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Doing the Hard things of God

The Fire Within & the Body Throughout

Esther

Daniel Cassels

October 12, 2014

1. IT’S NOT WHAT ___________ SEE BUT WHAT _______ SEES

“In the fortress of Susa, there was a Jewish man named Mordecai son of Jair, son of Shimei, son of Kish, a Benjaminite. He had been taken into exile from Jerusalem with the other captives when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon took King Jeconiah of Judah into exile. Mordecai was the legal guardian of his cousin Hadassah (that is, Esther), because she didn’t have a father or mother. The young woman had a beautiful figure and was extremely good-looking. When her father and mother died, Mordecai had adopted her as his own daughter.” Esther 2:5-7 (HCSB)

"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9 (HCSB)

"All those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, 'Abba, Father!'” Romans 8:14-15 (HCSB)

REFLECT

1. What are the things about yourself that you are most insecure about?

2. How are these things hindering you from doing what God wants you to do or being what God wants you to be?

RESPOND

1. Find someone you can be accountable with and ask that person to pray with you whenever you feel insecure.

2. Ask the Holy Spirit to constantly remind you of your identity in Christ whenever you feel like your insecurities are hindering you from achieving great things for Him.

2. _________ AND __________

"When the young women were assembled together for a second time, Mordecai was sitting at the King’s Gate. Esther still had not revealed her birthplace or her ethnic background, as Mordecai had directed. She obeyed Mordecai’s orders, as she always had while he raised her." Esther 2:19-20 (HCSB)

"Submit to every human authority because of the Lord, whether to the Emperor as the supreme authority or to governors as those sent out by him to punish those who do what is evil and to praise those who do what is good. For it is God’s will that you silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing good. As God’s slaves, live as free people, but don’t use your freedom as a way to conceal evil. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the Emperor." 1 Peter 2:13-17 (HCSB)

"Submit to every human authority because of the Lord, whether to the Emperor as the supreme authority or to governors as those sent out by him to punish those who do what is evil and to praise those who do what is good. For it is God’s will that you silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing good. As God’s slaves, live as free people, but don’t use your freedom as a way to conceal evil. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the Emperor." 1 Peter 2:13-17 (HCSB)

REFLECT

1. Are there people in your life that God has given authority over you that you are having a hard time obeying?

2. Have you allowed your accomplishments to cloud your understanding of the fact that it is God Who gives you the ability to be excellent in what you do?

RESPOND

1. Ask God to give you the grace to obey the authorities He has placed in your life even when it is hard or uncomfortable.

2. Take time to honor and thank the people who have given you sound advice and godly counsel in your time of need. Write a letter, send them a message, or even tell them in person.

3. __________ IS THE TIME TO ______________ OTHERS

“Esther spoke to Hathach and commanded him to tell Mordecai, ‘All the royal officials and the people of the royal provinces know that one law applies to every man or woman who approaches the king in the inner courtyard and who has not been summoned—the death penalty. Only if the king extends the gold scepter will that person live. I have not been summoned to appear before the king for the last 30 days.’ Esther’s response was reported to Mordecai. Mordecai told the messenger to reply to Esther, ‘Don’t think that you will escape the fate of all the Jews because you are in the king’s palace. If you keep silent at this time, liberation and deliverance will come to the Jewish people from another place, but you and your father’s house will be destroyed. Who knows, perhaps you have come to your royal position for such a time as this.” Esther 4:10-14 (HCSB)

"What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can his faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you don’t give them what the body needs, what good is it? In the same way faith, if it doesn’t have works, is dead by itself." James 2:14-17 (HCSB)

"For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 1:5-8 (HCSB)

"Little children, we must not love with word or speech, but with truth and action." 1 John 3:18 (HCSB)

REFLECT

1. Are there people in your sphere of influence who clearly are in desperate need to hear the gospel?

2. Are you being too comfortable with the fact that you are already saved that you have lost sight of the need to reach out to others as well?

RESPOND

1. Pray that God will stir in your heart a passion for the students in your campus and give you the boldness to share the Word.

2. List down the people you want to share the gospel to. Pray that God will prepare their hearts as He prepares you to speak to them about Him.

4. FOLLOW A _____________ STRATEGY ... _______ TO GOD!

"Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go and assemble all the Jews who can be found in Susa and fast for me. Don’t eat or drink for three days, day or night. I and my female servants will also fast in the same way. After that, I will go to the king even if it is against the law. If I perish, I perish.” So Mordecai went and did everything Esther had ordered him." Esther 4:15-17 (HCSB)

“So I say to you, keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you." Luke 11:9 (HCSB)

"Isn’t the fast I choose: To break the chains of wickedness, to untie the ropes of the yoke, to set the oppressed free, and to tear off every yoke?" Isaiah 58:6 (HCSB)

REFLECT

1. Have you spent more time strategizing and figuring things out on your own rather than communing with God and asking Him to reveal His plans to you?

2. What are ministry strategies you have come up with that you have not really inquired of God about?

RESPOND

1. Schedule a time for prayer and fasting.

2. Ask someone to cover you in prayer while you are fasting or encourage the people you are doing ministry with in your campus to join you.

5. MOVE WITH ____________________ WITH GOD

"On the third day, Esther dressed up in her royal clothing and stood in the inner courtyard of the palace facing it. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the royal courtroom, facing its entrance. As soon as the king saw Queen Esther standing in the courtyard, she won his approval. The king extended the gold scepter in his hand toward Esther, and she approached and touched the tip of the scepter." Esther 5:1-2 (HCSB)

REFLECT

1. What are things that are holding you back while doing ministry where God has you?

2. What are the things that you find hard to trust God with (i.e., His ability to prepare and change the hearts of the people you plan to share the gospel to, His ability to grant you favor from bosses, teachers, family, friends, etc.)?

RESPOND

1. Make a list of the things that God has specifically called you to do where He has you.

2. Pray that God will strengthen your faith and give you the boldness to carry out the things on your list.

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