Sunday Service Sneak Peek for February 18, 2018 – Nehemiah and Malachi

Sunday Service Sneak Peek for February 18, 2018 – Nehemiah and Malachi

After being captive in foreign lands, and being dispersed among the nations, many Israelites return to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall around the city.  They then weep and rejoice as the Word of God is read.  This week we complete our look at the Old Testament of the Bible and look forward to what God has in store in the New!  Learn more about Nehemiah and Malachi this Sunday at Victory Lutheran Church.

Victory Vitamin Blog – Esther 2:17

Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins. So he set a royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. 

-Esther 2:17 NIV

 

Esther was a common Israelite girl.  She moved with her adoptive father and many other Jews to a place called Susa.  The king there was Xerxes.  He held what was essentially a beauty contest to find a new queen.  Esther won!  I realize that this whole scenario may seem offensive these days, judging a woman based primarily on her looks is demeaning and shallow, but God was behind this, orchestrating these events to save His people, the Jews.  The Bible tells us that Esther was beautiful.  King Xerxes was looking for someone beautiful.  By bringing Esther into a position of favor with Xerxes, God was carrying out His plan to rescue the Jews living there from certain death.  A scoundrel in the city convinced Xerxes to kill the Jews.  Xerxes didn’t know Esther was one of them.  Esther went to Xerxes, revealed that she was  Jew, and begged Xerxes to spare her people.  Xerxes was enraged at the scoundrel who tried to have the Jews killed, and had him put to death instead.  Esther points us to Jesus, who is perfect and holy, and who interceded on the cross to save us from certain death.  Esther had gifts and abilities other than looking good.  She was wise, courageous, and faithful.  But it was her looks that got her foot in the door of the palace.  My point is this.  You have been given gifts as well.  They may seem shallow, insignificant, and useless to you, but they may be useful in bringing the Good News of Jesus to others.  Ultimately it’s love that will attract others to us and allow us to share what Jesus has done for us, and for them.  Perhaps we haven’t all been blessed with good looks, but the love of Christ is always attractive.  Let it show!

Sunday Service Sneak Peek for January 14, 2018 – 2 Chronicles and Ezekiel

Sunday Service Sneak Peek for January 14, 2018 – 2 Chronicles and Ezekiel

This week we continue our sermon series, “The Story”.  A journey through God’s interaction with His people since Creation.  The era of the kings in Israel comes to an end.  Sadly, so does the nation of Israel as we have known it to this point. Learn more about 2 Chronicles and Ezekiel this Sunday, January 14, 2018 at Victory Lutheran Church.

 

 

Victory Vitamin Blog – 2 Kings 17:7-8

“All this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the LORD…”

-2 Kings 17:7-8 NIV

 

At this point in Israel’s history the kingdom was divided.  They demanded a king, there was an argument now there were two kings and two separate kingdoms of Israel.  The Northern kingdom was attacked and taken over by the Assyrians and the Southern Kingdom would fall shortly.  Israel would never be the same.  Why did this happen?  Read the verse above.  God had given the Israelites hundreds and hundreds of chances.  They insisted on disobeying Him and worshiping false gods instead.  Since they didn’t want the LORD as their God, the LORD withdrew His protection and they were overrun.  They reaped what they sowed.  They made their bed and now they were lying in it. It’s typical for humans to blame God when bad things happen, but is that really fair?  There are natural, logical consequences for our sinful choices.  If you rob a bank and land in prison, is that God’s fault?  Of course, there are tragic events that do not arise directly from our sinful actions but even then, be careful about blaming God.  We live in a sinful world.  Bad things happen in a sinful world.  Crime, disease, death.  It is best that we hold our tongue and let God be God.  Even in the worst circumstances we rejoice that our God has delivered us from the ultimate consequence of sin.  Jesus reaped what we sowed.  We made the bed, and Jesus laid in it for three days before He came back to life, earning forgiveness and eternal life for all who trust in Him.  All evil happens because there is sin in this world.  Nevertheless, we say, “Thanks be to God!  He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  (1 Corinthians 15:57)