Archive for the ‘Week 4’ Category

WEEK 4, Day 1
June 10, 2009

WHAT’S THE ANSWER?

The Jews of Persia understood that their current problems were directly associated with their disobedience to God.  They had fallen so far away from the Lord that they were hardly distinguishable from the pagan culture.  God still loves them, but is allowing them to get to a place where only HIS hand can deliver them from their death sentence.  The extent of their grieving would show the true condition of their hearts, and their desire to turn back to Him.   

WHAT’S THE POINT?

On page 84, Beth uses Joel 2:12 to show that God wants them to rend their hearts, not just their garments.  To rend means to ‘tear with a great force.’  He was calling them to serious life change, from the inside out.  Pleasing God needed to be more important to them than anything else.  Is there someone in my life that I am trying to please more than God?  What do I need to rend?

WEEK 4, Day 2
June 9, 2009

WHAT’S THE ANSWER?

Day 2 is about Mordecai refusing Esther’s change of clothing.  She was figuratively trying to cover up the ugly truth.  Bottom of page 89, Beth asks how we try to cover up the truth.  The “garment” can become a burden like when Christians believe that looking good is all that matters and that truth shouldn’t be spoken if someone might not like it.  This can be a burden to achieving transparent relationships.

WHAT’S THE POINT?

She usually waits ’til the last page to get to the awesome point.  Bottom of page 90 reads “that which shatters our superficiality . . . frees us to walk with dignity and might to our destinies.”  We all want to be strong women like Esther was.  But, insincerity (whether it’s with ourselves, others, or our God) is weakness and keeps us from the life we really want.

WEEK 4, Day 3
June 8, 2009

WHAT’S THE ANSWER?

For 5 years, Esther’s priorities were probably pretty superficial – what necklace to wear – what fancy-pants meal to prepare, etc.  The moment she was confronted with the horrible edict to destroy the Jews, her priorities had to change.  She seemed to deny this when she wanted Mordecai to stop mourning.  We too get caught up in the superficial until something serious happens around us or to us then we have to shift our way of thinking.  The difficult question, I think, is on p. 92 when Beth asks the circumstances of our own priority dilemma.  An example is how I cared so much about my waist size and matching outfits until I had a newborn who wouldn’t eat and was quickly losing weight.  I didn’t even think about my own needs for a long time.  (until a friend told me to do something with myself because I looked so bad).

WHAT’S THE POINT?

Beth is so insightful regarding the nature of women.  When we have our eyes on the things of this world instead of on God, the trivial appears to be life-threatening.  “The more detached and self-absorbed we become, the more we mistake annoyances for agonies.”  I do that!  Especially when I’m stressed and imbalanced hormonally, I will catastrophize inconveniences. 

Switchfoot sings a song called “Awakening” that says “I want to live like I know what I’m leaving”.  In other words, look at the things that are stressing you out and ask yourself if they are of eternal value or something you will just be leaving behind anyway.

WEEK 4, Day 4
June 7, 2009

WHAT’S THE ANSWER?

REALLY difficult chart to fill out on pp. 96 and 97!!  But, the point is well worth your time. I would like to make it easier for you, though.  First of all the point of all these passages is to understand how literally you are the daughter of the King of Kings and how much that matters.

I’m not going to tell you whether to apply it literally or not, this is something you have to challenge yourself to do.

Matthew 11:11 Although John was considered the greatest prophet, he was still less than any future believer.  The Kingdom of God is in our hearts (if we have surrendered our lives to Jesus) because of the power of the Holy Spirit.  On God’s eternal scale, this bumps us up to royal priesthood.

Matthew 13:11-12 I have spiritual knowledge that others don’t have.

Luke 17:20-21 The Kingdom of God can’t be found by obeying rules because it is the power of the Holy Spirit in your heart.

1 Corinthians 4:20 The Kingdom of God isn’t found in talking about scripture but in the change that comes when the Spirit gives supernatural power to do what only God can do.

1 Peter 2:9 I am called out of spiritual darkness to be holy, chosen, and belonging to God.  God has already done this for me in Christ Jesus.

Revelation 1:6 I am loved by God and free from sin!

Revelation 5:9-10 We are a kingdom of priests (holy and with direct access to our Holy God).   And we will literally reign and rule over the earth during the millenium (over people born during the millenium who are not yet believers). 

WHAT’S THE POINT?

This heavenly perspective can help us adjust our priorities and give us the confidence to be strong women.  Whether you believer it or not, princess, God literally sees you has royal.  More so even than Queen Esther because we have the Kingdom of God in our hearts.

WEEK 4, Day 5
June 5, 2009

WHAT’S THE ANSWER?

On p.105, Beth calls Esther “double-minded” but she doesn’t really explain the term.  It comes from James 1:8 which says a man who doubts God is double-minded and unstable in all his ways.  Esther wanted to doubt God.  Hadassah (Esther’s Hebrew name) wanted to risk her life for her faith.  So, the difficult question at the bottom of the page – What do the words “failure to decide” mean to you personally?”.  Sometimes God wants to bless us and use us but we drag our heals in deciding to change, to take a step of obedience, or to let something go (like Steven Curtis Chapman sings, “You gotta let is go”).

WHAT’S THE POINT?

You see yourself as a righteous, God-seeker and you also see yourself as weak or rebellious.  In the blanks on page 105, I wrote “Maria the righteous” and also “Maria the rebellious”.  The point is to pray right now and decide to act according to the real you, the righteous daughter of God.  So, I base all my decisions on the righteous Maria that I really want to be and I don’t base my decisions on how I feel.

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