On Sunday, November 17, 2019, Teaching Pastor Bruce Hess’ message is “Providence (Esther) – Remarkable Reversal” from Esther 8:1-10:3. Below are some questions for your personal or group reflection.
1. Bruce shared this quote by John Calvin:
Ignorance of providence is the ultimate of all miseries;
the highest blessedness lies in the knowledge of it
What practical life truths do you think Calvin was seeking to highlight by this statement?
2. Isn’t it incredibly comforting to know that God is never out of touch? He is never fretting or panicking, never bumfuzzled and bewildered, never perplexed, distressed or flustered. He is never impotent, baffled or disoriented; nor ruffled or rattled.
It is astonishingly true that He can work even in selfish, secular, and sinful settings to accomplish His providential plans. He is always at work even in hostile situations, even amidst irresponsible, greedy businesses, even in the face of selfish, misguided leaders. He is always grieved by wrong and injustice (and always holds those responsible accountable), but life is never beyond his providential control and sovereign working.
Why then is it so hard for us to trust Him?
3. God desires for each of us to influence others for His eternal kingdom. We may not ever achieve the recognition of a Queen Esther or a Martin Luther, but He desires us to influence others.
As Ephesians 2:10 highlights, there are good works that He has prepared for each of us to accomplish. To that end, He presents us with opportunities among our family, our neighborhood, our work, school, church, the community, even the world.
Where has the Holy Spirit been nudging you recently about stepping up and making a difference in the lives of others? Elaborate.
How much does the dictum “A turtle only makes progress when it sticks its neck out” apply to you?
4. One of Bruce’s thoughts was: “When you cannot trust what you see, you must trust who you know.” What does that mean practically in everyday life?
5. Bruce closed in prayer citing 1 Timothy 1:17. Take some time to praise God for who he is.