Family Matters

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Today's reading: Esther 8:1-17

One of the things I like about the book of Esther is the up close and personal look at a number of different relationships it provides. And because God created us to be relational, taking time to consider the relationships in Esther—family, marriage, business/work, friendship—can give us insight to help us navigate the relationships in our own lives.

Family is prominent throughout Esther, but the message of caring for, protecting, and loving one another came across especially loud and clear for me today. Even though Esther was taken away from Mordecai and then elevated to the position of queen, she found a way to maintain their relationship despite the fact that she couldn't talk with him face-to-face. And the fact that Esther was queen didn't go to her head. Mordecai was precious to her, and she continued to look to him for counsel and advice, promoting him when the opportunity presented itself.

Likewise, Mordecai loved and treasured Esther. As a result, he was painstakingly diligent about keeping his relationship with her intact. Mordecai kept tabs on Esther and did whatever he could for her from outside the palace.

Thank you, God, for giving us the book of Esther and the picture it provides of a healthy family relationship where you are the foundation.

What did you notice from Esther 8 and prior chapters about family? What does Esther 1-8 (and really the Bible as a whole) show us about the importance of family to God, as well as His desire for us to love and care for one another? Tami

Made Right--On Time

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Today's reading: Esther 7:7-8:17

NOTE: It's always wise to keep in mind that what we're reading in Esther is an historical account from long ago. Her life took place in a very different place and culture and in a time where things operated nothing like our current world of today.

By the conclusion of Esther's second meal with the king, Haman's evil plot to kill the Jews is fully exposed and swift justice is rendered against Haman by order of King Ahasuerus. Haman is hung from the very gallows his pride had led him to build for the public execution of Mordecai.

The events of this day and what follows are quite amazing, with wrongs being righted in a relatively short time. Under the direction of Mordecai, a new edict is written that turns the tables for the Jews. They are no longer hunted but are now empowered to go on the offensive to protect and defend themselves and their families from anyone who intends to do them harm.

I am thankful for the reminder of how God is our righteous and just protector, because we can all lose sight of this fact and start to question God's goodness when bad things happen to us or things aren't made right in our desired time frame. Throughout the Bible, we are repeatedly shown that God will make things right—in His time. The challenge for us is to realize and fully accept that God's timing is almost always different from ours. That being the case, our course of action must be to continue to diligently pray and then trust that when God chooses to move, His timing is right—even if it's years down the road or beyond the years we have here on earth.

How might this account help you the next time you find yourself waiting on God's timing? What helps you stay positive and focused on God's goodness when things aren't going as planned or you're in a season of waiting? Tami

Today's reading: Psalm 116:12-19

As the psalmist concludes Psalm 116, he considers how he should respond to the love and goodness God has shown him.

"What shall I render to the LORD for all his benefits to me?" (vs. 12)

It's a good and appropriate question that we should ask ourselves and respond to often.

Take a few minutes today to consider this question posed by the psalmist. How will you respond, or what will you give back to the Lord for the benefits He has shown you? Tami

I Love Because

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Today's reading: Psalm 116:1-11

"I love the LORD, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because he inclined his ear to me. . ." (vs. 1-2)

As I read Psalm 116, my thoughts kept returning to the opening phrase "I love the Lord, because. . ." I spent a few minutes pondering my love for the Lord and how I would finish that statement.

I was also drawn to verses 6 and 7. Their message about being rescued from a low place and about how God deals bountifully with us resonated with me. You see, my husband and I experienced some unforeseen difficult circumstances six or so years ago. Like the psalmist, we were distressed. But through it all, God was right there with us. And although we didn't fully see it at the time, He was growing us spiritually in a huge way. As I write today, we are in a place (spiritually, physically, and emotionally) that I could never have imagined just a few years ago. All that to say, God has certainly "dealt bountifully" with us!

So here's where I landed for my "I love because" statement:

I love the Lord, because when I was low and feeling in despair, He never left me side. He supported, guided, and grew me. In His goodness, God has generously loved and cared for me.

It's your turn. What's your "I love because" statement? Take a few minutes and finish this statement: "I love you Lord, because _____________________________________________." Tami

Today's reading: Esther 7:1-6

Esther's "for such a time as this" moment has arrived, and with God as her protector and guide, Esther handles herself and the situation well. We're now to Esther's second meal and the final piece of her plan to reveal Haman's evil plot to King Ahasuerus and seek his favor and help. Showing wisdom beyond her years, Esther keeps her emotions in check as she humbly presents her request to the king, taking care to be accurate and factual with what she says. God's presence as well as His leading of Esther's every word and action are absolutely evident in this precarious situation.

How has God calmed your heart and guided you when you've faced a "mountain" situation? Is reaching out to God for His leading your default response when you encounter difficulty? What about when things are going well? Tami

About Me

Hi, my name is Tami Weissert, the P4 facilitator and the "voice" behind the blogs. I'm passionate about helping people grow spiritually and actively encourage Bible engagement through conference speaking and writing. I also served as co-host of the Back to the Bible radio program for over 8 years. A little about me. I'm married to Jeff, and we love scuba diving, playing with our 3 dachshunds and going to Husker football games. I also love growing orchids, singing and Diet Pepsi. I hope you'll join in the conversation as we read the Bible and grow together.

About My Blog

I'm passionate about engaging God's Word! And my blog is about just that--giving you opportunities to receive, reflect on and respond to Scripture. Each day you'll find a short passage as well as thoughts, challenges and application questions for you to think about and respond to. I look forward to interacting with you and learning together, so post comments as often as you'd like. You can even sign up to get the blogs delivered to your inbox each day!

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