Welcome to our worship series on the Book of Esther. If you've read through it already, you've been treated to some fascinating scenes. But you've probably also noticed what's missing: God. His name isn't mentioned. But that doesn't mean he isn't present on every page. God works in Esther not through his visible hand of miracle, but through his invisible hand of providence. Maybe you've felt like God is missing in your life, too. He isn’t. God is active and present in your life, just as he was in the life of Esther. Let the Spirit show you how.
Perhaps you know a parent or a coach who has spoken these words. Typically, they come after repeated reminders, calls to correction, and a failure to listen. This week we hear what happens when God says, "Enough is enough." On the one hand, it is absolutely terrifying, as it should be, but for those who are in Christ, it is his hand protecting and prospering his children. This weekend we are reminded that all things, even corrupt rulers, are under God's providence.
In Chapter 12 of Acts, you learn the truth: God does hear and does answer your prayers. But he may not answer the way you want him to. Things are happening in our world that are more real than anything you'll ever hear on any news broadcast. You don’t need the Bible to tell you what’s happening in our world, but let Dr. Luke tell you what's happening behind the scenes and inspire you how to react.
So often throughout the book of Acts we follow the accounts of the apostles and early named missionaries. Today, we see the Holy Spirit's work through everyday Christians who are unnamed, yet whom God uses to bring many into the kingdom. It isn't always the traveling missionary that God uses but often the displaced friend, family member, and co-worker. We do see how God then uses his appointed workers, Barnabas and Paul, but the work begins with unnamed missionaries like you.
...then I tells them what I told them.
Have you heard this formula for effective communication: "First, I tells them what I'm gonna tell them. Then I tells them. Then I tells them what I told them." In spite of the grammar, there are both benefits and risks to that formula. In Acts 11:1-18, the Apostle Peter “tells us what he told us” already in chapter 10. The benefit is worth the risk.