“If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is Jewish, you won’t overcome him, because your downfall is certain.” – Esther 6:13 (HCSB)
Are you a Jew? Are you from the tribe of Judah, the tribe that praises the Lord? Are you praising the Lord, no matter what your circumstances are? Probably at this very moment, your enemies are preparing something against you… great obstacles are placed in your path, to hinder your growth… and the enemies are becoming all the more powerful every day and whatever they do, they are successful and does it scare you? Then praise the Lord, be from the tribe of Judah, for when you are praising the Lord, no enemy will be able to overcome you, because their downfall is certain – for the Lion of Judah, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, has overcome every single power that is against you. So, praise Him, and praise Him more.
God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.
– Galatians 6:14 (NKJV)
There are so many things in this world about which we can boast of. It could be our nationality, our language, our religion, our caste, our achievements, our family and so on. But may God our Heavenly Father forbid that I boast in anything, except in the cross of our LORD Jesus Christ. For my salvation, my redemption, my blessings and the eternal life, all spring forth from the divine sacrifice that my Saviour Jesus Christ did for my sake at the cross. May I boast only in the cross of our LORD Jesus Christ. Help me, God. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s will (Mat_10:29 RSV).
We worry too much. We follow the example of our earthly father Adam when he confessed to God, “I was afraid…and hid” (Gen_3:10). We have become a fearful people, even though most of our fears are often unfounded or just plain silly, because we do not have our eyes on the sparrow.
One of the renderings for the term sparrow in Hebrew referred to small birds, and in Matthew the word probably refers to a small house sparrow. The birds were well known in Syria; they were small, tame and found everywhere. Because of their great number they were sold cheaply; five would go for one and one-half cents. The idea is that if God cares for something so inexpensive and small, then certainly He will care for and protect us!
Jesus always gives us the assurance, “I am with you always” (Mat_28:20). Yet we continue to be afraid: Nuclear war, loss of health, serious accident, job loss, and a thousand other things.
The lesson of 1Jo_4:18, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear,” should teach us something: that either we do not love God as we should, or we do not believe Him when He says that He loves us. Think about the following:
“Worry comes through human interference with the divine plan.”
“You cannot change the past, but you ruin a perfectly good present by worrying about the future.”
“Why worry when you can pray?”
“Worry is interest paid on trouble before it is due.”
The story is told of the ship that was trapped in a severe storm at sea. All were preparing to abandon ship, all except one young lady who was playing with her dolls. When asked if she were not afraid, she calmly replied, “No, because my father is the captain.”
When the storms of life seem to trap us, let us learn to keep our eyes upon the sparrow and to say, “I am not afraid because the Captain is my Father!”
Some time ago we noticed that a tree planted at the sunny end of a house had large and beautiful blossoms. It was a feast to the eyes; but what an amazing difference in some of the branches trained round the corner of the house where they got much less sun. The blossoms were starved and drooping, and there was little promise of fruit. They had the same root and stem in common, but while one part of the tree was in the full glorious light, the other branches were in the shade.
Our character is affected in the same way by insufficient enlightenment. The dark places produce unfruitful branches: strange weaknesses, distortions, immaturities, indirection, failures in practical life and conduct. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Galatians 5:22-23). If we are to bear all manner of precious fruit, each in its rightful season, we must trustfully and joyfully lay open our whole soul to the full expanse of God’s light shining in the face of Jesus Christ.
A man went inside a telephone booth and dialled the number of a friend. When the connection was made, the friend kept saying, “I can’t hear you; speak louder; I can’t hear you.” All he cold hear was the roar of traffic in the background. “Shut the door so I can hear,” he said to the caller. In order to hear God’s voice speaking to you, you’ve got to shut the door to the outside world so that its enticements won’t distract you. Doing this could change your whole life. Then when you go back into the crowd, you’ll not only be able to listen to what the world has to say, but you’ll have something to say to the world that you’ve personally heard from God.
But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
– Matthew 6:6
Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart. – Psalm 37:4 (NIV)
Oh, my heart! Why are you downcast? Are you feeling downcast because your future looks bleak? Or, deep inside you, my dear heart, are you worried that the Lord may not fulfil His promises to you? Are you wondering whether your desires will be satisfied?
Oh, my heart! You know that amidst all these unbelief and questions, you still believe in the miracle-working God; you believe in the LORD God Who is faithful to His promises. You know who you have believed – the loving Eternal Father, Who gave His only Son for you – you know that and you believe that. So, why are you downcast? Hasn’t your Master given a simple command to you, a very simple command to follow so that you can have the desires of your heart – delight yourself in Me. That’s all He is asking.
Oh, I understand. You are wondering when everything looks so dark and bleak, how can I delight in the Lord? But, my dear heart, when is your delight in the Lord dictated by the external circumstances? How many times you have told Jesus, your Saviour and your Redeemer, that confession Peter made… “Lord, You know all things and You know that I love You.” How many times when you said that, you were right there with Peter, with a broken heart, with eyes swelling up with tears, with a voice struggling to control your emotions? You meant those words, didn’t you? Now, tell those words again and let His love fill your heart and you will delight in Him. Yes, my dear heart, may your heart be filled with the love of God our Father, with the love of Jesus Christ, His only Son and with the love of the Holy Spirit. Delight in Him and He will give you the desires of your heart.
I will never leave you nor forsake you. – Joshua 1:5 (NIV)
Oh our loving Father in Heaven! You gave this promise to us, when we were young and naive. When we took baby steps in Your Son and our Lord Jesus Christ, You promised never to leave us nor to forsake us. Years have passed by and when we turn back and look, we are amazed to see how truthful You are to Your promise. There were times when we were not faithful to You, Lord, but You have been always faithful to Your promise. There were times when we even forgot You, but, in Your divine love, You never forgot us and You never forgot this promise that You gave us. Till this day, till this very moment, You have never left us nor forsaken us.
Dear heavenly Father, help us to realize more of Your love, more of Your faithfulness and the surety of promises through our Saviour Jesus Christ. Help us to be rest assured in this promise and keep singing Your praises all the time. In the precious Name of Jesus, we ask. Amen.