Esther is the only book of the Bible that does not mention God’s name. Don’t believe me, read Esther for yourself! Interestingly enough, there is no denying God’s presence in the book, and in Esther’s life. How do we know this? The life that Esther lived, the decisions she made, the way she carried herself, and her faith all reflected a God that she had a deep and personal relationship with. Her relationship with God was so infectious that those around her would surrender to Him, His will, and would pray with her even though they had never had a God Encounter.
If we were to respond simply out of natural impulses, we would probably be nice to others only when they were kind to us. At other times, though, we’d likely be vengeful, angry, or hurtful. Yet Jesus clearly teaches us to love even when those around us seem unlovable. And He lived out what He taught: Jesus Christ loved us enough to die on the cross for us while we were still sinners.
If you ask my dad to define love, he will laugh and say “Love is a feeling you feel when you feel you’re going to feel the feeling you’ve never felt before!” Merriam Webster defines love as “a strong or constant affection for a person. [An] attraction that includes sexual desire; the strong affection felt by people who have romantic relationship.” Love is Like, on a more intense level. Love, when done right, makes you feel happy, light and free. Love makes you want to show someone how you feel in more ways than one. Love doesn’t happen overnight but you will wake up one morning and realize that you have been falling in love with someone. Love is a gradual, slow and patient process. But it’s sooo worth it. Love is so important in our everyday world, that there are countless books, other than the Bible, that explains love. In Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages, he explores the different ways in which we can love someone, and the ways in which we receive, interpret and understand love. The five love languages are Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, Gifts of Love, Quality Time, and Physical Affection.
If you plant an orange seed, the tree will bear oranges. Likewise, if you plant an apple seed, the tree will bear apples. If you plant the Holy Spirit in your heart, your character will bear the Fruit of the Spirit. As Christians, we desire to have the Holy Spirit living and dwelling within us. We want The Holy Spirit’s transforming power to exist within and through us. What is the evidence that the Holy Spirit has taken a seat in our hearts? We begin to bear His fruits. Our reaction to stressful situations begin to change, we approach sticky situations with our “Jesus Glasses” on.
Uncle Ben’s 90 second rice, Cup of Noodle Soup, and Kraft Mac and Cheese, what do these foods all have in common? If you add water, or place in the microwave for a predetermined amount of time, you will have a meal. It’s not the most nutritious meal, but it will fill your belly and hopefully keep you satisfied until a better meal comes along. But how does this affect your overall physical health? It’s sodium, sugar and fat content is usually High, has minimal minerals and vitamins and if it’s your only form of nutrition, it can actually make you sick. How does this compare with our spiritual growth?
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