VIDEO The Power of Power

And in every province and city, wherever the king’s command and decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a holiday. Then many of the people of the land became Jews, because fear of the Jews fell upon them. Esther 8:17


Scholars of missionary activity and evangelism use a term to describe how the Gospel spread in the Early Church: “gossiping the Gospel.” That means the Gospel message about Jesus spread from person to person based on eyewitness accounts from those who had received the Gospel and its benefits.

While many forms of evangelism can be effective, there is nothing like hearing from a “satisfied customer.” In Persia, where the efforts of Queen Esther saved the Jewish people from genocide, many non-Jews converted to Esther’s faith. Why? Because they saw how Esther’s God had moved the king to protect the Jews. This meant that Esther’s God was more powerful than the Persian king! As word of this spread, conversions followed. The same thing happened during and after Jesus’ ministry. Word of His miracles and teachings spread from person to person.

If you are looking for ways to influence unsaved friends for Christ, be open and bold about the way God’s power has been at work in your own life.

Witnessing is not something we do; it is something we are.  Unknown

Esther 6-10 God Working Out His Purpose

Why Do This?

The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. Psalm 19:7

As I was helping my sixth-grade grandson, Logan, with some tough algebra-type homework, he told me of his dream of becoming an engineer. After we returned to figuring out what to do with the x’s and y’s in his assignment, he said, “When am I ever going to use this stuff?”

I couldn’t help but smile, saying, “Well, Logan, this is exactly the stuff you’ll use if you become an engineer!” He hadn’t realized the connection between algebra and his hoped-for future.

Sometimes we view Scripture that way. When we listen to sermons and read certain parts of the Bible, we may think, “When am I ever going to use this?” The psalmist David had some answers. He said God’s truths found in Scripture are effective for “refreshing the soul,” “making wise the simple,” and “giving joy to the heart” (Psalm 19:7–8). The wisdom of Scripture, found in the first five books of the Bible as referred to in Psalm 19 (as well as all of Scripture), helps us as we daily rely on the Spirit’s leading (Proverbs 2:6).

And without the Scriptures, we’d lack the vital way God has provided for us to experience Him and better know His love and ways. Why study the Bible? Because “the commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes” (Psalm 19:8).

By:  Dave Branon

Reflect & Pray

Why is the wisdom found in Scripture relevant for you today? How can you grow in your understanding of it?

Loving God, please make Your Word a light to my path. Help me to use the wisdom of Scripture to direct my steps and grow to love You more.

The Struggle With Unforgiveness

Trust God with your hurt, and refuse to let the poison of bitterness take root. Hebrews 12:14-15

Yesterday we discussed forgiveness and how to incorporate it into our relationships. Now, let’s look at its opposite. 

Unforgiveness is the deliberate decision not to let go of resentment toward someone else or of your rights to get even. Unfortunately, this attitude is common. Both outside and inside the church, people seem to enjoy nursing a grudge. They broadcast their hurt and focus their energy on retribution. What a waste! 

In Hebrews 12:14-15, we see a warning against the “root of bitterness” that springs up and causes trouble. Bitterness may start with a simple grievance because of a person’s actions, but then that little seed of resentment begins to grow. And what happens at the root impacts everything else: If love and peace are your foundation, then you will produce loving and peaceful fruit. If unforgiveness is your foundation, you’ll find a crop of anger, malice, hostility, and bitterness. The sooner you deal with it, the less that bitter fruit will spoil your life. 

How can we accomplish God’s will while harboring an unforgiving spirit? How can we grow in Christ when we willfully let bitterness erode our heart? Uproot the unforgiveness in your life today, and offer the Lord your finest crop of spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22-23). 

He Is the Owner

“Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. But if a man be just…he shall surely live, saith the Lord GOD.” (Ezekiel 18:4-5, 9)

What an awesome statement! The eternal Creator of all mankind asserting His ownership over each man’s soul to do with it what He deems proper.

What is the worth of one eternal soul created in the image of God? The Creator is the owner of the cattle on a thousand hills. Indeed, the earth and all the galaxies are His, but there is something about a soul that is of far greater worth. A soul can choose, can worship its Maker, and can reflect the very nature of God. Nothing else in all creation has these powers. Yet, He owns all souls. He has an unquestionable right to them, and they will never be taken away, for He has created them. Furthermore, their numbers are growing, for He has given His subjects the command and power to reproduce. At each conception He supplies a newly created, eternal soul. Truly, His wealth is great!

How should we respond to His ownership? By obedience! By choosing to act according to His will as revealed in reason, our conscience, and above all in His written Word, we ascribe to Him the glory due Him. We must jealously guard our affections, reserving the adulation that He deserves for Him alone. We must lovingly care for His creation, including the many fellow souls whom He brings across our paths.

Above all, we must avail ourselves of His gracious provision of mercy and forgiveness through the redemptive work of His Son, Jesus Christ. At that point, He performs another creative act, for “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature [or creation]: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). JDM

Lessons for Disciples

Luke 17:1-10

IN Luke 17:1-10 our Lord gives us certain precious truths along several different lines—capsules of consecrated teaching. He declares that offenses must come, “but woe to him by whom they come! Better that a millstone be hanged about his neck and he be cast into the sea.” Here we have Divine sovereignty and human free will. The fact that offenses must come does not absolve us from blame if we cause offense.

Next, Jesus declared that forgiveness must be unlimited and oft repeated without weariness. It often may be overlooked that He said, “If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him” first of all, then, “if he repent, forgive him.” We should tell our brother wherein he has offended us, and thereby ground may be reached for an understanding. That is better than to hide our resentment in the heart.

The apostles, no doubt seeing that this teaching on forgiveness called for more faith than they had, said, “Lord, increase our faith.” I want you to notice Jesus’ reply. He did not say He would increase their faith. What He did say was almost a reproof: “If you had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamore tree, Be thou plucked up by the root and be thou planted in the sea, and it would obey you.” In other words: “It is not the quantity of faith that matters most. If you had even a little, you could be working wonders.” We want more faith when even the exercises of a little will do the impossible.

Then our Lord moved on to point out a lesson on duty. He illustrates it by the reference to servants who have worked all day and have done their duty, yet are asked to perform extra tasks outside their regular schedule. It is the principle of the “second mile” all over again. The first mile is obligation, the second is privilege. Some of us pride ourselves upon doing our duty, but here the Lord gives us this startling word: “We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.” Has it ever occurred to you that you could do your duty and still be an unprofitable servant? How many pride themselves on duty and still are only like the Pharisees—servants, but knowing nothing of that “exceeding righteousness” which is Christ Himself.

It is that extra mile of doing things we don’t have to do that reveals the Christian spirit. How many are “one-mile” Christians at prayer, at Bible reading, in their giving, in church-going, in forgiving others? How many in trouble only bear and endure it and go not the second mile of victory? How many in temptation merely suppress and do not surpass? How many will not go the way of consecration and separation? Some will give money but will not give self. We have unduly gloried duty and have failed to see that only Christ within us is true righteousness—that all else is but legalism, though it may profess His name.

“He hath triumphed gloriously.”

Exodus 15:1-21

We will now read the song of Moses, which is prophetically typical of the ultimate victory of the Lord Jesus.

Exodus 15:1-21

In order to leave the song unbroken, we have reserved our few notes for the end of it.

Observe the sublimity and simplicity of the composition. Fine, florid language suits the little elegancies of man but not the glories of the Lord. Note how all the song is to the praise of the Lord alone, there is not a note for Moses or for Aaron; no hint of secondary agents, but Jehovah alone is exalted. Remark the noise, hurry, and violence of the foe, in verse 9, and the calmness of the Lord, in verse 10. It will be well to read them both again. Man is raving and threatening, and the Lord in placid omnipotence defeats his rage. Consider also, how the poet infers the future from the present. God who brought his people through the sea, would surely bring them into their heritage. He who has wrought marvels of grace already, will not leave us till grace is turned into glory.

What a noble hallelujah is that of verse 18, “Jehovah shall reign for ever and ever.” It is a plain inference from his overthrow of his enemies. Let us triumph in our reigning God. He has overcome sin, death, and hell for us; let us therefore, like Miriam, rejoice with all the saints. Let our heart dance, and our hand make music unto our Redeemer, who has cast our enemies into the depths of the sea.

The True Minister: Man of God Speaking to Men

But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. 2 Timothy 4:5

The Christian minister, as someone has pointed out, is a descendant not of the Greek orator but of the Hebrew prophet!

The differences between the orator and the prophet are many and radical, the chief being that the orator speaks for himself while the prophet speaks for God.

The orator originates his message and is responsible to himself for its content. The prophet originates nothing but delivers the message he has received from God who alone is responsible for it, the prophet being responsible to God for its delivery only. The prophet must hear the message clearly and deliver it faithfully, and that is indeed a grave responsibility; but it is to God alone, not to men!

It is a dubious compliment to a preacher to say that he is original. The very effort to be original has become a snare to many a young man fresh out of seminary, who rejects the pure wheat of the Word and tries to nourish his congregation on chaff of his own manufacture. It may even be golden chaff, but chaff nevertheless that can never feed the soul.

The true preacher is a man of God speaking to men; he is a man of heaven giving God’s witness on earth. Because he is a man of God he can decode the message he receives from heaven and deliver it in the language of earth!