YEAR 2, WEEK 10, Day 6, Saturday, 11 March 2023

Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Saturday, 11 March 2023:

Esther 10:3 – For Mordecai the Jew was second in rank to King Ahasuerus, and he was great among the Jews and popular with the multitude of his brothers, for he sought the welfare of his people and spoke peace to all his people.

Mordechai’s goal was for his people, not for himself.

Esther 10 — Throughout the Bible, God places His people in prominent positions of influence without them having to compromise their obedience to God. In fact, it is because they refused to compromise that they were so useable by God.

Psalm 28:3 – Do not drag me off with the wicked, with the workers of evil, who speak peace with their neighbors
while evil is in their hearts.

You cannot tell what is really in a person’s hearts simply by what they say. People disguise selfishness with pleasing words. People also disguise pain with happy words, fear with confident words, and guilt with prideful, self-righteous words. None of us know the heart of another person – God does. Our commanded response to all is to offer the message of reconciliation.

Psalm 28:8, 9 – The Lord is the strength of his people; he is the saving refuge of his anointed. Oh, save your people and bless your heritage! Be their shepherd and carry them forever.

God wants you to learn to rely solely on Him in complete confidence and have fullness of peace and joy in Him. Christians are God’s anointed and His heritage. 1 John says, “But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge…. But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie — just as it has taught you, abide in him.” (1 John 2:20, 27) Revelation 21 says, “The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.” (Revelation 21:7) “For the Lord will not forsake his people; he will not abandon his heritage.” (Psalm 94:14) The Lord Himself is your strength, your shield and your rock; call on Him, trust in Him, and give Him thanks. (Psalm 28:1, 7) He will never abandon you.

Proverbs 11:11 – By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is overthrown.

As the church goes, so goes the nation. Our nation will be blessed if God’s people proclaim the Gospel clearly and communicate His truths boldly within the public discourse as the conscience of the nation. If the wicked are louder and more influential than God’s people, our nation will not endure it.

Proverbs 11:18 — …but one who sows righteousness gets a sure reward.

There are many ways to invest our lives, but none offers greater reward than devoting ourselves to the pursuit of righteousness. Every area of our lives should reflect the holiness of God that is ours by salvation: our thoughts, so that nothing we think about would be inappropriate for a child of God; our actions, so that our lives demonstrate that we serve a holy God; our integrity, so that we are above reproach in all our relationships. Are you taking God’s righteousness in your life for granted? Righteousness is something you must allow the Holy Spirit to work in your life. Instead of sowing holy thoughts, are you allowing evil and sinful thoughts to grow in your mind? Are you allowing lust to grow unchecked within you? Does enmity, bitterness, jealousy, or unforgiveness remain in your life? Jesus said if we seek first God and His righteousness, everything else will follow (Matt. 6:33). There is great reward in sowing righteousness. What are you presently doing to plant holiness in your life? (1 Pet. 1:15). How are you putting righteousness in your mind so that your thoughts are holy? How are you cultivating righteousness in your relationships so that you maintain your integrity? Are you instilling righteousness in your activities so that your life is above reproach? If you want to harvest righteousness in your life tomorrow, you must plant seeds of righteousness today.” (Henry T. Blackaby)

Proverbs 11:24-26 – One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. The people curse him who holds back grain, but a blessing is on the head of him who sells it.

God expects you to treat others the way you want to be treated by Him. The way we treat others reveals what we really believe about God and how much we truly value our salvation. Jesus said that love comes most from those who feel most forgiven. (Luke 7:47) Jesus also said that grace received demands grace given – “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:14, 15) When we truly understand the magnitude of the mercy, grace, and love we have received from God at the tremendous price of His Son, it becomes inconceivable for us to offer anything but the same to others. If we are demanding to receive justice from others, we have lost sight of our own guiltiness that was covered over with the blood of the Savior. When we treat others poorly, it is a clear sign that Jesus is not big enough (glorified) in our lives. When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, he actually responded with, not one commandment but two: “He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.’” (Matthew 22:37-40) Why two? Because they are inseparable – the second proves the first, and the second depends on the first. Your love for God is revealed most clearly through your relationships.

“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 11 March 2023: Today, rest in the sufficiency of God’s grace, and give Him all the glory. Trust God with both your successes and failures, and be further conformed to the character of Christ.

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