From Our Hearts to Yours
What is your petition, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you.
Queen Esther learned that Haman received permission ‘to annihilate all the Jews’ (Esther 3:13). How could she persuade the king to protect the Jews? In a beautiful picture of grace, wisdom, and patience, Esther reveals how to effectively approach and persuade other people.
Step 1: Stop. Before trying to rightly handle a wrong situation, Esther paused.
Step 2: Wait. Time is a precious asset. Waiting gave Esther time to gather the facts.
Step 3: Consult. Waiting allowed time for seeking further counsel.
Step 4: Pray. Waiting also gave Esther time to fast and pray for wisdom about how to approach the king.
Step 5: Decide. Time, counsel, and prayer moved Esther to make a plan and move forward with the triumphant attitude “If I perish, I perish!”
Step 6: Act. Before she asked for what she wanted, Esther prepared a special dinner for King Ahasuerus and Haman to assess the king’s frame of mind.
Step 7: Adjust. Discerning and sensitive to the situation, Esther wisely waited and prepared a second dinner before asking her husband to save her people.
What is your next challenge? Follow Esther’s seven steps to wisdom.
The Lord has heard your affliction.
Hagar, tired from running through the desert, rested beside a spring of water in the wilderness, her head filled with confused thoughts. The handmaiden was pregnant with Abraham’s child, which was set up by his wife, Sarah, who now mistreated her. When Hagar cried out to God, He heard her affliction and responded by sending an angel to help. What love and grace! Hagar knew God had come to her aid. In fact, when her baby was born, the boy was named “Ishmael”, which means “God hears”.
When you’re faced with life’s afflictions, cry out to God. You can pray…
Arrow prayers. On the spot and at the very second Nehemiah needed God’s help, he shot his “arrow prayer” upward to heaven. God gave him the words he needed as he asked the king for permission to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the city’s wall (Nehemiah 2:4).
Liquid prayers. The psalmist said, “You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights, each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book” (Psalm 56:8 MSG). Saint Augustine called our tears “liquid prayers.”
Wordless prayers. When you don’t know what to pray or your heart is too heavy for words, the Holy Spirit helps (Romans 8:26).
Prayer is the answer to every problem because you’re talking to the God of the universe. And He cares! Trust Him and pray. Rejoice with the psalmist who says, “I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and my supplications” (Psalm 116:1).
Politicians, celebrities, and others talk a lot about “going green”. They want to protect the treasures of the earth. To keep the earth pure or restore it to purity. If you look up the word “pure”, you’ll discover that it means to be without stain, to be free from pollution, to be clean, innocent, and guiltless.
As important as the earth is, think how truly vital it is to God that you keep yourself free from stains and damage. God wants you to protect a precious possession-your purity. You already know it’s important to preserve your physical purity, but did you know your mind is where purity starts? What you think greatly determines how you behave. Make keeping your wonderful self pure and righteous for the Lord a priority.
God, when I’m tempted to give up on purity, remind me that I matter greatly to You. Keep me on my toes, Lord. Give me the strength and desire to protect my heart, mind, and body. Amen.
Over the years, men have often asked me how they could “know” God’s will for their career. They thought if they had the answer, they would get a much clearer perspective on their jobs and their direction in life.
I tell them God’s will regarding their work isn’t some mystical revelation they have to hunt for. Rather, it’s spelled out clearly in the Bible: “Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men” (Colossians 3:23), and “Be obedient to those who are your masters… not… as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ” (Ephesians 6:5-6). When you see this as God’s will for your job, it will transform your attitude in the workplace-and have an incredibly positive impact on everyone around you!
God, it’s great to know that by seeking You and retaining this mind-set, I can be confident that I’m in Your will. I choose to work heartily and honor my “masters”-because I honor You, my ultimate Master. Amen.