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JANUARY 29, 2023
”The Better Way”
Dr. Kevin Ueckert


Sermon Summary
When we want to make sure that our own plans come to fruition we can tend towards acting like we are in control. When stuff happens in our lives that is not according to our own plans we can tend towards acting like no one is in control. Because God is in control, working for the good of His people, we can choose a different path than acting like we are in control or acting like no one is in control. The story of Esther helps us see that better path, because God is in control. 

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THIS WEEK’S TEXT

Esther 2:19-3:15

 

Esther 2:19–3:15 (CSB): 19 When the virgins were gathered a second time, Mordecai was sitting at the King’s Gate. 20 Esther still did not reveal her family background or her ethnicity, as Mordecai had directed. She obeyed Mordecai’s orders, as she always had while he raised her.
21 During those days while Mordecai was sitting at the King’s Gate, Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs who guarded the entrance, became infuriated and planned to assassinate King Ahasuerus. 22 When Mordecai learned of the plot, he reported it to Queen Esther, and she told the king on Mordecai’s behalf. 23 When the report was investigated and verified, both men were hanged on the gallows. This event was recorded in the Historical Record in the king’s presence.

3 After all this took place, King Ahasuerus honored Haman, son of Hammedatha the Agagite. He promoted him in rank and gave him a higher position than all the other officials. 2 The entire royal staff at the King’s Gate bowed down and paid homage to Haman, because the king had commanded this to be done for him. But Mordecai would not bow down or pay homage. 3 The members of the royal staff at the King’s Gate asked Mordecai, “Why are you disobeying the king’s command?” 4 When they had warned him day after day and he still would not listen to them, they told Haman in order to see if Mordecai’s actions would be tolerated, since he had told them he was a Jew.
5 When Haman saw that Mordecai was not bowing down or paying him homage, he was filled with rage. 6 And when he learned of Mordecai’s ethnic identity, it seemed repugnant to Haman to do away with Mordecai alone. He planned to destroy all of Mordecai’s people, the Jews, throughout Ahasuerus’s kingdom.
7 In the first month, the month of Nisan, in King Ahasuerus’s twelfth year, the pur—that is, the lot—was cast before Haman for each day in each month, and it fell on the twelfth month, the month Adar. 8 Then Haman informed King Ahasuerus, “There is one ethnic group, scattered throughout the peoples in every province of your kingdom, keeping themselves separate. Their laws are different from everyone else’s and they do not obey the king’s laws. It is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them. 9 If the king approves, let an order be drawn up authorizing their destruction, and I will pay 375 tons of silver to the officials for deposit in the royal treasury.”
10 The king removed his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. 11 Then the king told Haman, “The money and people are given to you to do with as you see fit.”
12 The royal scribes were summoned on the thirteenth day of the first month, and the order was written exactly as Haman commanded. It was intended for the royal satraps, the governors of each of the provinces, and the officials of each ethnic group and written for each province in its own script and to each ethnic group in its own language. It was written in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed with the royal signet ring. 13 Letters were sent by couriers to each of the royal provinces telling the officials to destroy, kill, and annihilate all the Jewish people—young and old, women and children—and plunder their possessions on a single day, the thirteenth day of Adar, the twelfth month.
14 A copy of the text, issued as law throughout every province, was distributed to all the peoples so that they might get ready for that day. 15 The couriers left, spurred on by royal command, and the law was issued in the fortress of Susa. The king and Haman sat down to drink, while the city of Susa was in confusion.



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FOR YOU  |  FOR FAMILY  |  FOR SMALL GROUPS














READ

Proverbs 16:9, 16:33 and Proverbs 21:31
Psalm 33:10-11
Acts 5:34-39
James 1:22-25




CONSIDER

  • Since God is in control and working for your good, what needs to be your next right thing in work and/or your neighborhood? 
  • Since God is in control and working for your good, what needs to be your next right thing for your family? How can you take a step in the direction of kindling more friendship with your spouse? siblings? parents? kids?
  • Since God is in control and working for your good, Is there someone you need to forgive? Is there reconciliation that needs to happen with someone (inside/outside our church)? Have you asked the Lord who needs a phone call, a meal, some care and love through you?  What is your next right thing?




PRAY 

How has God revealed himself as worthy of praise in your life this week? 

 In what ways do you feel the Spirit leading you to confess?

What has God done in your life this week, small or big, that you can thank him for?

What worries and burdens are on you right now? Ask God to intervene for His glory and your good. 

Ask the Lord to show you how to trust His control over your own and for eyes to see a better picture than what we can naturally see with our own eyes. 





Do you have a story of God’s work in and through you? We would love to hear it!

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READ

Esther 2:19 - 3:15
Proverbs 3:5-6



CONSIDER

We have a constant opportunity to trust God with every part of our lives or do what we can to take control. We have seen in the book of Esther how God is in control. We also see leaders who act like that they are in control which leads them to more trouble. We must remember that we can trust God and His plan for us.

Since God is in control and working for your good...

What can you thank God for as a family?

What next step should you take in helping someone else trust God?

Why is it hard to trust the Lord sometimes?



PRAY

Pray aloud together as a family.  

Thank God for the things you listed in the first question.

Ask God to help you see what your step should be as a family.

Thank God for being good to us and ask Him to help do good for others.













READ




  CONSIDER

  1. Since God is in control and working for your good, what needs to be your next right thing as a part of this church family?
  2. Since God is in control and working for your good, what needs to be your next right thing in your marriage and family? How can you take a step in the direction of kindling more friendship with your spouse? What might be your next right thing for your family?
  3. Since God is in control and working for your good, what needs to be your next right thing in work and/or neighborhood? God is working in your neighbor’s/coworkers lives and he has placed you where you live, when you live, to help those around you to see the Lord. God is in control, so who might He be calling you to love, serve and invite to church, invite to follow Jesus as Lord and Savior. God is in control. What is your next right thing?
  4. Share some ideas and thoughts with your group and spend time praying together for our church, your marriages and families, your neighbors and coworkers, especially in regard to your next right things, because God is in control.

PRAY

What things discussed during your time together can you bring before the Lord in prayer? Along with your requests and petitions, be sure to ask the Lord for opportunities to share Jesus with others this week.