lives.  These people, although still under oppression, had something good finally happening in their lives.  What the angel said sums it up best, “…Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”
 
Jesus coming to earth is marvelous, glorious, miraculous and great!  His presence brings light into a dark world and hope to a people who are hopeless.  Upon hearing about the birth of Christ, Simeon said this about the baby Jesus, “A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.” (Luke 2:32).  In fact…
  • Jesus is the LIGHT (John 8:12) to enlighten the way to the Father!
  • Jesus is the WAY (John 14:6) to the Father!
  • Jesus is the DOOR (John 10:9) to the Father!
  • and so much more!

Jesus’ birth (and his death and resurrection) gives us HOPE!  The Holy Spirit and Word of God gives us DIRECTION and PEACE so we don’t have to feel lost!  We don’t have to feel like there is no hope!  I know that things can get tough and the world can be a cruel place to live at times, but we can rise above all of this because we have Jesus!  Jesus is the WAY!  Jesus is the TRUTH!  Jesus is the LIFE!  Let’s praise God today for giving us Jesus!  A good question today is, what would we do without Jesus?

On Sunday we will be talking about Treasuring Christ, because He is the WAY – I’ll see you there! 

Matt  | John 10:10



Thursday Thoughts | November 2nd 2017

 

 
Good afternoon,
Have you read James 3 lately?  If not, read it today and it will remind you just how powerful the tongue (mouth) can be!  In fact, even though the tongue is small, it is powerful enough to cause a lot of problems!  Have you ever said anything that you regret?  Have you ever said something that has caused a lot of pain to others and to yourself?  Of course!  We all have!  And, since we all have said things we shouldn’t have, I’m sure that we have also asked ourselves, “Why did I say that?” or “Where did that come from?” It is here that I refer to Luke 6:45 that says, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”  So where does good or bad speaking come from?  Your heart!  Since the heart and mind are synonymous in the Bible (Proverbs 23:7), I believe we can safely  say that what you put in your mind will come out  your mouth!  This is why I spoke on renewing your mind last Sunday!  If we are going to change our mouths we have to renew our minds!
  Does your mouth (your words) need to be changed today?  Have you already said something today that you wished you hadn’t?  Don’t sit on it too long, take care of it as soon as possible!  Here’s what I  think you should do:
  1. Repent 
  2. Ask forgiveness of those you may have offended with your words! 
  3. Don’t get hung up on what you have done or said in the past, rest in the forgiveness of God. 
  4. Renew your mind by focusing on God’s Word and let God change your words.  James 3:8 states, “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.”  Under your own power, you can do little to stop the effects of the tongue in your life, but when focusing on God, you will have your mind renewed and your mouth changed!

I believe that if you will do this, you might not get the immediate response you desire from the offended party, but you will rest easy knowing that you have done what God has commanded you to do. Be in peace today – don’t let your mind and mouth get in the way of that!



Thursday Thoughts | September 10, 2017

 

Are you risen with Christ? 

I ask that after reading Colossians Chapter 3 this morning in which the first 3 verses state, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.”   
 
Of course, as a believer, we are risen with Christ through our faith in Him, but we must also never forget to continually “set our affection” on Him.  To do this, we are going to have to die to ourselves (3:5) on a regular basis.  Dying to ourselves is a process that consists of “putting off” fleshly characteristics and “putting on” godly characteristics.  Remember, in Christ you are a  “new creature” (2 Corinthians 5:17) and Paul reiterates this in Colossians 3:9-10 where he says we have put off the old man and have
 put on the new man.  The reality is that you are a new man (or woman) through your faith in Christ!  However, we are still in this world and not in our heavenly home yet and have enemies constantly trying to destroy us!  To combat this we must put off the bad and put on the good.  Put off the works of the flesh and put on the work of the Spirit.  
 
For example, Paul says in Colossians 3:8 to put off anger, wrath, blasphemy and filthy communication out of our mouth.  That makes sense, right?  Obviously those “put off” things are not of God and should not be part of the Christian’s life!  But they will be if we don’t fight against them, with help from God. This is where the “put on’s” come into play.  In Colossians 3:12-14
 Paul says that we are to put on “bowels of mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering, forbearance, forgiveness, etc…” with charity being the greatest of these things.  In this passage,  I find it interesting that the first thing to put off is anger and the first thing to put on is mercy.  The two are complete opposites, which is exactly the point.  

Do you find it easy to get angry at someone but hard to show them mercy? If so, why? Showing mercy shouldn’t be hard if we realize that we have been given much mercy!  When we stop and think about it, do we deserve God’s mercy?  NO!  Do we deserve God’s grace?  NO!  Should we be thankful that God has given us both?  YES!! Should we show mercy to those that we don’t like or who have hurt us deeply? YES!  I have sometimes found it hard to show mercy to people that have hurt me, then I realize that God has been so merciful to me, why hold onto anger that is only hurting me, not helping me? 

Are you holding onto anger or bitterness?  If so,  let it go and show mercy and grace.  It will be a freeing experience for yourself and a blessing to those that receive it!  If you struggle with a particular person in this regard, please picture them as a teacher once suggested to me…with a sign on them that says “For whom Christ died for!”.  If we see that in every person,  it will definitely change our perspective.

Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday and we will talk about God’s mercy further!



Thursday Thoughts | August 31, 2017

 

I receive email devotionals from numerous sources on a daily basis and sometimes there are ones that really impact my day.  Such is a devotional that I read from Dr. Jack Graham regarding the priorities in our lives.  He included in his thoughts a true story of a man from Russia coming for his first visit to the United States for business.  Some of the men that he was working with wanted to take him to a professional football game to show him some American culture and experience a football game.  He saw the large crowd, the massive stadium and passion of the fans.  After the game, one of his business associates put his arm around him and said, “ What did you think of the game?”  The man paused for a moment and said, 
“I have never seen such first rate enthusiasm wasted on a second rate cause.” 
 
If you know me, you know that the NFL season is my favorite of all the sports genres.  It always has been and probably always will be (by the way, the NFL season starts 
September 7th
).  I love watching the game and can easily get caught up in it and before i realize it, I have spent the last 3 hours on the couch.  Then, after that game is over, I can watch a couple of other games that night and 2 others throughout the week. In all, I could easily watch 15 + hours of football per week for the 16 weeks of the regular season without giving it much thought!    At this point you might be thinking that I am going to tell you to stop watching as much football (or any other sport) as you do!  Actually, that is not my intent. I am still going to watch football and probably be disappointed with the Colts this year, but I am still going to watch because I love it.  
 
My real intent is to talk about the words from the Russian regarding the “first rate enthusiasm on a second rate cause” and what that implication means to me.  I am all for us having a enthusiasm for sports as it is completely biblical to have fun in this life!  I am all for us enjoying the abundant life that Christ gives us.  However, I am oftentimes frustrated with myself that I find more satisfaction with the things of this world rather than with the One who created this world.  I realize that I can easily give my first rate attention to second rate causes and over look the real reason that I am here for.  Are you like that?  If so, why do we do that?  There might be several reasons for this, but I want to give you one that I think is true in my life, maybe it fits yours as well. I that I can overlook how much better the “
taste of God’s goodness” is than anything that this life has to offer.  David wrote in Psalm 34:8, “O taste and see that the Lord is good:…
”  When we experience God’s goodness and can see it in our lives, it is one of the greatest feelings that you will ever have and you want more of it!  Nothing in this earth can compare to it!  The question is, are you putting too much emphasis on second rate causes or are you focused on the first rate cause of growing closer to the Lord?  
 
  • Football and other sports are not bad things!  Watch it and have fun!  
  • Your show, whatever that is, may or may not be a bad thing!  If it isn’t, watch it and have fun!
  • Being close to your friends and family is a great thing!  Continue to do that!
  • Tasting and seeing the goodness of God in your life is the best thing!  Do that and experience real joy and everything else is just icing on the cake.
 
So how do we taste and see that God is good?  I hope to answer that this Sunday, see you there! Read  
Psalm 34
 to see what I am going to preach out of.


Thursday Thoughts | August 24, 2017

 

I have always been intrigued by the Book of Esther and the amazing account of how God used her to save His people.  I am sure that you remember the account of what took place, but let me set up the scene in your mind.  A king over a very large territory threw a party for his friends and at the same time his wife, the queen, threw a party for her friends.  After 7 days of partying the king wanted to show off his beautiful queen to his friends and commanded that she come to his party to be on display…she refused!  The king was very angry and removed the queen from her position and set out to search for the next queen.  In a similar fashion of our beauty pageants today, the king had young ladies from all the provinces of his kingdom audition to be the next queen, whether they wanted to or not.  Esther, a Jew, was picked!  Just because Esther was now the queen it didn’t mean that everything was going great!  Remember, she was pulled from her family and the life that she knew!  She only saw the king when he wanted to and had little to no relationship with him.  She was put in a position and place that she didn’t understand and on top of all that Haman, a top leader in the king’s cabinet, wanted to kill all of her people.  You probably remember the rest of the account but let me finish it anyway.  Esther’s uncle, Mordecai, saved the king from an assassination attack and the king eventually honored him at the disgust of Haman.  Esther revealed Haman’s plot to kill the Jews to the king and he had Haman hung on the same gallows that he created for the Jews.  The result, God’s people were saved! (please read the 10 chapters of Esther when you can for the full account)
 
You might remember the pivotal part of this account.  It was where Mordecai told Esther that she was going to have to go to the king and reveal the plot of Haman to destroy the Jews.  It was apparent that there was no other way that they would be saved, but there was a problem.  To go in front of the king without being called was an act punishable by death!  Sounds pretty intense doesn’t it!  Esther had a decision to make.  She had to decide if taking a chance with her life to save the lives of many was the thing to do.  In her fear and indecision, Mordecai said the famous words to her found in 
Esther 4:14“For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy fathers house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
 
That thought, “…for such a time as this?” is what I think about our current national and international situations that we find ourselves in and how important it is that we equip ourselves to speak for Christ.  I think that it no accident that we are in the era of human history that we are in.  It is no accident of where we are working or living.  There are no accidents with God!  However, I do think that we often wonder why things happen like they do?  We can ask what’s the purpose of it all?  We can ask why? Why? Why? 
I can’t tell you the exact answer to the “why?” questions that we can have, but I can tell you that it is no accident.  I can tell you that God has allowed you to be Indy for such a time as this!  Remember, as believers, God has given us everything that we need to live a victorious Christian life!  He has given us salvation, the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, and a fellowship of believers that all work together to equip us.  
 
But what are we supposed to do with what God has given us?  We need to share it!  It is easy to take the gift that God has given us and never share it, in fact that is often what our insecurity wants us to do.  But let me remind you that you were put here for a purpose!  For such a time as this!  Don’t retreat!  Don’t give in!  Speak up!  Stand firm in your faith!  Continue to send missionaries to other countries to do the work of Christ that we can’t do! Love and lead your families!  Teach your kids the Word of God! Love as Christ has loved!  Sacrifice!
 
God has put you in this time and in this place for such a time as this – embrace it!!!