Greetings Church family,
Be sure to check out Pastor Josh’s sermon from Esther chapter 2 if you missed it!
For today, consider Ephesians 4:17-24, as a supplement to Sunday’s sermon:
"So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed. (See Esther ch 1 & 2)
That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:17-24 NIV)
Cultural Compliance or Holy Defiance?
It’s time for some holy defiance.
It’s time to step out of line for the parties the world is throwing and the prizes the world is chasing.
Jesus offers something so much better! Oh to be free from the world’s system (aka King Xerxes!)
The Apostle Paul in the above verses makes it clear: The people of God are called to live distinct lives in the midst of an unbelieving culture. Not with a wagging judgmental finger in their face. But with the fragrance of a new life that has been set free from the prison of corruption, compliance, and compromise. Made new!
So today, Church… Put off the old. Put on the new. Walk out of the old. Walk in the new.
Consider where you may be in danger of Compliance: keeping one foot in the kingdom of this world while claiming to have both feet in the Kingdom of God.
Let us not forget the grace we’ve been shown even when we were living in compromise, nor deny the truth of the difference Jesus came to make in our lives. No matter how your story began or where it’s gone off the rails, Jesus came to rescue, redeem and lead you into a “new way of life”. Praise be to God!
What party are you in line for? What prize are you chasing? What do you need to put off? What do you need to put on?
Let me pray for you and us today…
“Father, use this series in the book of Esther to change our lives. Thank you for Your Word. Lead us today to walk with you in newness of life and to clearly see the places where we are in danger of compliance and compromise. Lord, help us value your Kingdom above all and seek to embody its values and character as Your Spirit changes our hearts and lives. Thank you for Jesus, whose love is so much better and beyond this world’s love and whose grace is being poured out upon us, even today. In His Name, amen.”