December 7, Monday

Editor’s Note: The AMI Quiet Time for today are provided by Cami King of JCC.

Devotional Thoughts for Today

Esther 7:1-6
Now the king and Haman came to drink wine with Esther the queen. And the king said to Esther on the second day also as they drank their wine at the banquet, “What is your petition, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to half of the kingdom it shall be done.” Then Queen Esther replied, “If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me as my petition, and my people as my request; for we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed and to be annihilated. Now if we had only been sold as slaves, men and women, I would have remained silent, for the trouble would not be commensurate with the annoyance to the king.” Then King Ahasuerus asked Queen Esther, “Who is he, and where is he who would presume to do thus?” Esther said, “A foe and an enemy is this wicked Haman!” Then Haman became terrified before the king and queen.

7The story of queen Esther is a familiar one. Esther, with fear and trembling, goes before the king to make a request that could cost her life. Yet she does so knowing that it was what she must do to save her people, believing the potential sacrifice to be more than worth the potential outcome. Her confidence, as we learned yesterday, came from the Lord her God, whom she knew was at work in the unseen to protect and defend His people. And we see today that her boldness and courage paid off. She was granted her request before a king with whom she found favor – and many were saved as a result. What an amazing opportunity and immense power available to Esther. And what a worthy way to utilize it!

As I read through this familiar story again, I was reminded that believers today are far more like queen Esther than we might think. We too have the opportunity to approach the throne of a King who holds enough power in his hand to incite fear and trembling in all who dare to draw near. Yet, much like the response of King Ahasuerus to Esther’s request, our King, the King of Kings, has a compassionate disposition toward each of us and delights in giving us the things for which we ask (see John 14:14). Yet, how many of us realize the power made available to us because of our ability to approach God’s throne and ask of the Lord? Moreover, when we do come before God with our requests, what is it that we ask for? Most of us ask for things for ourselves and for our loved ones and maybe for a few good friends. But Esther made a request that would save a whole nation. She offered her life and asked for something great. What will we ask for? What are we willing to offer? We can ask for the pedestrian and the possible (success and wealth and comfort) or we can ask for the Kingdom… we can ask for the nations… and our God delights in giving them to us.

“Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers. God isn’t offended by your biggest dreams or boldest prayers. He is offended by anything less. If your prayers aren’t impossible to you, they are insulting to God.” (Mark Batterson, Circle Maker)

Prayer: Almighty God, thank you for your compassion toward me and your willingness to listen to my prayers and move on my behalf. Give me the courage to pray bold prayers. Give me the vision to pray impactful prayers. Give me the conviction to pray according to your will for the world. May you accomplish great things through me as I offer you my life and my requests.

 Bible Reading for Today: John 16

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Lunch Break Study

Hebrews 4:14-16

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What does the writer of Hebrews encourage believers to do in this passage? What hinders you from doing this in your life?
  2. What should motivate us to do what the writer of Hebrews is calling us to do in this passage? How does this encourage you?
  3. Are there some areas in your life that are in need of God’s mercy and grace to help in a time of need? Spend some time offering those things to the Lord with boldness and confidence.

Notes: 

  1. The writer of Hebrews encourages us to come to God with confidence (boldness) and ask for his help (grace and mercy) in our times of need. Many of us are hindered from doing this for a number of reasons. We may not feel worthy of God. We may not fully believe he will help us if we ask. We may be self-reliant and think we can take care of things on our own. Some of us are just plain lazy when it comes to prayer. Whatever it may be, anything that hinders us from approaching God in times of needs, prevents us from receiving the grace and mercy He’s made available to us.
  2. We should be motivated to come to God for help in times of need by our knowledge of who Jesus is and what He has done for us. Jesus became one of us and walked on this earth and lived a life just like we do. And while He was without sin, he does very much empathize with our struggles and our needs. This should give us all the more confidence when we come to Him.
  3. Spend some time in personal prayer.

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Evening Reflection

Spend some time reflecting on this morning’s quotation:

“Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers. God isn’t offended by your biggest dreams or boldest prayers. He is offended by anything less. If your prayers aren’t impossible to you, they are insulting to God.” (Mark Batterson, Circle Maker)

What are the situations around the world most in need of God’s help? Who are the people around you most in need of God’s grace and mercy at this time? Are there any bold prayers God is calling you to pray in response to these needs? Spend some time listening to the Holy Spirit and seeking God’s courage and vision for these areas. Then end in prayer accordingly.

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