Remember This Moment – Heaven Is Calling Lesson 8
Hello Everyone! Welcome to lesson 8 in the Bible Art Journaling Challenge series, Heaven Is Calling!
In my Scrapbook.com class, Inspired Faith (lesson 9), I taught on the same section of scripture that I want to touch on today.
Sometimes, we create in our Bible and later have more thoughts to add to the same topic. I often get questions about what to do when you’ve already added your creative illustrations to a Bible page, only to have more thoughts later and no space for them. I had a few ideas for this lesson but I thought this would be a great opportunity to show you
what I would do, to add more thoughts to a page that is already full. It’s simple really, I add an insert. And I am going to show you how I did that, as we talk about this lessons’ scripture.
I used my Single Column ESV Journaling Bible, for this lesson. The scripture for this challenge is Esther 4:13-16.
13 Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. 14 For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” 15 Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, 16 “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”
Remember this moment
In this lesson, we’re carrying on with the Heaven Is Calling series theme, of connecting with a good God. In this series, we’ve talked about our personal connection with God and so much other good stuff. But what about connecting with God’s goodness for the sake of others? Esther set aside her own desire to live, in order that she could potentially save her own people, the Jews. It was a brave thing for her to do. Let’s get into this video as I talk to you about it in more depth.
I have a feeling a lot of you are going to relate to this section of scripture and have thoughts to share on what it means to you. Be sure to comment below! I know we’d all love to hear how this scripture has impacted you and what it means in your own life.
I want to encourage you to take time with me to consider what we can do to make the world a better place because of our presence. When we accept Jesus into our life, we become a child of God! That means we’re the kid of the King of all kings! That means we have a responsibility to impact the world around us in a positive way.
The order of life
I find this hard to talk about in honesty. I personally think there has been a tendency for believers to actually stop caring for themselves properly, while trying to impact the world around them. It’s as if the belief is that by denying ourselves entirely and “taking up our cross”, we get to serve God in the highest form He desires from us. In reality, (and this is a harsh truth), we don’t actually need to take up a cross. Jesus died on the cross, so we wouldn’t have to! That is God’s goodness! He paid the price so we wouldn’t have to. That means, we get to lay everything down and consider it joy. It is a pleasure to give our lives for the sake of others finding Jesus more, when we come at it from a perspective of giving because we’re in love, not because it is required of us. In fact, God is capable of bringing others to do the jobs we don’t get around it. So, nothing is totally on our own shoulders. We are not God after all. It is not our own job to save the world. What we need to do, is fall in love with Jesus and then out of that place, we’ll find a healthier balance of working hard for the advancement of the Kingdom of God.
There is a concept taught in the wider church, that our priorities should look something like this (or a variation of it)…
Some put ministry above family and friends. Can you see what is missing there though? Self. The Bible is clear that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. So, how much do you love your neighbor? Have a look at how much you love yourself. It truly is impossible for us to impact the world around us to the degree we want, if we don’t also love ourselves. This does not by ANY means, mean that I believe we should become self-absorbed. I simply mean there needs to be balance where we take care of our body and not deprive ourselves of the joys that the world looks for as a sign of wanting to follow us to Jesus. Balance.
Second to this point, I want desperately to break the belief in the wider church, that ministry is God. What I mean is that too many people put it all in this order…
What ends up happening is that people are so busy serving God based on what they believe He wants, that they don’t make time for Him, or even the world around them in a proper way. Family and friends get pushed to the side and intimate connection with this good God, gets pushed aside in the good intention of serving His purposes. In reality, that breaks God’s heart. Big time. He didn’t create us so he could have servants. Actually, quite the opposite. John 15:15 says this…
“No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”
What God really wants is connection with us. How amazing is that?! The God of the entire universe created you and I and then has invited us to be His friend. We just need to take a breather and connect with God.
I believe this is what Esther did. She took time with God before acting. She fasted and prayed for 3 days and then acted in bravery because her connection with God gave her the strength to do so.
None of us get this right all of the time. But we have to check ourselves to break the habits of wrong thinking that leave us out of balance. In reality, I believe the list should look more like this…
You see, God refuels us in His pure goodness and when we love ourselves as we properly should, then we’ve got more than enough in the personal tank, to love our family and friends well… and then go on and do great exploits for His Kingdom. I am not suggesting we live selfishly. But what I am suggesting, is that we stop being afraid of loving on ourselves, in fear it may be a selfish thing. We’ll know the difference if we cross that line. But to not love ourselves, means we don’t believe God did a good enough job creating us, to bother looking after what He created. I realize there is plenty of tough debate about these topics in church life. I just want to encourage you to ask God afresh, what balance looks like for you personally.
Let’s ask ourselves what balance is needed to step into even greater exploits for God. To have the energy we need and the grace to step into everything before us. Let’s remember the moment in history, when Esther decided to bravely step into her calling and grounded it all in time spent connecting with her good God!
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! If you’re new here, we have lots of helpful people in our community who pop into the comments and share ideas and thoughts you may want to check out. If you’ve not seen lesson one yet, I encourage you to start at the beginning so we can go on a journey together in this free 12-part devotional series. It’s not too late to join in, (it never is!) and I’d rather you start anywhere, than not at all.
Bible journaling supplies featured today
As promised, here are the supplies I featured, in this lesson. I hope they help you find anything you may want to try out. All links will lead to my affiliate partners, Dayspring (DS), Scrapbook.com (SB), Amazon (AZ), Simon Says Stamp (SSS), and United Kingdom Suppliers (UK), with the exception of other links provided freely to support your process. These supplies are purely optional and you are free to participate with whatever you have, using the scripture for this lesson. Thanks for your support!
Join me in this Bible Art Journaling Challenge
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You are loved. x
*When indicated Scripture is from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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