Tuesday, July 5, 2011


So last week, I actually did a message for a youth group that I work with. I figured I should share the basic premise of the message since I haven't updated this thing in about 6 months.

I did a talk on Esther 4. The main thing I focused on was what Mordecai said to Esther in verses 13-14: "he sent back this answer: "Do not think that because you are in the king's house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. and who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"" In chapter 4, Mordecai was trying to convince Esther to go to talk to King Xerxes in order to convince him to stop Haman from hunting every single Jew down. Esther was apprehensive to go talk to the team. I don't say I blame her, considering there was a standing death sentence for whoever decided to walk into the court of the King without an invitation. The only way out would be the King extending his scepter towards whoever intruded on him.

When I read through this, recently, what Mordecai said really struck me differently than it ever did before. He was challenging. Mordecai was telling Esther that this is her chance to go and make an impact for God and His Kingdom. Sure, God could easily do it without her, but that doesn't mean that He doesn't want to do it without her. I can tell you right now that my life has been full of missed opportunities to make an impact for God's Kingdom. I still miss opportunities. Why? Well I'm scared, to be honest. That doesn't make that right at all. What do I have to be scared of anyways? Sure, people might talk down to me, and talk about me behind my back. But that's nothing compared to what Esther went through. She had to put her LIFE on the line, not just her reputation. So what's holding you back? What's keeping you from doing what God has called you to do?

The other thing I want to talk about concerning what Mordecai said is the fact that he was able to actually tell Esther the tough stuff. The Bible actually says that Mordecai had adopted Esther because her parents had both died already. On top of that, they were cousins. I can't even begin to imagine what was going through Mordecai's head as he was telling Esther to go potentially practically commit suicide. That must have been one of the hardest things he ever had to say, if not the hardest. What if we took the time to challenge our Christian friends who are struggling with something? You know, I have an accountability partner, and we challenge each other a lot. It's one way that we keep each other from just getting casual in our walk with God. Is there a specific person in your life that you feel that you need to keep accountable and that you need them to keep you accountable?

Mordecai was willing to say something so challenging that Esther did in fact change her mind. What if we were all like Mordecai to each other? What more could we all accomplish?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Life donation

So, the other day, I went to a Red Cross blood drive to donate some blood. It took about an hour of my time to do the whole process of checking in, reading the little booklet they have on donating, going through a screening test, and finally actually getting my blood drawn. By donating blood, I saved a life, maybe a few. But that is NOTHING compared to what Jesus did on the cross. Jesus didn't just donate a pint of blood so that one person's life could be saved, that kind of sacrifice is actually not that hard, it takes an hour, and it's fairly painless, and you get food afterwards. Jesus died, a gruesome and painful death not just so that a couple people could be saved from physical death, but so that millions upon millions of people could be saved from spiritual death and suffering. But like a blood donation, we must also take Jesus' life donation in order to truly be saved. He gave His life, but we have to actually accept it. It's like a blood transfusion. The donation is completely pointless unless the blood is actually put in the person's body. That's just a cool parallel that I wanted to share with you.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Trusting God

Do you worry? Are you constantly stressed out about what could go wrong in any given situation, whether it's financial, or someone's safety? It's really understandable, I tended to stress about tech situations back when I was on the tech team in youth group. See, that was my main responsibility almost every Wednesday night. Worrying is a natural thing; it comes with not knowing what is going to happen in your life. College students worry about their grades, most mothers worry about their kids; it's a very normal thing for most people.
             But Jesus says in Matthew 6:31-34 "31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
            Not knowing what lies ahead can be a scary concept, but at the same time, God knows exactly what plans he has in store for us, and He will always provide for us. So remember not to worry, because that would distract us from what we need to focus on currently. Remember, God's always with us and only wants the best for us!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

God's plans for your life

     Almost everybody, at one point or another, has put thought into what they wanted to do for their lives. Even kids 5 years old think about it, albeit, most want to be police officers, firefighters, astronauts, or movie stars, they've still thought that far into their future. I know for years that I wanted to have my career in computers, because I loved all that techie junk. That, however, was not God's plan for my life. He had much different plans for me, and I'm glad I was listening. Before I go on any further, I want to share Jeremiah 29:11 with you, which says, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"
     God always has the perfect plans for us, and His plans for me were to make me a youth pastor. I had waited until my graduating summer to actually hear that loud and clear from God, at which point, I had to change my plans very quickly from going to a life focused on getting a degree in computers to a life focused on getting my degree in youth ministry. And while changes in plans got a little hectic for a bit, God kept me calm through the whole thing, because I know for a fact that He has the perfect plan for me, and He also has perfect timing, so He told me I was going to be a youth pastor right when I needed to hear it, not a second early, or a second late.
     So let me leave you with a challenge: have you been listening to what God wants you to do with your life? Or are you dead set on a path that you want to be on?