Posted by: pastortomvabeach | January 28, 2019

Thought For The Week February 3, 2019

Can you believe that it is already February? It won’t be long and we’ll be breaking out the shorts and flip flops again to try to stay cool. In the meantime a polar cold front is headed our way and we’ll need to seriously bundle up.

One of my favorite Christian leaders is Dr. Tony Evans, pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, TX, and president of The Urban Alternative, a national ministry that seeks to restore hope and transform lives through the proclamation and the application of the Word of God. Dr. Evans promotes the Kingdom of God and living by the Word of God. He is an author and speaker and writes a weekly devotional called Thursdays With Tony, which I receive each week by email. It is free and you can sign up for it on his website Click on “Freebies”.

A few weeks ago the devotional was about faith. It comes from the book of Esther. If you remember the story, Esther has been chosen as queen and one of the king’s “yes men”, Haman, had hatched a plot to have all the Jews killed on a certain day. Her uncle, Mordecai, sent her a request. asking that she go into the king (which was not customary) to attempt to stop this genocide. Her response was that to go into the king unannounced could mean her death. Dr. Evans picks up the narrative with the next two verses. Let me share his words:

“Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, ‘Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more than all the Jews. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?’ Esther 4:13-14

“Mordecai’s rebuke in Esther 4:13-14 shook Esther, reminding her of the reality she lived in rather than the façade she had come to believe was real. Her response indicated that she ‘got it.’ She understood what he was saying. Esther chose to take a risk in response to the need of those around her. Faith is risky business. It’s risky because you are dealing with something you cannot see. The opposite of faith is sight. If you can see it, it’s not faith. If you can know the outcome, it’s not faith. If you can see the destination during every turn and twist on the pathway, it’s not faith.

“Following a GPS that outlines the entire path you are driving clear to the arrival point is not faith. Faith; however, is acting on what you do not see. Faith is taking one step when it’s only one step you see simply because you believe God wants you to do it based on His Word. It is taking a step without being assured of the destination.

“Most of us don’t mind taking a step when we can guarantee the outcome. But risky faith isn’t based on that. Esther-faith isn’t based on that. The greater the uncertainty, the greater the faith and dependency on God.

“Esther made the decision to risk her life for the good of others. She specifically stated, If I perish, I perish. She knew her husband’s history. She knew he had a volatile spirit. She knew of Vashti’s banishment. She knew the risk involved in approaching him uninvited. Yet Mordecai had reminded her that her obedience was necessary. It was necessary not only to her own personal survival but for her people.

“Esther didn’t know if the king would hold out his scepter. But because she knew she’d been given a unique, royal opportunity for such a time as this to save her people from certain death, she chose to take that step of faith.

“All through the Bible, people had to take risky steps of faith whenever God wanted to do something big through them. It’s spiritual entrepreneurialism to take risks spiritually, based on acting on God’s Word and His leading, in order to invest in a greater spiritual future than what you have right then. Esther was a strategic spiritual entrepreneur. She knew what she was up against. That’s why she asked everyone to fast for three days and three nights. If she was going to risk her well-being on their behalf, she needed them invested as well.

“No war is ever won by one foot soldier. Esther was wise enough to realize this and seek spiritual support. She was wise enough to understand that her own selfishness could risk the lives around her at this time. She knew she needed to go before the heavenly King prior to approaching the earthly king and so she humbled herself enough to ask for others to help by praying and fasting with her.”

We are entering a time where risky faith will be necessary. It’s risky to step out and tell someone about Jesus, to ask someone if you can pray for them, to find ways to hang out with and love those who are still far from God. But the reward is worth the risk. Lives can be changed for eternity if we are willing to step out there and Make Jesus Known.

We are praying for a real revival in our church and for the lost to be found in our community. We are praying that God will explode our church with new growth, people who have found Jesus as their Savior for the first time. Dr. Evans said, “No war is ever won by one foot soldier.” That is true for this battle. We are storm troopers for our King, Jesus, and we need every soldier to show up and stand up. Will you make it a point to pray for the lost people you know regularly and to pray that our church, your church is bold enough to move in faith to Make Jesus Known? I know you will. Thank you!!

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