Sunday, November 28, 2021, 11:02 pm | No Comments »

In the Bible, the book of Esther unfolds with a scene where King Xerxes of Persia has invited his nobles and officials to a banquet to display his splendor and power.

As the banquet continued, the King commanded that the queen be brought to him so that he could show off her beauty.

However, queen Vashti refused to go. The King then issued a decree that queen Vashti was to never again enter his presence, and her position should be given to someone else.

A search is made for beautiful girls so that a new queen could be found.

Esther, a beautiful Jewish girl in exile from Jerusalem ends up pleasing and winning the favor of the King and is made the next queen.

The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti [ Esther 2:17]

This blog post invites you to learn from the story of Esther.

Lessons from the Story of Esther 

Esther was a daughter of Mordecai’s uncle. Mordecai is a key character in the story of Esther since he adopted Esther and brought her up as his daughter when her parents died.

Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah, whom he had brought up because she had neither father nor mother. This young woman, who was also known as Esther, had a lovely figure and was beautiful. Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died [Esther 2:7]

As Esther’s story develops, we are introduced to Haman, a highly regarded royal official whom the king promoted above other officials.  The king had also commanded officers at his gate to kneel and bow in honor to Haman.

Due to his faith in God, Mordecai disobeyed the command to kneel before Haman. This resulted in a plot by Haman to destroy Mordecai. But that’s not all. After learning Mordecai was a Jew, Haman planned the destruction of the entire Jewish race.

On learning about Haman’s plot, Mordecai got so grieved and reached out to Esther, now the queen, and persuaded her to help.  

Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai:  

“Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” [4:15-16]


It was against the law to approach the king without being summoned BUT Esther decided to take that risky move. After three days of fasting, Esther approached the King, and found favor in his sight.

In a twist of events, Haman’s plot to hang Mordecai and destroy the Jewish community is discovered by the King who commanded that he be hanged on the pole he had set up to hang Mordecai. Esther and Mordecai then worked to have the decrees against the Jews overturned so that the Jews can fight for their lives and welfare. 

Here are some lessons we learn from that account.

#1. There’s power in prayer and fasting
 
According to the law, any man or woman who approached the king in the inner court without being summoned would be put to death unless the king extended the gold scepter to them and spares their lives.

…when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court that she found favor in his sight, and the king held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther went near and touched the top of the scepter. And the king said to her, “What do you wish, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given to you—up to half the kingdom!” [Esther 5:2-3]

Esther, together with her people, the Jews, prayed and fasted for her to find favor before the kind and it happened.

The fact that the King asked Esther to make her request became the start of a series powerful events that led to the Jewish race being saved from a royal decree signed to destroy them.


Prayer and fasting helps us tap into God’s ability to give us strength, courage and change circumstances that are against us.

#2. God favors those who please Him

It’s written in Proverbs 16:7 that, “When a man’s ways please the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.”

Esther took a step of faith that pleased God and He gave her favor in the sight of the king.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him [Hebrews 11:6] 

#3.  Faith is bold and courageous

Imagine you were Esther at the time? Would you have decided to face the King even with a law that could end your life?

Remember how God commanded Joshua to be strong and take courage when he took over after Moses?

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” [Joshua 1:9]

Sounds like Esther had to stand and be bold too. To speak on behalf of the Jews before the king, Esther had to take a bold step and be courageous.

And, we can truly learn from Esther’s step of faith—the value of being bold and courageous in faith.

….but the righteous are as bold as a lion [Proverbs 28:1]

God calls us bold and requires that we be bold and courageous to fulfill His purposes on earth. Most importantly, He is always there with us every step of the way.

Want to learn more about Faith in God? Contact us today at Westside Bible Chapel through our website contact form or Facebook page.


Friday, November 12, 2021, 01:35 pm | No Comments »

The Bible records faithful women who played significant and powerful roles. Scriptures honor their lives through the faith, boldness, and courage they demonstrated. Undoubtedly, there’s a lot we can learn from.

In this blog post, we invite you to learn and be inspired by the story of Ruth.

The Story of Ruth

Dedicated to an entire book of the Bible, the story of Ruth is captivating to read.

Elimelech, his wife, and two sons from Bethlehem, Judah, went to live in Moab for a while after their land suffered a famine.

While there, Elimelech died, and Naomi’s two sons married Moabite women.

This is where we meet Ruth and Orpah.

However, in about ten years, Ruth and Orpah became widows as Naomi’s two sons also died.

Soon, Naomi heard that God had provided for his people and decided to go back home.

According to scripture, Naomi told her daughters-in-law to go back to their homes and prayed for them to find homes with other husbands.

Now, this is where the difference between Ruth and Orpah sets in. While Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, Ruth decided to cling and stick with her.

But Ruth said: Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, And your God, my God. [Ruth 1:16]

Ruth was determined that only death would separate them (v17), so Naomi stopped urging her to go back.

Both Naomi and Ruth return to Bethlehem, where a hardworking Ruth finds herself working in a field belonging to Boaz. Afterward, Naomi went on to play a huge role in Boaz (her relative) marrying Ruth.

4 Powerful Lessons from the Story of Ruth

#1. Hope can arise even in devastating life situations

Both Naomi and Ruth lost their husbands in Moab. It’s a painful thing to lose a loved one. And, after they returned to Bethlehem, starting over was not easy for them.

So Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, “Please let me go to the field, and glean heads of grain after him in whose sight I may find favor.” [Ruth 2:2]

It’s important to note that Ruth, even in a new place, was confident to act out in faith and go find food for both of them.

Her taking a step of faith worked out well for her because Boaz treated her with favor and asked other people in the field to

She did let hopelessness and despair win.

The lesson: Even in situations that look and bring hopelessness, we should rise in faith towards a hopeful future.

#2. Our pasts cannot define us

The fact that Ruth was a Moabite already made her an outcast.

Moabites, a nation that resulted from an incestuous relationship between Lot and his oldest daughter, were a pagan nation and did not worship God. (Read Genesis 19)

Irrespective of her origin, Ruth pledged her loyalty to Naomi and her God (Your God will be my God). Now Naomi goes down in record in the genealogy of Jesus.  

Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him”. [Acts 10:34-35]

The Lesson: God will accept and use a person who chooses to believe in Him for His purposes.

#3. Sharing our faith can help create long-lasting and impactful relationships

It’s amazing to see the impactful result that Naomi’s faith in God had in Ruth.

After finding herself in the family of Naomi, Ruth learned about the God of Israel and decided to believe and worship Him. For her, there was no turning back about this decision. Her mind was made up.

The lesson: By sharing our faith with others, we get an opportunity to create deep and intimate relationships that help us fulfill our purpose and glorify God.

#4. The right decision is not always easy

It’s never easy to do the right thing. It must’ve been a difficult decision to make for Ruth to leave behind the life she knew in Moab.

Remember, Naomi had released Ruth to go back to her family and people.

She could have made an easy decision to go back as Orpah did.

But she stood her ground by deciding to go with Naomi and serve the God of Israel.

It was a sacrifice and a selfless act to leave her family and go with her mother-in-law to a new land and start anew.

The lesson: Sometimes, in our faith walk, we may have to make sacrifices, courageous and difficult decisions. With the Holy Spirit guiding and leading us, we can trust that the end results will be awesome, as we see in the case of Ruth.

No matter what situation of life we may be in, through the leading of the Holy Spirit, we can arise in courage, strength, empowerment, and boldness to fulfill our designed purpose in God.

 

Want to learn more about Faith in God? Contact us today at Westside Bible Chapel through our website contact form or Facebook page.


Monday, November 1, 2021, 03:27 am | No Comments »

Worship is an essential powerful part of a believers walk with God. We receive many benefits when we choose to worship God in faith, despite our feelings.

Worship:-

  • Acknowledges the presence of God
  • Brings victory
  • Deliverance from enemies
  • Strengthens our faith
  • Brings us close to God
  • Brings joy and satisfies the soul

God wants worshipers before workers; indeed the only acceptable workers are those who have learned the lost art of worship. – A. W. Tozer

In our last blog post, we started a 2-part series on easy ways we can apply to worship God daily.

(Check part 1 on our blog, under resources)

And, welcome to Part 2 where we’ll discuss a few more ways we can worship God.

#6. Worship through cheerful and generous giving

Giving is an act of worship to God. Through giving, we acknowledge that all we are and have is from God.

Giving, be it our time, gifts, and abilities is an invitation, a privilege, an honor and partnership with God to fulfil his purpose on earth.

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many (Mark 10:45)

When we give, we are following the example of God our Father who gave His son to come and die for our redemption. We are also following the example of Jesus who laid down and gave his life as a ransom for the world.

If we follow Christ, we must excel at giving. We are to be willing and cheerful givers as an expression of the love we have for Jesus.

#7. Obeying God

We express love to God and worship Him through obedience. Doing so shows that He is the Lord over our lives.

Obedience should always follow the reading of His word.

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. (1 John 5:2-3)

Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, and I shall keep it to the end.  Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law, Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart (Psalms 119:33-34)

I must take time to worship the One whose name I bear – Oswald Chambers

Remember the Bible says, we are to be both hearers and doers of the Word (James 1:22)

#8. Loving yourself and loving other people

Worship God by loving yourself as well as other people.

Loving one another makes us vessels that demonstrates God’s love to our spouses, children, parents, friends, coworkers, as well as strangers. 

Love others by volunteering or being a part community service events. Going on mission trips, praying for others, spending time with someone who needs it, doing nice things for them, and more.

#9. Confession and repentance

As believers, we have the privilege to confess our sins and receive forgiveness from God.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9)

However, sometimes confession of sins and repentance is difficult and results to shame and guilt.

Try to always confess your sins into your prayer time, or as soon as you are aware of them. You can also ask the Holy Spirit to reveal anything that doesn’t please Him.

#10. Walking in the Spirit 

Yielding to the Holy Spirit every day is a way to worship God.

In Galatians 5:16, the Word of God encourages us to Walk in the Spirit. This means, accepting to be led of, keep in step and bear fruit through the Holy Spirit.

Remember: God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:24)

What are some ways you do to worship God? Share with us in the comments section.

 

To learn more about worship, talk to us at Westside Bible Chapel. You can reach us through the contact form on our website or message us through our Facebook page.


Sunday, November 28, 2021, 11:02 pm | No Comments »

In the Bible, the book of Esther unfolds with a scene where King Xerxes of Persia has invited his nobles and officials to a banquet to display his splendor and power.

As the banquet continued, the King commanded that the queen be brought to him so that he could show off her beauty.

However, queen Vashti refused to go. The King then issued a decree that queen Vashti was to never again enter his presence, and her position should be given to someone else.

A search is made for beautiful girls so that a new queen could be found.

Esther, a beautiful Jewish girl in exile from Jerusalem ends up pleasing and winning the favor of the King and is made the next queen.

The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti [ Esther 2:17]

This blog post invites you to learn from the story of Esther.

Lessons from the Story of Esther 

Esther was a daughter of Mordecai’s uncle. Mordecai is a key character in the story of Esther since he adopted Esther and brought her up as his daughter when her parents died.

Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah, whom he had brought up because she had neither father nor mother. This young woman, who was also known as Esther, had a lovely figure and was beautiful. Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died [Esther 2:7]

As Esther’s story develops, we are introduced to Haman, a highly regarded royal official whom the king promoted above other officials.  The king had also commanded officers at his gate to kneel and bow in honor to Haman.

Due to his faith in God, Mordecai disobeyed the command to kneel before Haman. This resulted in a plot by Haman to destroy Mordecai. But that’s not all. After learning Mordecai was a Jew, Haman planned the destruction of the entire Jewish race.

On learning about Haman’s plot, Mordecai got so grieved and reached out to Esther, now the queen, and persuaded her to help.  

Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai:  

“Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” [4:15-16]


It was against the law to approach the king without being summoned BUT Esther decided to take that risky move. After three days of fasting, Esther approached the King, and found favor in his sight.

In a twist of events, Haman’s plot to hang Mordecai and destroy the Jewish community is discovered by the King who commanded that he be hanged on the pole he had set up to hang Mordecai. Esther and Mordecai then worked to have the decrees against the Jews overturned so that the Jews can fight for their lives and welfare. 

Here are some lessons we learn from that account.

#1. There’s power in prayer and fasting
 
According to the law, any man or woman who approached the king in the inner court without being summoned would be put to death unless the king extended the gold scepter to them and spares their lives.

…when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court that she found favor in his sight, and the king held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther went near and touched the top of the scepter. And the king said to her, “What do you wish, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given to you—up to half the kingdom!” [Esther 5:2-3]

Esther, together with her people, the Jews, prayed and fasted for her to find favor before the kind and it happened.

The fact that the King asked Esther to make her request became the start of a series powerful events that led to the Jewish race being saved from a royal decree signed to destroy them.


Prayer and fasting helps us tap into God’s ability to give us strength, courage and change circumstances that are against us.

#2. God favors those who please Him

It’s written in Proverbs 16:7 that, “When a man’s ways please the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.”

Esther took a step of faith that pleased God and He gave her favor in the sight of the king.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him [Hebrews 11:6] 

#3.  Faith is bold and courageous

Imagine you were Esther at the time? Would you have decided to face the King even with a law that could end your life?

Remember how God commanded Joshua to be strong and take courage when he took over after Moses?

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” [Joshua 1:9]

Sounds like Esther had to stand and be bold too. To speak on behalf of the Jews before the king, Esther had to take a bold step and be courageous.

And, we can truly learn from Esther’s step of faith—the value of being bold and courageous in faith.

….but the righteous are as bold as a lion [Proverbs 28:1]

God calls us bold and requires that we be bold and courageous to fulfill His purposes on earth. Most importantly, He is always there with us every step of the way.

Want to learn more about Faith in God? Contact us today at Westside Bible Chapel through our website contact form or Facebook page.


Friday, November 12, 2021, 01:35 pm | No Comments »

The Bible records faithful women who played significant and powerful roles. Scriptures honor their lives through the faith, boldness, and courage they demonstrated. Undoubtedly, there’s a lot we can learn from.

In this blog post, we invite you to learn and be inspired by the story of Ruth.

The Story of Ruth

Dedicated to an entire book of the Bible, the story of Ruth is captivating to read.

Elimelech, his wife, and two sons from Bethlehem, Judah, went to live in Moab for a while after their land suffered a famine.

While there, Elimelech died, and Naomi’s two sons married Moabite women.

This is where we meet Ruth and Orpah.

However, in about ten years, Ruth and Orpah became widows as Naomi’s two sons also died.

Soon, Naomi heard that God had provided for his people and decided to go back home.

According to scripture, Naomi told her daughters-in-law to go back to their homes and prayed for them to find homes with other husbands.

Now, this is where the difference between Ruth and Orpah sets in. While Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, Ruth decided to cling and stick with her.

But Ruth said: Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, And your God, my God. [Ruth 1:16]

Ruth was determined that only death would separate them (v17), so Naomi stopped urging her to go back.

Both Naomi and Ruth return to Bethlehem, where a hardworking Ruth finds herself working in a field belonging to Boaz. Afterward, Naomi went on to play a huge role in Boaz (her relative) marrying Ruth.

4 Powerful Lessons from the Story of Ruth

#1. Hope can arise even in devastating life situations

Both Naomi and Ruth lost their husbands in Moab. It’s a painful thing to lose a loved one. And, after they returned to Bethlehem, starting over was not easy for them.

So Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, “Please let me go to the field, and glean heads of grain after him in whose sight I may find favor.” [Ruth 2:2]

It’s important to note that Ruth, even in a new place, was confident to act out in faith and go find food for both of them.

Her taking a step of faith worked out well for her because Boaz treated her with favor and asked other people in the field to

She did let hopelessness and despair win.

The lesson: Even in situations that look and bring hopelessness, we should rise in faith towards a hopeful future.

#2. Our pasts cannot define us

The fact that Ruth was a Moabite already made her an outcast.

Moabites, a nation that resulted from an incestuous relationship between Lot and his oldest daughter, were a pagan nation and did not worship God. (Read Genesis 19)

Irrespective of her origin, Ruth pledged her loyalty to Naomi and her God (Your God will be my God). Now Naomi goes down in record in the genealogy of Jesus.  

Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him”. [Acts 10:34-35]

The Lesson: God will accept and use a person who chooses to believe in Him for His purposes.

#3. Sharing our faith can help create long-lasting and impactful relationships

It’s amazing to see the impactful result that Naomi’s faith in God had in Ruth.

After finding herself in the family of Naomi, Ruth learned about the God of Israel and decided to believe and worship Him. For her, there was no turning back about this decision. Her mind was made up.

The lesson: By sharing our faith with others, we get an opportunity to create deep and intimate relationships that help us fulfill our purpose and glorify God.

#4. The right decision is not always easy

It’s never easy to do the right thing. It must’ve been a difficult decision to make for Ruth to leave behind the life she knew in Moab.

Remember, Naomi had released Ruth to go back to her family and people.

She could have made an easy decision to go back as Orpah did.

But she stood her ground by deciding to go with Naomi and serve the God of Israel.

It was a sacrifice and a selfless act to leave her family and go with her mother-in-law to a new land and start anew.

The lesson: Sometimes, in our faith walk, we may have to make sacrifices, courageous and difficult decisions. With the Holy Spirit guiding and leading us, we can trust that the end results will be awesome, as we see in the case of Ruth.

No matter what situation of life we may be in, through the leading of the Holy Spirit, we can arise in courage, strength, empowerment, and boldness to fulfill our designed purpose in God.

 

Want to learn more about Faith in God? Contact us today at Westside Bible Chapel through our website contact form or Facebook page.


Monday, November 1, 2021, 03:27 am | No Comments »

Worship is an essential powerful part of a believers walk with God. We receive many benefits when we choose to worship God in faith, despite our feelings.

Worship:-

  • Acknowledges the presence of God
  • Brings victory
  • Deliverance from enemies
  • Strengthens our faith
  • Brings us close to God
  • Brings joy and satisfies the soul

God wants worshipers before workers; indeed the only acceptable workers are those who have learned the lost art of worship. – A. W. Tozer

In our last blog post, we started a 2-part series on easy ways we can apply to worship God daily.

(Check part 1 on our blog, under resources)

And, welcome to Part 2 where we’ll discuss a few more ways we can worship God.

#6. Worship through cheerful and generous giving

Giving is an act of worship to God. Through giving, we acknowledge that all we are and have is from God.

Giving, be it our time, gifts, and abilities is an invitation, a privilege, an honor and partnership with God to fulfil his purpose on earth.

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many (Mark 10:45)

When we give, we are following the example of God our Father who gave His son to come and die for our redemption. We are also following the example of Jesus who laid down and gave his life as a ransom for the world.

If we follow Christ, we must excel at giving. We are to be willing and cheerful givers as an expression of the love we have for Jesus.

#7. Obeying God

We express love to God and worship Him through obedience. Doing so shows that He is the Lord over our lives.

Obedience should always follow the reading of His word.

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. (1 John 5:2-3)

Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, and I shall keep it to the end.  Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law, Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart (Psalms 119:33-34)

I must take time to worship the One whose name I bear – Oswald Chambers

Remember the Bible says, we are to be both hearers and doers of the Word (James 1:22)

#8. Loving yourself and loving other people

Worship God by loving yourself as well as other people.

Loving one another makes us vessels that demonstrates God’s love to our spouses, children, parents, friends, coworkers, as well as strangers. 

Love others by volunteering or being a part community service events. Going on mission trips, praying for others, spending time with someone who needs it, doing nice things for them, and more.

#9. Confession and repentance

As believers, we have the privilege to confess our sins and receive forgiveness from God.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9)

However, sometimes confession of sins and repentance is difficult and results to shame and guilt.

Try to always confess your sins into your prayer time, or as soon as you are aware of them. You can also ask the Holy Spirit to reveal anything that doesn’t please Him.

#10. Walking in the Spirit 

Yielding to the Holy Spirit every day is a way to worship God.

In Galatians 5:16, the Word of God encourages us to Walk in the Spirit. This means, accepting to be led of, keep in step and bear fruit through the Holy Spirit.

Remember: God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:24)

What are some ways you do to worship God? Share with us in the comments section.

 

To learn more about worship, talk to us at Westside Bible Chapel. You can reach us through the contact form on our website or message us through our Facebook page.


Sunday, November 28, 2021, 11:02 pm | No Comments »

In the Bible, the book of Esther unfolds with a scene where King Xerxes of Persia has invited his nobles and officials to a banquet to display his splendor and power.

As the banquet continued, the King commanded that the queen be brought to him so that he could show off her beauty.

However, queen Vashti refused to go. The King then issued a decree that queen Vashti was to never again enter his presence, and her position should be given to someone else.

A search is made for beautiful girls so that a new queen could be found.

Esther, a beautiful Jewish girl in exile from Jerusalem ends up pleasing and winning the favor of the King and is made the next queen.

The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti [ Esther 2:17]

This blog post invites you to learn from the story of Esther.

Lessons from the Story of Esther 

Esther was a daughter of Mordecai’s uncle. Mordecai is a key character in the story of Esther since he adopted Esther and brought her up as his daughter when her parents died.

Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah, whom he had brought up because she had neither father nor mother. This young woman, who was also known as Esther, had a lovely figure and was beautiful. Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died [Esther 2:7]

As Esther’s story develops, we are introduced to Haman, a highly regarded royal official whom the king promoted above other officials.  The king had also commanded officers at his gate to kneel and bow in honor to Haman.

Due to his faith in God, Mordecai disobeyed the command to kneel before Haman. This resulted in a plot by Haman to destroy Mordecai. But that’s not all. After learning Mordecai was a Jew, Haman planned the destruction of the entire Jewish race.

On learning about Haman’s plot, Mordecai got so grieved and reached out to Esther, now the queen, and persuaded her to help.  

Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai:  

“Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” [4:15-16]


It was against the law to approach the king without being summoned BUT Esther decided to take that risky move. After three days of fasting, Esther approached the King, and found favor in his sight.

In a twist of events, Haman’s plot to hang Mordecai and destroy the Jewish community is discovered by the King who commanded that he be hanged on the pole he had set up to hang Mordecai. Esther and Mordecai then worked to have the decrees against the Jews overturned so that the Jews can fight for their lives and welfare. 

Here are some lessons we learn from that account.

#1. There’s power in prayer and fasting
 
According to the law, any man or woman who approached the king in the inner court without being summoned would be put to death unless the king extended the gold scepter to them and spares their lives.

…when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court that she found favor in his sight, and the king held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther went near and touched the top of the scepter. And the king said to her, “What do you wish, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given to you—up to half the kingdom!” [Esther 5:2-3]

Esther, together with her people, the Jews, prayed and fasted for her to find favor before the kind and it happened.

The fact that the King asked Esther to make her request became the start of a series powerful events that led to the Jewish race being saved from a royal decree signed to destroy them.


Prayer and fasting helps us tap into God’s ability to give us strength, courage and change circumstances that are against us.

#2. God favors those who please Him

It’s written in Proverbs 16:7 that, “When a man’s ways please the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.”

Esther took a step of faith that pleased God and He gave her favor in the sight of the king.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him [Hebrews 11:6] 

#3.  Faith is bold and courageous

Imagine you were Esther at the time? Would you have decided to face the King even with a law that could end your life?

Remember how God commanded Joshua to be strong and take courage when he took over after Moses?

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” [Joshua 1:9]

Sounds like Esther had to stand and be bold too. To speak on behalf of the Jews before the king, Esther had to take a bold step and be courageous.

And, we can truly learn from Esther’s step of faith—the value of being bold and courageous in faith.

….but the righteous are as bold as a lion [Proverbs 28:1]

God calls us bold and requires that we be bold and courageous to fulfill His purposes on earth. Most importantly, He is always there with us every step of the way.

Want to learn more about Faith in God? Contact us today at Westside Bible Chapel through our website contact form or Facebook page.


Friday, November 12, 2021, 01:35 pm | No Comments »

The Bible records faithful women who played significant and powerful roles. Scriptures honor their lives through the faith, boldness, and courage they demonstrated. Undoubtedly, there’s a lot we can learn from.

In this blog post, we invite you to learn and be inspired by the story of Ruth.

The Story of Ruth

Dedicated to an entire book of the Bible, the story of Ruth is captivating to read.

Elimelech, his wife, and two sons from Bethlehem, Judah, went to live in Moab for a while after their land suffered a famine.

While there, Elimelech died, and Naomi’s two sons married Moabite women.

This is where we meet Ruth and Orpah.

However, in about ten years, Ruth and Orpah became widows as Naomi’s two sons also died.

Soon, Naomi heard that God had provided for his people and decided to go back home.

According to scripture, Naomi told her daughters-in-law to go back to their homes and prayed for them to find homes with other husbands.

Now, this is where the difference between Ruth and Orpah sets in. While Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, Ruth decided to cling and stick with her.

But Ruth said: Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, And your God, my God. [Ruth 1:16]

Ruth was determined that only death would separate them (v17), so Naomi stopped urging her to go back.

Both Naomi and Ruth return to Bethlehem, where a hardworking Ruth finds herself working in a field belonging to Boaz. Afterward, Naomi went on to play a huge role in Boaz (her relative) marrying Ruth.

4 Powerful Lessons from the Story of Ruth

#1. Hope can arise even in devastating life situations

Both Naomi and Ruth lost their husbands in Moab. It’s a painful thing to lose a loved one. And, after they returned to Bethlehem, starting over was not easy for them.

So Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, “Please let me go to the field, and glean heads of grain after him in whose sight I may find favor.” [Ruth 2:2]

It’s important to note that Ruth, even in a new place, was confident to act out in faith and go find food for both of them.

Her taking a step of faith worked out well for her because Boaz treated her with favor and asked other people in the field to

She did let hopelessness and despair win.

The lesson: Even in situations that look and bring hopelessness, we should rise in faith towards a hopeful future.

#2. Our pasts cannot define us

The fact that Ruth was a Moabite already made her an outcast.

Moabites, a nation that resulted from an incestuous relationship between Lot and his oldest daughter, were a pagan nation and did not worship God. (Read Genesis 19)

Irrespective of her origin, Ruth pledged her loyalty to Naomi and her God (Your God will be my God). Now Naomi goes down in record in the genealogy of Jesus.  

Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him”. [Acts 10:34-35]

The Lesson: God will accept and use a person who chooses to believe in Him for His purposes.

#3. Sharing our faith can help create long-lasting and impactful relationships

It’s amazing to see the impactful result that Naomi’s faith in God had in Ruth.

After finding herself in the family of Naomi, Ruth learned about the God of Israel and decided to believe and worship Him. For her, there was no turning back about this decision. Her mind was made up.

The lesson: By sharing our faith with others, we get an opportunity to create deep and intimate relationships that help us fulfill our purpose and glorify God.

#4. The right decision is not always easy

It’s never easy to do the right thing. It must’ve been a difficult decision to make for Ruth to leave behind the life she knew in Moab.

Remember, Naomi had released Ruth to go back to her family and people.

She could have made an easy decision to go back as Orpah did.

But she stood her ground by deciding to go with Naomi and serve the God of Israel.

It was a sacrifice and a selfless act to leave her family and go with her mother-in-law to a new land and start anew.

The lesson: Sometimes, in our faith walk, we may have to make sacrifices, courageous and difficult decisions. With the Holy Spirit guiding and leading us, we can trust that the end results will be awesome, as we see in the case of Ruth.

No matter what situation of life we may be in, through the leading of the Holy Spirit, we can arise in courage, strength, empowerment, and boldness to fulfill our designed purpose in God.

 

Want to learn more about Faith in God? Contact us today at Westside Bible Chapel through our website contact form or Facebook page.


Monday, November 1, 2021, 03:27 am | No Comments »

Worship is an essential powerful part of a believers walk with God. We receive many benefits when we choose to worship God in faith, despite our feelings.

Worship:-

  • Acknowledges the presence of God
  • Brings victory
  • Deliverance from enemies
  • Strengthens our faith
  • Brings us close to God
  • Brings joy and satisfies the soul

God wants worshipers before workers; indeed the only acceptable workers are those who have learned the lost art of worship. – A. W. Tozer

In our last blog post, we started a 2-part series on easy ways we can apply to worship God daily.

(Check part 1 on our blog, under resources)

And, welcome to Part 2 where we’ll discuss a few more ways we can worship God.

#6. Worship through cheerful and generous giving

Giving is an act of worship to God. Through giving, we acknowledge that all we are and have is from God.

Giving, be it our time, gifts, and abilities is an invitation, a privilege, an honor and partnership with God to fulfil his purpose on earth.

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many (Mark 10:45)

When we give, we are following the example of God our Father who gave His son to come and die for our redemption. We are also following the example of Jesus who laid down and gave his life as a ransom for the world.

If we follow Christ, we must excel at giving. We are to be willing and cheerful givers as an expression of the love we have for Jesus.

#7. Obeying God

We express love to God and worship Him through obedience. Doing so shows that He is the Lord over our lives.

Obedience should always follow the reading of His word.

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. (1 John 5:2-3)

Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, and I shall keep it to the end.  Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law, Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart (Psalms 119:33-34)

I must take time to worship the One whose name I bear – Oswald Chambers

Remember the Bible says, we are to be both hearers and doers of the Word (James 1:22)

#8. Loving yourself and loving other people

Worship God by loving yourself as well as other people.

Loving one another makes us vessels that demonstrates God’s love to our spouses, children, parents, friends, coworkers, as well as strangers. 

Love others by volunteering or being a part community service events. Going on mission trips, praying for others, spending time with someone who needs it, doing nice things for them, and more.

#9. Confession and repentance

As believers, we have the privilege to confess our sins and receive forgiveness from God.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9)

However, sometimes confession of sins and repentance is difficult and results to shame and guilt.

Try to always confess your sins into your prayer time, or as soon as you are aware of them. You can also ask the Holy Spirit to reveal anything that doesn’t please Him.

#10. Walking in the Spirit 

Yielding to the Holy Spirit every day is a way to worship God.

In Galatians 5:16, the Word of God encourages us to Walk in the Spirit. This means, accepting to be led of, keep in step and bear fruit through the Holy Spirit.

Remember: God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:24)

What are some ways you do to worship God? Share with us in the comments section.

 

To learn more about worship, talk to us at Westside Bible Chapel. You can reach us through the contact form on our website or message us through our Facebook page.


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Coxheath, Sydney, Sydney River, Westmount, Sydney Forks