Tag: Romans 8:28

God places His people for His purposes!

Scripture reading for May 13: Esther1-2

The story of Esther takes place in Persia during the days of Ezra and Nehemiah when the 50,000 Jews were rebuilding the temple and walls in Jerusalem.  It never mentions the name of God, but God’s presence is implied and felt throughout the story.  It is the story of ordinary Jewish people who were trying to be faithful to God while they lived in a foreign land.  The story shows God was moving among His people and turning all circumstances, even those appearing evil, for their good.  (Romans 8:28) 

God put Esther, a beautiful virgin and Jew, in the palace of the pagan king of Persia.  Ahasuerus, the king, liked to drink and boast of his wealth and possessions, and his women!  He called for his beautiful queen, Vashti, to come and display herself before the nobles who were drinking with him, but Queen Vashti refused.  The king was furious and sought counsel as to what to do about this offense.  It was decided that she must be made a public example so that other women would not get the idea that they could disobey their husbands and show them disrespect.  Queen Vashti was removed from her royal position and was never to come into the king’s presence again!  As a result of this, a search was made for the most beautiful and suitable woman to take the queen’s place.  God exalted Esther, a Jew, to this place of honor!

Why was the king was so upset?  In that culture, women were expected to be totally obedient to their husbands.  This disrespect by disobedience was not tolerated!  In the pagan culture, no conviction of right or wrong could stop the king from having what he wanted!  All the men in power agreed about that and felt threatened by the queen’s action!  They felt that they needed to take action to protect themselves and their way of life. (Esther 1:18-20)

But God used the culture of that day to accomplish His purposes.  He removed the one queen, probably protecting her for her stand of faith.  He placed Esther, a godly Jew, in the place of influence and gave her favor in order to bring about the deliverance of all His people!  (Esther 2:17)  As a godly Jew, Esther knew how to obey the king and still remain loyal to her God.  By faith she became an example of a woman true to her people and to God! Her story is written down to help believers understand God’s protective ways.

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Safety in the will of God!

Scripture reading for November 17th: Acts 27-28

Do you really believe that God can cause all things to work together for good for those who love Him?  (Romans 8:28)  Today, we read about events in Paul’s journey to Rome for trial before Caesar.  These events were dangerous, exciting, and could have been fatal.  But God worked them for good and His purposes stood through all the trouble!

The trip from Caesarea to Rome was nearly 2000 miles by ship.  It was decided that Paul would travel by a Roman navy ship in the fall season when travel in that direction was more difficult.  As they made their way north, the centurion in charge of the prisoners, Julius,  gave special favor to Paul by allowing his friends to minister to his needs. (Acts 27:1-3)  As travel became more difficult, Paul warned the centurion and crew of impending danger and possible loss of life.  They ignored Paul’s advice and sailed on.  A great storm hit the ship and tossed it around for days.  The crew threw the cargo overboard and after more days of battering, all gave up hope of being saved.  (Acts 27:20)

Paul, again directed with a word from the Lord, encouraged the crew and passengers.  He told them that an angel of God had given him a word, “Do not be afraid, Paul.  You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.” The ship would be destroyed but God would spare the passengers and crew!  All 276 men on board made it safely to shore when they followed Paul’s advice!  (Acts 27:42-44)

As Paul was warming himself over a fire after swimming ashore,  a viper jumped from the fire and fastened itself on Paul’s hand.  (Acts 28:1-6)  Paul quickly shook the snake off into the fire and no swelling or death occurred.  This opened the islanders to Paul’s Gospel message and he began to minister to those present with miracles of healing!

When you are committed to God, life takes on a new quality of supernatural direction and hope.  God truly does work all things for His will!  We can go through shipwrecks, storms, and even snake-attacks and trust that all works out for our good and His glory!   Are you ready for today’s episode in your life?

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