Active in Crisis

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Today's reading: Esther 4:1-17

Encountering and dealing with crisis is part of life. It's not enjoyable, but it happens. And when serious and unexpected circumstances present themselves, emotions and feelings like fear, uncertainty, anxiety and worry can consume and cripple us if we're not careful.

Mordecai and the Jews living in Persia are facing an extreme crisis--a literal death sentence as the result of the edict signed by King Ahasuerus at Haman's urging. At first glance the situation appears hopeless. But even though Mordecai is distressed--tearing his clothes, putting on sack cloth and crying out to God--he doesn't allow those things to consume him. Instead, Mordecai draws strength from God and pushes through this grave situation to take what action he can to help save his people.

How do you tend to respond when a crisis situation arises? Is it your habit to cry out to God and seek His guidance? What does Mordecai's example show us about being an active participant in God's plan? When we encounter difficulty, how does getting involved and looking for solutions to our situation positively impact our thinking and emotions? Tami

Weak Leading

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Today's reading: Esther 3:7-15

Haman's vengeful scheming against the Jews takes on structure and form as we move further into Esther 3. But it wasn't Haman's evil plan of annihilation that drew my attention today--it was King Ahasuerus and his poor example as a leader. The information Haman tells the king about the Jews is a lie. His suggestion to wipe out an entire race of people is absolutely horrific and evil. Yet, Ahasuerus doesn't ask even one searching follow-up question, nor do we see any objections from the king about taking such drastic, deadly action. Instead, Ahasuerus blindly accepts Haman's representation and then issues an edict approving the slaughter of every Jew residing in the kingdom.

Ahasuerus was not a good or responsible leader in this situation. His actions highlight a lack of care for those under his rule, that he wasn't fully engaged in his role as king, and that discernment was not an area of strength for him. This account certainly provides a valuable lesson on leadership, but from a "how not to lead" perspective.

What did you learn or notice about making decisions and leading from Ahasuerus? What does this account reveal about the importance of being cautious in choosing advisors, counselors and friends? Tami

Fueled

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Today's reading: Esther 3:1-6

After Esther is chosen as the new queen, King Ahasuerus elevates Haman, one of the members of the king's team of leaders, to be second in command over the kingdom. As part of Haman's promotion, the king issues the command that those in his service bow down and pay homage to (worship) Haman. As a Jew following the commands of God, Mordecai will not take part in this unlawful worship. When Haman becomes aware of Mordecai's actions (actually his inaction in refusing to worship him), he is furious. In this enraged state of mind, Haman's anger quickly turns to hatred and then to his vengefully seeking to destroy ALL the Jews residing in the kingdom.

Identify a time or situation when you were prideful. How did your pride influence your thinking and actions? What are some of the dangers of operating with a prideful attitude? What does Haman's example show us about the relationship between pride and anger? Tami

Mordecai

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Today's reading: Esther 2:5-11 and 19-23

One of the main characters in the Book of Esther 2 is Mordecai, a relative who stepped in to take care of and raise young Esther after the death of her parents. We'll learn more about Mordecai as we move further into Esther, but from the initial information we see in chapter 2, he certainly fits the bill of being what I would call a "good man" on pretty much every front. The details we are given, although they are few at this point, reveal quite a bit about this man. His example is one we can all strive to follow.

How would you describe Mordecai based on the details contained in Esther 2? What lesson(s) about family, adoption and/or parenting did you see from his example? What one thing stood out to you most about Mordecai, and why? Tami

Remarkable God

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Today's reading: Psalm 89:5-18

As part of recognizing who God is and praising Him, Ethan the Ezrahite spends quite a bit of time describing God--looking to Him as the Creator of all things and as a God who is powerful, mighty, faithful and just. I liked how this passage shows us Ethan's petition to God in a difficult time, but I also liked how it gives us a fairly detailed picture of God while pointing us to His greatness.

What are one or two things you learned or noticed about God from the psalmist's descriptive words in verses 5-18? What stood out to you the most about God from this psalm, and why? 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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