Summary: Story of Esther
August 18 Esther - unlikely Heroine
Thank people for reading Esther, ahead of the game. Next week Job 1,2 & 46
Story line - 1. Vashti disses King Xerxes 2. Esther wins beauty pageant
3. Uncle Mordecai foils assassination plot. 4. Haman has issues - buys off king for Holocaust heyday, 5. Captive Israel in Sackcloth and ashes
Key verses Esther 4:4-16 - esp. Vs 14 -end of 16 "If I die..."
Unpack meaning for today - recall Shadrack, etc. But if not...
Esther - how do we know that this time is the right time,
1 - God doesn’t give coincidences, Beauty contest - holocaust?
Esther favored because of her looks, God used that favor to save a nation
2 - godly people encourage you
3 - God didn’t close the door, Paul and Agabus,
Esther didn’t want to be the hero but she realized that God had opened the doors for her service.
4 - Is it in line with what I know to be true about God will it glorify him.
Don’t ask - Will it be easy? Giving by nature is not easy - it makes us like God
Don’t ask - Will it make me comfortable? Comfort kills -
Don’t ask - Will I succeed? that doesn’t matter - Faithfulness matter
Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do. Goethe
Resume Story line
Esther smooth talks the king, reveals Haman’s plot
Great story of irony with Haman and Mordecai
Jews were not only set free but allowed to attack their enemies.
Eph. 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Karen Bennet story
Feb. 3 1990, Karen Bennit and 5 of her friends moved from the suburbs to an old abandoned night club in one of the most dangerous areas in Atlanta. For the previous 6 months they had conducted services on the streets of the inner city for children. During those encounters God brought greater clarity the vision that he had birthed in Karen. During her college days, it was apparent to her that she should establish a unique ministry to the inner city children of Atlanta. Karen is a single white female, at the time she was 23. The emptiness she saw in the eyes of the children was something she could not ignore. They decided to take a chance. Because every once in a while you had to do that. She and her friends went to their landlords and handed their notice on the leases to their apartments. They couldn’t afford to have the leases to their nice apartments and have a church for the kids at the same time. They moved into a rented warehouse. It was 20 or 30 degrees outside as well as inside. They forgot to check to see if the heat worked before they moved in. It didn’t have heat, air conditioning, a toilet, sink or shower. They had to drive to Hardies to use the bathroom.
Karen and her staff worked in various places of employment. On payday they would deposit their checks into the ministry account and then take $20 a week for living expenses. On weekends they would go door to door on projects inviting children to their Sat. services. They made over 4000 personal visits every week. Over time they won the respect and trust of the parents in that community. That is how Metro Assembly got started. Today Karen and her 16 member staff minister to over 3000 children every week in different services. They sponsor a youth service that draws 200 teenagers. In 1994 they established a private school in the community. Tuition is 20$ a month. They have 125 student enrolled and 500 on the waiting list. But Karen and her staff have paid a price for their success. Metro Assembly has been broken into over 70 times. Several years ago Karen was mugged. 3 of her staff members were beaten up by teenagers who attended their services. Most of the windows on their bus have been shot out. 10 of the children who attended their first services have been murdered. The first funeral Karen performed was for one of her own staff members. Karen’s response to all this is that if you decide that what God has asked you to do with your life is too much for you and a little to inconvenient. Then you will never see the miracles he has for you.