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GROWING IN CHRIST

"Look Around"

Date published: 04/10/2017
Esther 4:14b “Who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" (NIV)  (Mordecai speaking to Esther)      

   Human nature tends to lead most people to live their lives focused on self rather than what is around them. Queen Esther’s first response to Mordecai’s request to talk to King Xerxes about the upcoming Jewish annihilation focused on her safety rather than the protection of the Jewish people.  Hardship, opportunity, difficulty, vocation, friendly encounters, or pleasurable events are usually approached through self-interest rather than what God may desire to do. God’s involvement in your life is not just limited to you, but also to those around you. God’s purpose is not to meet your every need, but to use your circumstances as an opportunity to see God at work.  

   Mark 10:45 set the standard for how you should live, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many.” (NIV)  Just as Jesus lived to serve others, you should live to be used by God in the lives of others. God desires that your circle of activity not be centered on you but others. God wants you to be available to touch those around you. Your heart should not be inwardly focused, but outwardly attuned to what God is doing around you. If Esther had not changed her focus, not only would the Jews have experienced disaster, but she would have also missed experiencing God’s work through her. How much do you miss each day of the work that God desires to do through you? 

   God calls you to live a life that serves others regardless of your needs. Living this way will tax your faith in God. Romans 8:28 gives the underpinning for living life this way: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (NIV) Your ability to trust God – to have faith in Him – is strengthened by knowing that He is working for your good. Being available to God has the double benefit of blessing others as well as yourself.  

   You may not have a Mordecai to point out the opportunities that God is putting in your life; learn to live with an outward focus rather than being self-centered. Ask God each day to show you opportunities to be used by Him. Ask God to show the chances for ministry that you missed the day before. Be strong in faith, bold in trust, and overflowing with love as God uses you in the lives of others. 

1 Peter 1:7 “These have come so that your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (NIV) 

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Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience: “God’s Purpose For You” and “Knowing God’s Will.” 

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