Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Who do you look like?

Last night marked a momentous occasion -- my Bible Study group watched the last video session in Beth Moore's study of Esther. You can read through the worksheets from the video sessions here. Over tall glasses of ice-cold Crystal Lite, we discussed our favorite parts of the story and greatest lessons learned.

What an incredible story! Although God's name is never mentioned once in this ten chapter book of the Bible, His handiwork is seen throughout the entire narrative. My mind tends to contemplate the parts of the story that the Bible leaves out -- For example, when Mordecai asks for Esther's help to save the Jewish people, her first answer is "No way! That would mean risking my life to go before the king when I haven't been summoned." But just a few short verses, Esther is telling him to encourage the people to fast and pray for her before she goes before the king....I wonder, what kind of tossing and turning did she do to come to this conclusion? Who did she talk to? What made her decide that this was the right thing to do, despite the chance that she might be killed for it? How did God move in her heart?

Beth would use a phrase quite frequently from Esther 4:14 to help us apply this brave woman's story to our own lives. "God has place you in your sphere of influence for such a time as this!" What an incredible challenge to make sure that I am living up to what He has called me to do in my everyday life.

A quote used in last week's video session has stuck with me - I've thought about it many times in the past week. It's from Ray Stedmon's book, The Queen and I:

"When, because of your faith, your life too becomes perceptibly
different; when your reactions are quire opposite to what the situation
seems to call for and your activities can no longer be explained in terms of
your personality; that is when your neighborhood will sit
up and take notice.  In the eyes of the world, it is not our relationship
with Jesus Christ that counts; it is our resemblance to Him!"

Oh how I want to resemble Christ in all that I do - Growing up, I would love when people would tell me, "You look just like your mom" or "I can tell you're a Covey" or "You are your father's daughter." But how much more of a privilege for the world to look at me as say "You resemble Jesus." I love the story in Acts 4:13 where members of the council listened to all that Peter and John said, noticed their boldness, and "knew they had spent time with Jesus." What a challenge for Christians to be mirror images of Christ!

One of my favorite quotes from Corrie ten Boom challenges me each time I reflect on it,
"What have you done today that only a Christian would have done?"
What actions, attitudes or words of mine can set me apart as a follower of Christ? I want this to be my daily focus. I want to be bold like Esther, following what God tells me to do. And I want to resemble Christ to my sphere of influence!

Do you have a favorite lesson learned from the book of Esther? 

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