For Such a Time as This

“…And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom
for such a time as this?”
– Esther 4:14

The Book of Esther is filled with evidence of God’s sovereignty over everything. What that means is, God is in control over the things that happen. The interesting thing to make note of, is that the name of God is never mentioned in this book. His imprint and direction, however, are all over it.

The book takes place in the Persian Empire where some Israelites stayed even after the exile was over. In Chapter one, King Xerxes is throwing a party and asks the Queen to join him. She refuses, which displeases the King and he removes her as Queen. The King now needs a new Queen and he participates in the very first season of the Bachelor, Its true! Women are gathered from around the kingdom, but there is one who stands out among all the others: Esther. The King is pleased with Esther and makes her his new Queen.

Over the course of the book, the King is tricked into issuing a decree to kill all the Jews. Esther’s cousin, Mordecai, gets word of this decree and brings it to the attention of Esther, hoping that she can get the king’s attention and reverse the decree. It is during this discussion that Mordecai delivers his famous line, “…for such a time as this…” What he means is that this is the very reason she, a Jew, has been named Queen. God has placed her in this time and place to save her people. To make a long story short, she does speak with the King and the Jews are allowed to defend themselves and they are not destroyed. I encourage you to read the whole story this week.

Esther was in the right place at the right moment. God in His sovereignty had placed Esther as the Queen of a foreign nation. There are some amazing “just so happened” moments in this book, but what those moments really are is God’s control in action.  God in the same way has guided our lives and placed us in situations and areas where He wants us to be. The job you have, God has placed you in the lives of those co-workers. The neighborhood you live in, God has place you in the lives of the neighbors around you. Faith, God has placed you at Faith Fellowship to be useful to Him in ministry. When we start to look at our lives in this context we realize that God has a purpose for us. We want to see God work; well, He wants to use us in the places He has placed us. For me personally, I am a basketball coach. I know God has placed me with these teams for a deeper purpose than just basketball. I’m a bus driver for KidZone, and I know God has placed me there for a deeper purpose than just driving kids to and from school.

Do we see the deeper purpose in where God has placed us? For such a time as this God has placed us by His design and for His purpose.


I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise;
I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness for you have exalted above all things your name and your word. On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased.
All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O Lord, for they have heard the words of your mouth, and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord.
For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me.
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands.
– Psalm 138

Things I am thankful for: Kristi, Ava, Kenzie, family, friends, church family, good health, Reese’s Pieces, basketball, and worship music.

I know what you’re thinking: “Here comes a generic Thanksgiving devotional.” You would be correct, if that is what you were thinking. But I hope that we can really consider what it means to be thankful for what we have.

On Thursday, friends and families will gather around a table and enjoy the company of each other. This alone is a rare occurrence these days. Life gets so busy, and holidays provide an opportunity for life to slow down and for us to remember the things that are truly important in life. My list above probably looks like many lists that will be written or discussed over the next couple of days. I am so thankful for Kristi, Ava, Kenzie and my entire family. It is a great blessing from the Lord to have the family that I have. Along with that, the church family at Faith is amazing. To be walking and growing with you all in our faith over these 9 years has been such a blessing. To know that God hasn’t called me to a job but to His ministry at Faith humbles me as He uses me.

This brings me to the part you probably thought was missing from my list above: God. It is important to remember that He has brought all those people and things into my life. Words cannot express the thankfulness I have for God. The sin in my life causes a division between me and God. However, God, in His love for me and for the world, sent His Son to die a death that we all deserved. It is in that death that I find forgiveness and a restored relationship with God. With God at the center of my life, everything else falls in line and He helps me understand all the blessings I have.

When we gather around our tables on Thursday, think first about God’s love. The people and things of this world are great, but there is something greater than anything we can imagine. The Psalm above reminds us of what God did for us, is doing for us, and what He will do for us.

Three Friends

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” – Daniel 3:16-18

In preparation for our two-year series of preaching through the whole Bible, I have been studying my way through the Old Testament and thinking about the stories, people, and how God worked His message throughout every book. The Book of Daniel probably has two of the most popular stories in its pages, and I want to explore one of those today.

As Daniel begins, we find the nation of Judah captives in Babylon. Remember, Judah had failed to keep God’s commands, so He brings King Nebuchadnezzar and his army to Jerusalem, and Jerusalem and Judah become captives of King Nebuchadnezzar. Many Israelites are taken to Babylon and this is where the book begins.

In chapter three we get the account of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, three friends of Daniel. King Nebuchadnezzar has a huge golden image and has it placed within Babylon. Orders are given that as soon as the people hear music they are to stop what they’re doing and bow down and worship the idol. This is a problem for these three men; they serve the One True God and know that idol worship is forbidden. So, whenever the music plays and it’s time to bow down, they refuse and will not worship. This, as you can imagine, upsets the King and for punishment he has the three men thrown into a blazing furnace. But if you know the story you know that the three men are unharmed. The furnace is so hot that even the guards throwing the three men in are killed, yet Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego have no harm come upon them.

This is an amazing story of God’s protection and three men who were unwilling to compromise in their beliefs. Their response to the King is filled with confidence. They know that God is able to deliver them, but even if He doesn’t it won’t change what they believe. The men understand they could be killed but that doesn’t change anything for them. Church History is filled with believers who lost their lives because of the Truth. Even today believers around the world face death from their government or other powers. It is not to this same extent but we can face difficult times because of God’s truth, but like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, we need to be willing to take a stand even in difficult times.

God is Awesome

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
– The Doxology

I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
and I will glorify your name forever.
– Psalm 86:12

Have you ever been struck by the awesomeness of God? What I mean is, have you ever seen something, usually in creation, that just makes you stop and praise God? I can remember quite a few in my life that I want to share with you.

The first time I really remember seeing the stars in all their beauty was once when Kristi and I were driving from Iowa to Colorado during Spring Break. It was dark and I was resting in the backseat, while Kristi was driving. We were probably in Eastern Colorado or Nebraska at the time and it was very dark outside, with nothing to illuminate the sky except for the stars. I was amazed at what I saw. So many stars in the sky, an amount that I had never seen before. I was struck by the awesomeness of God in creation. All I could do was offer praise to the God that created it all.

Another time was when Ava came into the world. Holding my firstborn in my arms was a feeling I will never forget. Months were spent in preparation making sure we had everything we needed. But while holding Ava, all the preparation seemed useless. I was now a father to this new life, and God has given me the task of raising her and telling her about His greatness. Here was such an amazing gift from God and again it just made me stop and think about the awesomeness of God. Again, all praise was due to Him, the Creator of everything.

The Doxology above is an old Christian hymn that comes to my mind quite often in those moments when I am struck by how great God is. All I can do is praise the one from where all blessings come. One prayer I have is that I never get bored with the thought of God. That I will always be in praise to God, who has blessed me with more than I could ever imagine. David in Psalm 86 reminds us of this very thing, that we should praise God forever and with all our heart. He deserves all that and more; He is worthy of it all. Our God is awesome. Praise Him today, tomorrow, and forever.