Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Evening Devotion 6/30/10

“The LORD is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life - of whom shall I be afraid?”
Psalm 27:1

Blessed be the name of our Lord, our light and our salvation. Praise be the name of our God, the stronghold and the fortress of our lives...

What fear might we have when the power of our God is on our side? What shall we be afraid of when the same mighty Lord who delivered the children of Israel from the hands of Pharaoh, who tore down the mighty walls of Jericho and handed the land of Promise to the sons and daughters of Abraham and Isaac, stand by our side? What terrors shall claim authority over us when we look to the hope of the God who, for us and our salvation, sent His only Son to lead captivity captive and ransom us from the greatest spiritual imprisonment and bondage that could have claimed our hearts and our souls?

Yes, we live in a world of hurt and sorrow, a world where pain and sorrow come so near at hand. We see the chains that bind the prisoners and the hostages as slavery and persecution, oppression and subjugation come so near at hand. We see the darkness that comes from poverty and destitution as it rips the dignity from the lives of the people. It just seems as if there is so much to fear, there is so much to be afraid of, so much that should keep us awake at night, terrified of closing our eyes for the nightmares that may come in this world of sin and iniquity.

Yet when we grab hold of the promises that have been given to God we realize that, come what may, come what must the will of the Lord shall be done on earth as it is in heaven, and that, whatever this world may bring, we shall see our vindication either in this world or the next. It is a liberating force for our spirits and our souls that gives us the strength and the power to do more, to do what needs to be done, great and small, for the cause of the freedom of God’s people, for the cause of freedom for those who have been made to suffer in the grimmest of estates.

Cling therefore to the blessed assurances of strength and hope that come from the love that the Lord has for you and make manifest the grace that is the compassion of His Spirit, let that mercy guide you knowing there is nothing to fear in this life. Use then that courage to be a blessing in the lives of the poor and the downtrodden, the destitute and the weak, use it to fight for the freedom of the slaves and the hostages, using whatever gifts and blessings God has given you in Your life for the greater calling of the blessed miracle of His love, knowing that He shall forever and always stand with You through all the days of your life.

It shall be then that you shall know that your faith has its firmest foundation, built on the love and the promises, the hope and the assurances of a loving God who forever and always contends with the cause of His people, never failing or forsaking them regardless of what this world may seek to do.

Lord, grant this blessed faith, this wondrous hope, this divine miracle unto us all...

Let us pray:

O Lord, let us dwell in Your ever present grace,
Smile upon us, show unto us Your blessed face,
That life and love shall forever mark our place
As amidst this world we shall run the race
With Your divine nature to set our pace
That bondage shall no longer our souls to trace.

O Lord, let us abide in Your abundant love
Lift unto us Your face from above
That we may sing our songs and praises of
Your miracles that lift us like a dove
To the cause of Your blessed peace above
That we may seek Your freedom’s love.

O Lord, let us rest in Your divine liberty,
Set to flight all this world’s captivity,
Let all see the strength of Your ability
To set to flight all this day’s iniquity
As faith abides in all the hearts activity
That slavery shall never be our proclivity.

O Lord, let us give You blessed praise,
Let Your name be ours to forever raise,
Let Your Spirit set our souls ablaze
With the love of Christ our precious rays
That we may worship You in all our ways
Knowing that You shall forever guard our days.


Mid-Day Devotion 6/30/10

“The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name.”
Zechariah 14:9

We look and we see the temporal authority that asserts itself in the world. So often it just seems to baffle us, how the wicked rise to oppress the poor and the weak. Subjugation and slavery seem to come so near at hand as darkness strokes the faces of the innocent and life is held without worth or intrinsic value. The meaning that our Creator God assigns to it is wiped from the spirit as the heart is broken amidst the burdens that the back is made to carry.

We look to the promises of a merciful God, a loving God, one who promises His hand shall forever be raised for the deliverance of His people, one who has lifted His eyes to look upon the face of a slave race and who carried them from the most brutal captivity, we listen to the assurances of a blessed Savior, a wondrous Messiah, one who has assured us that He would lift the grim yoke of our burdens from us, one who ransomed us from sin, death and the Devil and we wonder to ourselves how could it be that they let this persist. Day by day we hear the names and we struggle to feel the plight of the hostages and the prisoners, the captives and the slaves knowing it is far beyond our meagre ability to understand. We feel the pain of the sick and the poor, the disenfranchised and the downtrodden and our hearts go out to them as we seek to uplift them even in these, their darkest days. Yet we cannot help but feel that nagging question in the back of our mind that asks why does God let this continue?

In a world of darkness and sin unrighteousness shall always rise up to rear its head. With its sting it shall forever bring death and destruction, hurt and hardship as it plagues the lives of the people in the most significant of ways that seeks to break the spirit and the soul. Yet, these days shall not stand forever. The promise of God is that there shall be a time when He shall rise up and lead all captivity captive, bringing an end to the sorrow and the pain that so destroys. Yes, these days may be long and the trials of it may be great, but even these things too shall come to pass amidst the hope offered to us by our God.

It then becomes ours, as those called to imitate God and the love that He has intended for us, to seek to create that same world that He so promises us in the Word of Scripture, knowing that though we may be imperfect in our sin, love covers a multitude of iniquities when given for the edification and the spiritual nourishment, the blessed freedom and the wondrous hope of our God.

Seek then the Kingdom of God, striving to uplift the poor and the downtrodden, the slaves and the captives amidst the love God has intended for us, knowing that it may still persist but that when we strive towards its destruction it shall never be given safe haven or sanctuary. It is then that we work towards a world that God has intended in the love and compassion, the grace and the mercy He has intended for us, one that only knows His blessed and Holy name.

Let us pray:

In mercy and grace guide Your children O Lord
Upon their lives no wickedness afford
Give unto them rest from death and the sword
That by Your light they shall find their chord
With songs of praise on their souls so poured
That by Your love they shall be forever adored.

In love and compassion guard Your brethren O Christ
Let not evil move through them that they may be enticed
By your grace let their strength be sufficed
That they may know that Your life was forever priced
As the atonement given through all that was sacrificed,
That bondage shall never the spirit shall heist.

In hope move Your People O Holy Ghost,
Let Yours be the strength on which they boast,
Uplift them, edify them O You Heavenly Host
That they may stand firm amidst this worldly post
And find the strength until they reach the heavenly coast,
The blessings of the Lord to lead them most.

We praise Your name blessed Three in One
We raise our songs to amidst Your blessed sun,
That even before our lives have begun
In divine purpose Your love has run
Through our souls and has forever spun
The grace that transcends our lives until the race is done.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Evening Devotion 6/29/10

“Pharaoh said, “I will let you go to offer sacrifices to the LORD your God in the desert, but you must not go very far. Now pray for me.’”
Exodus 8:28

Let us once more meditate on the abiding lessons of our deliverer God, who, in the most ancient of days, in the most abiding of struggles, lifted high the children of Israel to remove from them the strangle of Pharaoh.

There were few scenarios where the mighty king of Egypt would let the children of Israel have their freedom. Even as the first of the plagues befell him and his people he remained defiant. The hand of God stretched over his lands he would still refuse to let the slaves go. Even as he prepared to bargain it wasn’t much of one. He would keep them close. Close enough to raise his hand against, close enough that he could send his army against them once more, close enough that once the destruction that was now overtaking Egypt had passed he could once more bind the people with that brutal yoke of oppression.

Yet, when the face of wickedness rises and iniquity robs people of their freedom, of that liberty that the Lord endows all of His creation with their is no compromise, there are no deals to be bargained for, all that is left is to listen to the deep, abiding voice of the Lord and to obey.

This is the love that God has for His people, this is the hope that He offers unto them, that even as captivity and bondage come so near at hand the Lord is never content to just stop half way and call it enough. He is never willing to live with just half of a solution or to let His people dwell in a land or a place or a time when trouble will so quickly befall them as soon as their oppressors believe that God’s back is turned, no longer looking at what they are doing. He does not stop, He is not finished until finally He has moved in such a way as to bring them to the resting place of promise and hope that He has assured them of through His transcending, encompassing word.

Unto us it also offers a deeper understanding and a wondrous lesson. It tells to us that to live in the love and the compassion that God has intended for His people we need to push forward and run the race with endurance, we should be unwilling to compromise with the lives of the slaves and the hostages, struggling, pushing forward, whatever the cost, whatever the pain until the race is run and the struggle is finally behind us. We should be unwilling to stop until the cause of freedom and liberty is moved throughout this world and the scourge of slavery is finally set to flight in the most significant of ways as the lost and the hurt, the pained and the sorrow filled are given a lasting hope in the integrity God has assigned to their lives.

If we truly wish to be imitators of God, if we truly wish to be followers of our deliverer Jesus Christ this should be the transcending, encompassing love that forever guides our hearts throughout this life and in this life until we finally reach the blessed end of the challenges of this age and move towards the places God has intended for us to take His people.

Let us pray:

Unto you O Lord, unto you do we place all our trust, unto you do we give all of our hope and our faith is made manifest in our hearts and in our souls the encompassing, transcending blessings that you give unto us in your word. As we meditate on your promises, we will look to the deliverance that you have given in the past, we look to the deliverance you have given unto the saints and apostles, to the prophets and the kings, unto those slaves who are bound in the most brutal of iniquity, as the sting of the whip cut through their backs, and forced them to cry out in such bitter anguish. We look for the places of promise and rest you took those children to. We pray for the same miracle, we pray that you hold true to your promises O Lord to be besides those who need deliverance, to offer yourself to those who need mercy. Guide, protect, and love your children as you have told us you will. And there, in your time, in your way, bring them to the blessed air of freedom, to the encompassing mercy of your hope, as you guide them to those places, those pastures, those green fields of your love, where finally hope shall be restored to those who believe that only hopelessness has come into their lives. Dear Lord, set iniquity to flight, rise up and swallow it whole, let no compromise come but only the full blessings of your mercy. In the name of your Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the Kingdom, one God, world without end. Amen.

Mid-Day Devotion 6/29/10

Moses and Aaron Before Pharaoh, An Allegory of the Dinteville Family, Hans Holbein, 1537

“Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake. But Aaron's staff swallowed up their staffs.”
Exodus 7:12

Let us, for a moment, meditate on the miracles of the Lord and consider rightly the nature of God’s deliverance as the hands of evil are raised against His people.

Nothing was left to the children of Israel but faith... Faith in God, faith in the promise of deliverance, faith that the time would come when they would rise up against the hands of their slave masters and throw off the grim bondage of oppression and slavery and find hope had once more been restored to their lives.

Yet, for how long? As one generation passed to another and hundreds of years had passed the longing, burning question of their souls had to be how long? How long would they be left, how long would they be made to feel the sting of the whip, their backs breaking under the forced labor of being pushed without mercy or even pity? How long could they endure all they had been forced to endure?

It is here, with those questions amidst our hearts, that we see the miracle of Aaron’s staff.

Before the might of all of this world Moses and Aaron stood in the court of Pharaoh. Two lowly slaves against the power and the authority of an empire that made the world tremble as their armies marched like an unstoppable swarm. Two lowly slaves against the wisdom and the enlightenment of an empire that stood at the pinnacle of science and technology, knowledge and mysticism, marvelled at with awe on the lips of all whom it encountered. Yet, for all that it was it could not but be swallowed whole by the power of the living God of Abraham and Isaac.

This world’s might and authority, its wisdom and enlightenment throws down its rods and its staffs and, as it does, it surrounds our own with what seems like such a triumphant force, with such victorious numbers that it seems almost impossible for us to be able to survive its attack. Yet, the Lord of deliverance and the God of freedom, our Heavenly Father moves in the most significant of ways to set to flight the strength of this world and show unto us that it is all in vain if it is not guided by faith, love, compassion and mercy. Through Christ Jesus the sin that it brings is swallowed whole until finally there is nothing left except the lowly staff of a slave lying there, a slave ready to lead his people to the blessed air of liberty in the hope that only the Lord our God can bring.

This is why, as we look to the captivity and bondage of this world we must look to the hand of God for deliverance. It perhaps starts with the smallest of miracles but it becomes the most consuming of loves that He shows for those who languish in the deepest of struggles and He magnifies His love and His light in the lives of His people.

Look then to the staff of the Lord, look to that which He throws down in the fight against sin and iniquity and know that it shall always and forever claim the authority and the might regardless of the power and the strength that this world may show. It is then that our trust has the firmest of foundations and the greatest of optimism as we know that our deliverance and the deliverance of the enslaved and the imprisoned is coming.

Let us pray:

The strength of our heart is the faith that we abide in as we look to O Lord...

The courage of our soul is the love that we dwell in as we hear You O Lord...

Unto You do we place all of our hope, unto You do we give all of our trust as we look to the abiding hope of Your transcending, encompassing promises, those blessed assurances of Your wondrous Word. Show unto us the mercy of Your hand and the compassion of Your heart as we seek and implore Your grace in the lives of Your people.

As You have freed the Asian Glory, bringing that crew once more to the hope of Your freedom after their five months of captivity, show that grace unto the 2 German aid workers taken in Darfur, the British aid worker in Chad, and the 19 crew members of the Golden Blessing, all now in the grim estate of dark bondage. Rise up Your head like in those ancient days and show forth Your love in the lives of Your people, swallowing whole the bitter bondage and the brutal slavery that so encompasses the lives of these people. Pour forth Your blessings in their lives and let not their days be marked with darkness, move through them and in them to bring them to the deeper assurances of Your encompassing word as You guide and protect them, raising Your rod and Your staff for them.

Let all that rise against them be set to flight and let Your hope move through them and in them as You give forth the richest blessings in their lives in even these brutal days of hurt and hardship that so threaten to devour them.

Then shall songs of praise be lifted to Your Holy name as You give Your people the courage to rise above and the hope to make it through in the encompassing mercy of Your blessed name.

In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with You in the kingdom, one God, world without end, Amen.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Evening Devotion 6/7/10

“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me.”
John 10:28

When we stand in the promises of Christ, when we flee to the Lord for our blessed refuge and find our shelter in the power of the Holy Spirit, there is no safer place for us to be, nor is there a more secure hope in which we can rest amidst. In life it guides our way, in dead it is our wondrous peace and through all of our days it is the assurance of a transcending love that will deliver us from all that this temporal existence shall try to wage against us.

Where then do we place our confidence?

As we live in a world of bitter captivity and brutal bondage, where slavery and oppression, poverty and destitution come so near at hand amidst the lives of the people, where shall we find our optimism? As we live in a world where tyranny runs amuck, bringing chaos and darkness as it holds life to be cheap and without any intrinsic value, where shall we look to find our rescue and our release? Shall it be in the things of this world that so often fail us in our hour of need or shall it be in the promises of the divine which assure us of the wondrous blessings of a loving Heavenly Father who cares for us through all of our days and all of our struggles?

When we build our hope on Christ, when we lay our burdens at His feet we know the answer to that question. There is only one true deliverance, there is only one true hope and it is one that the child of God can never be snatched away from or pluck away amidst. It is the transcending, encompassing promise of our redemption and our vindication that comes from the hand of our God who shall forever contend with our cause.

Perhaps we may not always understand how it works or the way that it’s supposed to work out. There are times when our peace seems fleeting and the challenges lay before us. During these times we may look to the promises of God and wonder where they are. Yet, as we do, we can draw comfort and peace in the knowledge that they are still there, they are just there giving us the perseverance and the endurance we need to run the race amidst a world of sin and sorrow until we reach that glorious end unto our blessed life everlasting. It is then that we shall see the manifestation of all of God’s promises and all of Christ’s blessings as we are given to the glory of the Almighty and drawn close to Him for the complete healing of our spirit and our soul.

Trust not then in this world, but in God. Find Your hope in Him even in the deepest of struggles and the darkest of days, for through Christ we shall move steadfast in this world guided by that blessed light of our Lord as He moves in our lives and through our lives to carry us to the places we need to be that we may never be plucked from the promises of His blessed hope and His wondrous assurances.

Lord, grant this unto us all...

Let us pray:

In mercy manifested let Your face shine upon the lives of Your children O Lord, let the promises of Your Word and the miracles of Christ’s deliverance encompass them as it gives testimony to a loving God who shall always contend with the cause of His people.

In hopes divine revelation let Your hand be raised for the cause of Your people O Lord, let the assurances of Your Word and the works of Your Spirit move through them as it gives witness to a God who shall always stand steadfast that His people may be ransomed from the hand of wickedness...

In love’s miraculous stand let Your cause be the cause of Your redeemed O Lord, let the wonders of Your righteous move through the lives of those who find themselves in captivity and bondage, slavery and oppression that it shall show forth the compassion of a wondrous God who never lets evil triumph...

In glorious strength move through this world for Your creation O Lord, let the nations be amazed by the workings of Your hands as You uplift the cause of the persecuted and the imprisoned, the ransomed and the afflicted, that they shall behold Your workings and praise Your name forever...

In amazing grace show Yourself throughout the plights and the struggles that lay ahead O Lord, let us all marvel at the perseverance and the endurance that comes by You and through You as You move in the world for the sick and the afflicted, the poor and the destitute, and all whose life is full of woe and suffering...

In joyful psalm and glorious praise shall we then lift Your name on High O Lord, letting Your hope guide us, Your miracles strengthen us and Your wonders give us courage even amidst this lost and fallen world as we run the race to Your perfect end.

In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with You in the Kingdom, one God, world without end, Amen.

Mid-Day Devotion 6/7/10

“I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people.”
Leviticus 26:12

What a divine wonder... What a miraculous blessing... Our God, the living God of deliverance and mercy, revealed unto us in the love that He makes manifest in our lives, lives amongst us and walks amidst us. It is His faithful promise and His glorious devotion to us that He shall never fail us or forsake us, that wherever we shall go He shall be there beside us, following us, yet leading us in even the greatest of battles that this life has in store for us.

As we look to the assurances of God’s encompassing Word, to the life of Christ, our Lord and Savior, and to the works of the Spirit we know this to be the transcending, encompassing phenomenon of our Heavenly Father.

Look about you, and marvel in amazement at His creation, of all that He has formed with His hand and all that He has sustained in this world. Look to the intricacies of life and the sensations of this temporal existence, behold the care that He gives to the smallest of that which He has made and then consider for yourself how more He loves us, those that He wove together in His image with an intent towards the divine. Look to all that is there to behold and consider the miracles He has worked throughout this world to know the love and the compassion of His hand. Look to your own life and how you were lost in sin, and consider the ransom that He paid for your deliverance through the sacrifice of His only begotten Son.

How could we not find ourselves in awe of the blessings that come when we realize that we are His people and that He is always contending with our cause?

If this then is the mercy He makes manifest in our lives how much more confidence can we have that He is there amidst all captivity and bondage that occurs throughout this world? He has already shown Himself to be the God of freedom as He rescues His people from their every woe and struggle. How much more then does He do to rise up and show His face in the lives of those who are held in grim estate and bitter bondage throughout this world? How much more does He do when our cries go up for those who find themselves in such meagre places of darkness and woe as He holds steadfast to His promises to hear the cries of His people and answer the yearning of their spirits and their souls?

Look therefore to the promises of a loving God, of a wondrous Lord who has assured us of our ever step and draw your confidence and your courage from Him as He guides your way and makes straight your path. Lift your prayers to Him, intercede on behalf of those in any sort of need, and know that He shall answer those prayers in the deepest love and the transcending compassion of His encompassing mercy as He shows forth His grace in the lives of His people.

This is our God, the God who shall always walk beside us, declaring us to be His people as He moves through our lives and in our lives. Blessed be His Holy Name for that.

Let us pray:

Come thou O Lord and be our fount of every blessing, let Your light and Your love guide our way...

Come thou O Lord and be our freedom mounting as Your hope shall forever be our stay...

Whisper unto us Your promises, let us feel the Spirit move within our lives as we draw our comfort and our peace from Your steadfast devotion as we look to Your Word as our sacred trust and our blessed heritage, knowing You stand as the same God as You have always been through the course of the lives of Your people. Let then Your hope create in the lives of Your children a wondrous courage in even these the dark days of trial and tribulation that lay before them.

Throughout this temporal existence there is captivity and bondage that works such wickedness in the lives of Your people, there is slavery and oppression that dwells amidst an unrighteousness that runs so contrary to Your will. It moves and it weaves through the lives of the people in the most significant of ways as it causes them so much pain and suffering.

Move in the lives of all prisoners and hostages, all captives and slaves O Lord, work amidst their lives Your cure that they may find Your strength as they see Your blessed light and know that through it all and in it all You walk beside them. Shower them with the blessings of Your Holy Spirit that they may find courage and perseverance, endurance and strength even during these deepest of days of struggle that they face, all that they may be lead by Your hand to once more look upon the bright shining sun of Your freedom as liberty’s warmth encompasses their lives.

Then shall we rejoice in the wonders of Your workings as we see the blessings You bring forth in the lives of Your people as You answer every yearning, every cry with such a wondrous love that we could not have even imagined.

In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with You in the Kingdom, one God, world without end, Amen.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Evening Devotion 6/3/10

“The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.”
Proverbs 4:18

What is the path that we look to for our lives? Is it the road of least resistance that marks our days with ease and comfort as we look to ourselves and our own needs? Or is it a path of righteousness that guides us on a trek of spirit and the soul that we may look to the needs of others and offer of ourselves that they may journey with us to the place of God’s great comfort and richest blessings dwell?

In faith we have to ask ourselves that question as we consider the cause and the course of the direction we embark upon in this life. After all we live in a world where there are so many trials, so many challenges that rise to rob the innocence and the peace from the lives of others around us. Captivity and bondage come so easily as oppression and persecution, poverty and destitution, hatred and tyranny leave a scar on the face of our humanity. During these times we need to know if we are willing to give ourselves over completely to the Lord our God that we may, as imitators of Christ, uplift and edify our fellow man in their hour of deepest need and darkest tribulation. We need to know that we are willing to do all that we can to dawn a new day in their lives that will shine brightly as it casts the veil from their eyes to show them the glorious dawning of God’s love in their lives.

So often though it just seems as if there is too much...

There is too much pain and sorrow, too much hurt and hardship, too much despair and suffering as unrighteousness rises up to stroke us with a cold hand of death. During these times its hard to remain on the path of the Lord’s love as we find that our courage is fleeting and our virtue moves far from us.

These are the moments when we need to grasp all the more tightly to the promises of the Lord and to the wonders of His love given amidst the blessed assurances of His Word. After all He has paved our path and He has set the road ahead of us and, amidst that, He never fails us or forsakes us, He never abandons us even when we see the stumbling blocks in front of us. Instead He gives so freely to us according to His love and His mercy as it moves through our souls strengthening our spirits for the tasks and the journeys that lay there before us.

Trust therefore in the Lord and seek His path, seek the road of righteousness and hope in love for others, uplifting them and edifying them in all of their struggles and all of their plights. Make manifest the light of compassion and show forth the dawning of charity in your heart as you give yourself over to God and strive to live in His ways in service to others that You shall always travel down the path that He has for you. It is then that you will know you have been all that He has intended for you to be and that you have been guided and protected in the life that He has intended for you to live in love for your fellow man.

Lord, grant this unto us all...

Let us pray:

Show us O Lord unto Your path
And remove from us all thy wrath
Guide us forever in Your way
And let Your love be our stay
That we may in mercy unending
Offer ourselves to one another tending.

Show us O Lord unto Your road
And take from us captivity’s load
Guide us in the hope of Your Son
That we may this race today run
In the truth that abides in Your Word
That bondage shall soon be cured

Show us O Lord Your blessed hope
And take from us all of that which grope
At our life and our love with such pain
That upon us unrighteousness does rain
That we may find the care of the free
As Your love uplifts us steadfastly

Show us O Lord unto Your path
That from You liberty shall last
And captivity shall never hold
And Your truth shall be told
Amidst the places You do dwell
Where bondage shall forever fail.

Show us O Lord and we shall praise
With songs and anthems we will raise
In truth that we shall find in Your Son
As our weight is removed in our run
And truth becomes our glad refrain
Darkness ne’er to us take us again...


Mid-Day Devotion 6/3/10

Queen Esther, Betsy Porter, 2002

“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?”
Esther 4:14

There were few circumstances where Esther would have risen to the place and the esteem that she rose to. Had not the events around the royal court of Persia wove the way they had, had not they played out the way that they had, she would have faded into the background amidst the palpably obscure. Her name would have perhaps been soon forgotten with her passing from this world to the next. Yet, during a time of oppression when persecution came so near at hand, God needed a woman of strength and courage, of virtue and valour to carry out the protection of His people against a brutal captivity and a bitter slavery that would claim them as a race and as people.

If one were to ask Esther, she was not the person for the task. There had to be someone stronger, someone more courageous, more devoted in their faith than she was, someone who could take on the weight of the world and not feel it crush them underneath it. She was not the woman that He was looking for, she was not the woman who could deliver her people, and it seemed like a distant concept to her that she ever would be.

Yet, even when Esther didn’t have faith in herself, God had enough faith in her for the both of them. As He had with Moses and Joshua, as He had with David and Solomon, even with all of their flaws and faults, He would mold her into the leader that she needed to be, the leader that He needed for her to be.

And so it is with God...

When God calls on us to rise above situations and circumstances and to be the force for good, the force for His love in a lost and fallen world, He looks beyond who we think we are, the limitations and the restrictions we place on ourselves to the person that He knows we can be. He does so with a divine love that raises us above, uplifting us and making us the right people for the times and the state of affairs that He calls us to. He makes us better, stronger people than we ever hoped to be as His grace is made manifest in our lives and His love is made perfect in our hearts.

Looking to a world where there is captivity and bondage, slavery and genocide, oppression and persecution, poverty and destitution we must realize that though we are called in different ways, we are, as Esther was, still called to work towards an end of suffering and sorrow, to uplift and to edify others before the nations that the sacredness of that which God has created might be seen for the value and the worth that He assigned to it. We may not understand what God intends for us or what He wants us to do, but when we look to the throne of God and the plan that He has, we know that He shall reveal all to us and that He will make His love perfect in us.

Trust therefore in the Lord, never remain silent against injustice, work for the relief and the deliverance of those held in dark estate and know that God has placed you in this world at this time for a reason, for the betterment of others during these trying times of trial amidst this temporal existence. It is then that you will be given the courage and the faith, the hope and the virtue to be more than you ever thought possible as you strive for the cause of His love amidst the liberty that He has promised.

Lord, grant this unto us all....

Let us pray:

Work within us O Lord towards Your cure
That in Your love we may endure
Strengthen us in Your blessings pure
That we may reject the dark allure
And stand in You steadfast and sure.

Work within us O Lord to show Your way
Guard Your children amidst their stay
That in this world’s bitter array
As bondage throws them in the fray
We may see Your blessed dawning day.

Work within us O Lord to set us free
Protect Your people and let them be
The blessed creation to which we see
The manifestation of Your love ably
Moved against all captivity.

Work within us O Lord and we shall sing
Of the blessed Son of our mighty King
Who came in earthly form ransoming
Us that forever shall liberty ring
In the gentle love of Your tender moving.