Check out all the previous Esther readings here.
Esther Reading Plan | Week 6 | Day 5
As you come to spend time with Jesus, calm your mind and body until you feel fully present. Thank God that He loves you deeply and ask Him to open your ears to what He wants to say to you today.
Bible Reading: Acts 4:1-14
Read these verses three times slowly.
The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. They seized Peter and John and, because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand.
The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others of the high priest’s family.They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?”
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead,that this man stands before you healed. Jesus is
“‘the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the cornerstone.’
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.
Reflection & Questions
This week, we are reflecting on Mordecai’s call to Esther to courageously speak up on behalf of the Jews. Yesterday, we read about God’s call to Joshua to be strong and courageous. In today’s reading, we fast forward into the New Testament, and read of the courage of Peter and John to speak about Jesus even under the threat of persecution.
Their amazing courage to share the gospel stands out, even to their persecutors. Look what the religious leaders thought: “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”
Does our life demonstrate that same courage to share Jesus? Would our family, our friends, and our ONE, see that courage, even if they do not believe? May we, knowing what Jesus has done for us, not shrink back from standing up for Him, but be willing to risk our reputations that others might also come to know the One who changed our lives.
- Peter and John were unschooled, yet they stood up for Jesus. What excuses might we use why we “can’t” share about Jesus?
- Who is your ONE? Pray for an opportunity to share Jesus with them this week.
Pray in response to today’s reading.
You might use this song today to worship Jesus today:
Prepare to Meet with Jesus
Go to your quiet place. When there are no devices around that will distract you, take a deep breath. Blow it out slowly. Do that again. And do it one last time. Ask God for His help to read and understand.
Bible Reading: Esther 4:12-14
Read these verses three times slowly.
Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai. Then he sent back an answer. He said, “You live in the king’s palace. But don’t think that just because you are there you will be the only Jew who will escape. What if you don’t say anything at this time? Then help for the Jews will come from another place. . . . Who knows? It’s possible that you became queen for a time just like this.”
Reflection & Questions
Have you ever been at just the right place at just the right time for something great? One time my kids and I decided to go to a concert at the very last minute. We were not even sure we would still be able to buy tickets. We left really early just to make sure we got there in time. When we arrived, people were there setting up for the concert. We were able to buy tickets and then they told us that they had several special passes that would allow us to have dinner before the concert and see the band. We were in the right place at the right time. They just wanted to fill the dinner and they had these left. We did not pay extra or anything! It was a just right situation. Sometimes God uses those just right situations to work out His plan.
Mordecai reminded Esther that she was Jewish. The law Haman wrote was against her and her family. Just because she was in the palace did not mean she would get to stay. He was sure the king would find out she was Jewish too. He also told her that it was possible that God made her queen on purpose so that she could help save her people.
God always has a plan for our lives. Sometimes we find ourselves in just the right place to do some part of that plan. We have also learned that God works in even the hard things to do good. When we think about all of this, we can realize that God may have allowed a hard situation in our lives because He wants to use us to make a difference in that hard situation. We can serve God and make things better right where we are.
- Have you ever been in a just right situation for something special?
- Have you seen God use a “coincidence” to do something good?
- Think about your life right now. Are there any just-right things going on?
Thank God for His plan. Ask Him to show you what He wants you to do right where He put you. Ask Him to help you grow and become all that He wants you to be. Thank Him that He will!
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