Tag: willing to die

Ready to die for Jesus!

Scripture reading for May 12th: 2nd Samuel 1-2, 1st Chronicles 11, Psalm 96, 106, Acts 21

Acts 21: 8-13 “On the next day we departed and came to Caesarea, and we entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied. While we were staying for many days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. And coming to us, he took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘This is how the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.'” When we heard this, we and the people there urged him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the Name of the Lord Jesus.””

As Paul and his companions journeyed to Jerusalem, they stayed with believers and encouraged them whenever they could. At Caesarea, they stayed with Philip, the evangelist, who was one of the original seven men chosen as deacons to serve the church. Philip had four daughters who were prophetesses and another man named Agabus who was a prophet visited his home and gave a message to Paul. This message confirmed what Paul already understood. The message brought sorrow to all who knew Paul and they urged him not to proceed to Jerusalem. Paul stated that this broke his heart because he did care for them. But God’s calling was first and Paul was ready to go and even give his life in Jerusalem for Jesus Christ his Lord.

Psalm 96:2-3 “Sing to the Lord, bless His Name; tell of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all the peoples!”

Psalm 106:47 “Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to Your Holy Name and glory in Your praise.”

Prayer: Father God, it is hard in the natural to follow You into places of danger and possible death. We love our brothers and sisters in the Lord and our own families. But not our will but Yours must be done for we are not our own, but owe all to Jesus Christ Who gave His life for us. Grant me grace to follow You wherever You lead and to declare Your glory among all peoples.

2nd Samuel 1:26-27 “I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; very pleasant have you been to me; your love to me was extraordinary, surpassing the love of women. How the mighty have fallen, and the weapons of war perished!”

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Civil disobedience!

Scripture reading for May 15th: Esther 3-4

As God’s people, we try to be the best citizens we can be.  We should be known as people who obey the law, serve and pray for those in authority.  We should promote respect for those in authority and aide their proper rule.  However, when a civil authority gives orders to disobey the law of God, we must respectfully decline and obey God!

Haman was exalted by King Xerxes to a place of honor above all others.  All officials in the king’s palace knelt down and paid honor to Haman.  (Esther 3:2)  But Mordecai, Queen Esther’s Jewish uncle, would not bow his knee before a man because of his faith in God and God’s word. (Esther 3:4)   This infuriated Haman and he devised a plot to eliminate all Jews from Persia.  He offered the king 375 tons of silver to allow him to eliminate these disrespectful people.  (Esther 3:8-9) For those in authority to feel secure, any threat must be removed!

Mordecai immediately began to fast and pray.  (Ester 4:1-3)  He called on other Jews to join with him.  He even asked his niece, Queen Esther, to help.  This was not going to be easy.  She would have to exercise some wise “civil disobedience” herself if she were to approach the king.  She asked for prayer covering as she prepared for the potentially life-threatening task of asking the king for help.  (Ester 4:15-17)  Her attitude was one of faith and of willingness to die to protect her people!

Queen Esther is a type of the Church.  The Church has been placed by God in places of influence to be a witness for God and His people.  The Church is to be submissive to the authorities of the world in all things except where that compromises faithfulness to God.  The Church is to be willing to die for what is right, rather than compromise the truth for the passing pleasures of sin for a season.  The Church must speak up or loose its place of influence for God!  Ask God what other lessons might be here for you today as you read this story of God working through ordinary people to accomplish His purposes!

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Willing to die!

Scripture reading for May 15th: Esther 3-4

As God’s people, we should try to be the best citizens we can be.  We are to be known as people who obey the law and serve and pray for those in authority.  We  promote respect for those in authority and aid their proper rule.  However, when a civil authority gives orders to disobey the law of God, we must respectfully decline and obey God!  This can bring trouble and wrath from authority!

Haman was a man who was exalted by King Xerxes to a place of honor above all others.  All officials in the king’s palace knelt down and paid honor to Haman  (Esther 3:2)  except one man.  Mordecai, Queen Esther’s Jewish uncle, would not bow his knee before a man because of his faith in God and God’s word. (Esther 3:4)   This infuriated Haman and he devised a plot to eliminate all Jews from Persia.  He offered the king 375 tons of silver to allow him to eliminate these disrespectful people.  (Esther 3:8-9)  For those in authority to feel secure, any threat to their power or position must be removed! (Remember that King Xerxes removed Queen Vasti for her disrespect!)

How did Mordecai react to the decree to kill all Jews?  He immediately began to fast and pray, calling other Jews to join him.  (Ester 4:1-3)  He asked his niece, Queen Esther, to help.  She would have to exercise some wise “civil disobedience” herself if she were to approach the king.  She asked for prayer covering as she prepared for this potentially life-threatening task of asking the king for help.  (Ester 4:15-17)  Her attitude was one of faith and of willingness to die to protect her people!

Queen Esther could be a type of the Church.  The Church has been placed by God in places of influence to be a witness for God and His people.  The Church is to be submissive to the authorities of the world in all things except where that compromises faithfulness to God.  The Church is to be willing to die for what is right, rather than compromise the truth for the passing pleasures of sin for a season.  The Church must speak up or loose its place of influence for God!  Ask God what other lessons might be here for you as you read this story of God working through ordinary people to accomplish His purposes!

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Willing to Die

Scripture reading for May 15th: Esther 3-4

The beautiful new Queen is now faced with a dilemma.  A plot to kill off all Jews is going on in the palace and her husband, the King, has signed the edict.  Her uncle Mordecai is fasting and has found a way to warn her and appeal to her for mercy.  How will she ever help her people?  God’s favor is desperately needed!

Haman was angry that Mordecai would not show him honor by bowing to him.  In his anger, he plotted to kill Mordecai and all of the Jews, people he deemed disrespectful and worthy only of elimination.  The king gave his approval of the plan to destroy the Jews.  A day was picked by casting lots and the day was the thirteenth day of the twelfth month!  (Esther 3:7)  A decree was drawn up and plans were made.  Haman would contribute about 120 million dollars in silver to pay for this operation!

This plan was what Mordecai had shared with Queen Esther.  She asked Mordecai and her people to fast for three days.   God’s favor would be needed before she sought an audience with the King.  She knew the possibility of death awaited her if the King was having a bad day or felt threatened by her approach.  She was willing to die on behalf of saving her people.  (Esther 4:15-16)

As we look at this interesting dilemma, we see how Satan hates the people of God.  He is always looking to kill, steal, or destroy them.  (John 10:10)  God’s people are in a spiritual battle that requires spiritual weapons.  We rely on prayer and fasting.  Fasting causes us to be humbled before God and God sees our humble spirit and gives grace.  Prayer asks God to do what we can’t do ourselves.  We are dependent on Him for favor, direction and protection.  As Esther began this process, she became willing to even give her own life to try to spare her people.  This act of humble submission and willing sacrifice would bring God’s grace to her people in a unique way.

Take time today to check out your spiritual weapons.  Are you resisting the Devil and alert to his plans to kill, steal or destroy you?  Give thanks to the Lord for sending Jesus Christ as His willing sacrifice for our sins in order to save us from hell and death!

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