Sunday, November 28, 2021

Esther, Week 8

This is week 8, we've got one more week after this one. Thanks for hanging in there with this study!


This week all happened between Esther's first and second banquets. The King can't sleep so he has the scrolls read aloud to him. He's reminded that Mordecai had saved his life and that nothing had been done to honor Mordecai for it. 

The next morning the King asks Haman how such a man should be honored. Haman thinks the King wants to honor him so he really lays it on thick! The man should be given some clothes the King has worn, be placed on a horse, paraded through the city while someone calls out "This is what the king does for the man he really wants to honor!" 

Then the King makes Haman do all these things for Mordecia! At this point, even Haman's wife says he can't win. Haman will fall to Mordecai. 

Queen Esther had the finally word last week. She asks the King to spare her life and her people. And she identifies Haman as the evil one who has it in for the for Jewish people!  

This week we'll see how the King responds and what will happen to Haman and the Jewish people!

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Sunday, November 21, 2021

Esther, Week 7


Last week, Esther caught the King's eye and invited him and Haman to a banquet. They drink wine and the King asked Esther what she wanted.  He offered up to half the kingdom.  All Esther requested was for the King and Haman to come to another banquet. 

Haman leaves the banquet feeling pretty good. He feels important to be asked to not one but two banquets of the Queen. One his way home, he passes Mordecai who again refuses to bow to Haman. So Haman goes home enraged. And, like so many of us, he gathers his friends and family to vent to them. He brags about the banquets and complains about Mordecai. Everything is going great but the sight of Mordecai ruins everything. His wife and friends recommend that he have a 75 foot gallows built so he can hang Mordecai.  Keep in mind that there is already a law that will annihilate, kill and destroy the Jews soon. 

Oh how many times have I done this? Everything is going great but 1 bad thing happens and the day is ruined. Haman reminds us to not let the negatives overtake the positives. 

This week, the story will start moving fast. Get ready!

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Sunday, November 14, 2021

Esther, Week 6


This week Mordecai found out about Haman's plan to kill the Jews. He asked Esther to speak to the King about the situation. Our rule following Esther is reluctant because if she approaches the King without being summoned they can be put to death.  And Esther knows what happened to Queen Vashti. 

So, Mordecai says to Esther "Don't imagine that because you are part of the King's household you will be the one Jew who will escape. If you keep quiet at this time, liberation and protection for the Jews will appear from another source, while you and your father's household perish. It may very well be that you have achieved  royal status for such a time as this!"

Remember that at this time only one other person in the palace know that Esther is a Jew. She will be found out and will be killed along with everyone else. This gets through to Esther. She asks Mordecai to have all the Jews fast and she will fast as well. Traditionally, fasting also includes praying. At the end of the fast Esther will go to the King and whatever happens, happens. 

Once again, Esther shows that she's beautiful and smart. She finds a way to get the King's attention without breaking the rules. She loiters in the hall across from the King until he sees her and invites her in. This week we'll see what Esther and the King decide to do. 

Mordecai's appeal to Esther is an often quoted verse - perhaps you were placed here for such a time as this.  Of course she has been placed here by God. And you are in where you are because God placed you there. God has appointments for us every day. We just need to be open to them and ready to show His love.

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Sunday, November 7, 2021

Esther, Week 5


This week Haman took his rage to King Ahasuerus. Haman told the King there was a people who did not follow the King's laws.  He also offered to pay for the destruction of these people. Without even asking who the people were, the King gives Haman the go ahead, handed over his signet ring, and told Haman to keep his money. 

The decree was sent out again in every language, just like the decree about wives honoring husbands, and was sealed with the King's signet ring. The ring represented the King's signature. Once again, the King has shown himself to be very suggestible, a go-a-longer. Not much of a leader, if you ask me. The decree went out in the first month and announced the destruction of the Jews in the twelfth month.  

Mordecai was devastated. As was custom, he dressed in sackcloth and walked through the city. He did not, however, enter the King's gate because it was illegal to enter the gate in sackcloth. I love our rule following Mordecai. 

As you might image, Jews across the kingdom were scared and upset. They cried out, dressed in sackcloth and put ashes on their faces.  Eleven months is a long time to wait be destroyed, killed and annihilated. But it's enough time for God to work!

Esther finds out that Mordecai is upset. She sends clothes out to him but he rejects then. Esther then summons one of the King's eunuchs, Hathach, and asks him to go to Mordecai and find out what's wrong. 

This week we'll find out how Esther reacts to the news of the decree.

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Sunday, October 31, 2021

Esther, Week 4


Esther is appointed Queen this week! The King loves her more than all the others.  He holds another banquet in her honor. Mordecai discovers a plan to kill the King and reveals it to Esther. Esther told the King in Mordecai's name - meaning that the King knows it was Mordecai that saved him. 

This week we also learned that Haman has been promoted and that people are to bow to him and pay homage to him. Mordecai refuses to do so. Haman is so enraged that he decides to kill not just Mordecai but all his people. The Jewish people. The people of the new Queen. 

Again this week we are seeing the impeccable character of both Esther and Mordecai. They both showed great integrity this week.  In them, we can learn to live a life of integrity as well. 

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Sunday, October 24, 2021

Esther, Week 3



Last week, we did finally meet Esther! But before we did, we were reminder that King Ahasuerus is easily manipulated by his attendants. Last week, they convinced him to throw Vashti out and make a law that husbands are in charge of their wives. At the start of chapter 2, the King 'remembers' what he did to Vashti. The connotation here is that he might be regretting his decision. Quickly, his attendants devise a plan to get a new queen. They are likely trying to move the King on to a new things and protect themselves. They surely would have died if Vashti had been able to return.  

Then we meet Esther and Mordecai. We find out that Esther is an orphan who has been taking in by Mordecai. The Bible says Esther was the daughter of Mordecai's uncle. He loves her as if she were his daughter. And we learn that Esther is beautiful. She is taken the palace to participate in the queen competition. Maybe think Bachelor? Hegai is in charge of all the women and Esther finds favor with him. Esther conceals the fact that she's Jewish at Mordecai's instruction.  

After a year, it's Esther's turn to see the King. She is permitted to take things with her but Hegai advises her what to take and she does as he says. We also learn that once Esther goes before the King that she can not go back unless he asks for her by name. 

Here's what we've learned about these people:

King Ahasuerus - easily manipulated and distracted; enjoys beautiful women

Mordecai - loving, loyal and smart

Esther - beautiful, personable, follows directions

Next week, we'll see how God uses these traits to His glory! Join me on Instagram & Facebook stories, Instagram Reels and YouTube each morning!

Have a great week!

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Esther, Week 2


We do not meet Esther in the first chapter of Esther. Instead we meet King Ahasuerus and Queen Vashti. The King has had a party and is drunk. He calls for Queen Vashti to come before him and the other men. He does not want her to come chat with them. He wants her to wear her crown and show off her beauty.  And probably do some lewd things but we don't really know that. Queen Vashti refuses (go girl!). The King's advisors keep him riled up about it. They tell the King that if people find out what Vashti did all the women will disrespect their husbands. They urge the King to make a royal order that there is now a law that can not be repealed that Queen Vashti be banished. The order went to every part of the kingdom and included that "every man be the master in his own household and speak according to the language of his people." The language of the woman would not even be spoken. 

So, right off the bat, I'm riled up.  These advisors are not leading the King well and he's being carried along with them. I'm proud that Queen Vashti was able to stand up for herself. I would love to know what happens to her. I'd like to think she leaves the area and is happy elsewhere but that doesn't seem to really happen in the Old Testament. 

This week, we'll meet Esther and get to know her. I can't wait! Join me on Instagram & Facebook stories, Instagram Reels and YouTube each morning!

Have a great week!

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Esther, Week 1

 I hope y'all enjoyed the study of Colossians as much as I did! I'm excited to start studying Esther!

Here's an overview of Esther

Because Esther is a story, a narrative, there wouldn't be many days where we can read a verse and directly apply it to our lives like in Colossians.  Instead we want to look at character. We'll look for God's character in the 'coincidences' and happenings. We'll look at what we can learn from Esther and Mordecia's characters.  What I love the most about Esther is how God is always at work and his loving kindness to allow us to be a part of His plan. 

Here's our plan for this week

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Have a great week!

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Colossians, Week 5

 Week 4 Recap

Paul instructed the Christians at Colossae to let the peace of God rule their hearts. He told them to do all things, words and deeds, in the name of God. Paul also gave some instructions on family relations - they should treat each other with respect. Finally, he instructed them to work as if for God and not for people. He also warned them that they might not have earthly rewards but their rewards will be in heaven. 

The problem with letting the peace of God rule our hearts is our need to control. We want to tell God what to do and when to do it and then we'll be at peace.  But true peace comes with letting God be in control. If we want to be imitators of Jesus in our words and our deeds, we have to be seeking Him and letting Him change our heart. When our heart is changed, our relationships change, especially our family relationships. Love and respect rule the day.  Paul's instruction to do all things as if you are doing them for Jesus. This changes our perspective on everything. Everything becomes an offering to Jesus. 

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Have a great week!

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Colossians, Week 4

 Week 3 Recap

Paul continued to warn against false teachers, reminding the church at Colossae to stay connected to "the head" - God. The false teachings included angel worship, added feasts and customs and aestheticism (physically harsh, no indulgence). Paul reminded them to keep our thoughts on things above.  He listed things they should put away, things to stay away from. Finally, Paul told them not to lie to one another and that Christ is all in all, He brings us together. 

Remember, keeping our mind on things about means remembering that the person in front of me is a child of God. Remember that we are reflecting Jesus to the world. We're not perfect. We're pursuing the things of God and He changes our hearts so that the things of the world -  sexual immorality, impurity, shameful passion, even desire, greed, anger, rage, malice, slander and abusive language - gets smaller and the fruits of the spirit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control- get larger. 

We need to remember that when we reflect Jesus to the world, we should look different from the world. We should be kind and speak the truth in love. 

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Have a great week!

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Colossians, Week 3

 Week 2 Recap 

Paul reminded the people of Colossae to be firmly rooted in Jesus and to be thankful for the gift of salvation. He warned them against adding to the gospel. He reminded them that Jesus was fully man and fully God.  And that Jesus paid the price for their sins and fulfilled the law. Because Jesus fulfilled the law they did not need to strictly adhere to the Old Testament feasts and festivals. All those things were a shadow of just, they pointed us to Jesus and but Jesus took care of all that for us!

We're going to finish Chapter 2 and jump into Chapter 3.

I'm posting on Instagram & Facebook stories, Instagram Reels and YouTube each morning!

Have a great week!

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Colossians, Week 2

 Happy Sunday, friends! I hope last week was good and the weekend was restful for you.

Last week we started reading Paul's letter to the church as Colossae. Paul opens with prayers for the church and it's growth that we can apply to our growth as well. Paul then goes on to establish Jesus's authority in what some believe is a poem.  Then Paul explains what he is to do - make Jesus known to the Gentiles! 

We'll dig in to chapter 2 this week. 

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Have a great week!

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Colossians, Week 1

Hey there, blog readers! 

1 million years ago, February 7 & 8, 2020. I attended IF: Gathering in the home of a dear friend.  On Saturday afternoon, I felt God leading me to start a daily devotional on Instagram.  The first few are me literally minutes after waking up talking about Exodus.  Eventually I started recording it the night before so my appearance wasn't quite so scary (although no promises here, sometimes I'm recording right before bed). Then I started posting them on Reels. 

During the summer, I felt God leading me to improve somethings. So here we are...

I've decided that we'll spend our next few weeks in Colossians. I did some research and wrote a very elemental overview. 

Here's our plan for Week 1

Each Monday, I'll post the verses for the week. Join along on Instagram @aimeebartis and share with your friends!

Here's the resources I used in my research

Ryrie Study Bible