November 27, Friday

Editor’s Note: The AMI Quiet Times for today are provided by Pastor David Kwon of JCC.

Devotional Thoughts for Today

Esther 4

When Mordecai learned all that had been done, Mordecai tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and he cried out with a loud and bitter cry. [2] He went up to the entrance of the king’s gate, for no one was allowed to enter the king’s gate clothed in sackcloth. . . . [9] And Hathach went and told Esther what Mordecai had said. [10] Then Esther spoke to Hathach and commanded him to go to Mordecai and say, [11] “All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that if any man or woman goes to the king inside the inner court without being called, there is but one law—to be put to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter so that he may live. But as for me, I have not been called to come in to the king these thirty days.”

[12] And they told Mordecai what Esther had said. [13] Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. [14] For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” [15] Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, [16] “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.” [17] Mordecai then went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.   

27In one of the darkest hours of World War II, Winston Churchill led Great Britain with great, uncompromising courage. In the midst of battle, he said, “Death and sorrow will be the companions of our journey, hardship our garment; constancy our valor and our only shield. We must be united, we must be undaunted, we must be inflexible.”

One of the marks of being a Christian ought to be courageous faith. It is a faith that is bold and goes against human logic in various seasons of our life. That’s what we read about in today’s account.

Mordecai reacts with great emotion when he hears that the personal conflict between himself and Haman has brought the entire Jewish nation into jeopardy. He tears his clothes and puts on sackcloth and ashes in an act of deep mourning and distress. After Esther finds out about this evil plan, she only has a small window of time to make a decision. She decides to act in confidence and determination and take a step of courageous faith to save the Jewish people. Here’s what pastor and author Eugene Peterson says about this account:

“In the face of difficulty, Esther began to move from being a beauty queen to becoming a Jewish saint, from being a sex symbol to being a passionate intercessor, from the busy-indolent life in the harem to the high-risk venture of speaking for and identifying with God’s people.”

Is God calling you to live out your faith courageously? It could be speaking up for Christ in your workplace or taking a step of faith in the area of your finances. Maybe God is asking you to go somewhere to share Christ. God may be preparing you “for such a time as this” to step out in boldness and faith.

Prayer: Lord, help me to live each day with courageous faith. Show me the areas of my life where you are calling me to leave my comfort zone.

 Bible Reading for Today: John 4

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Lunch Break Study

Matthew 14:22-33

            [22] Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. [23] And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, [24] but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. [25] And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. [26] But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. [27] But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”

                  [28] And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” [29] He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. [30] But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” [31] Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” [32] And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. [33] And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Questions to Consider

  1. What was the reaction of the disciples when they saw Jesus?
  2. How does fear often hinder us from living by great faith?
  3. What does the passage say about overcoming our fears?

Notes

  1. They were terrified and responded in fear (v.26).
  2. When we live in fear, it distorts the power and character of Jesus in our lives. We often make Him too small, which hinders us from living by faith and not by sight.
  3. The disciples worshiped the Lord after they acknowledged His power and greatness (v.33). Our worship of Christ will often increase our faith and overcome our fears.

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Evening Reflection

Take some time in personal worship through prayer, song, or the Word. Meditate on the promises and truths of God. As you do, ask Him to give you courageous faith.

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