Finding Favor with the King: Week 6March 1, 2009
Chapter 9 & 10
I love You for being You. I know I don’t tell You often enough how much I love You, not what You do for me or for others, not for what You might do for me and others, but just for being You. I don’t want to even try to imagine how dark and empty would be my life with You. You fill my life with such love and light by just being. Thank You.
I love You.
The prayer above comes from the discussion we had on Chapters 9 & 10. One thing that has become abundantly clear during this study of Esther is the fact that we often don’t take the time to tell God how much we simply love Him. We take Him for granted, sometimes like we do our loved ones, and just accept that they know how much we love them. Because He knows our heart, we think that we don’t have to take the time to say it; we believe that we show Him through our worship and our work, but sometimes it means the most to simply say the three little words, “I love You.” How often have we heard that phrase come from the heart of a loved one or friend? Is there anything better? Just imagine how God feels when we say it to Him? We are all seeking a closer relationship, a more intimate relationship with God, but how many of us are willing to say it out loud or through our heart to Him? Not thanking Him or begging Him or seeking Him for something, but just “hugging” Him and telling Him, “I love You.”
Another thing that became obvious during our discussion is that we think that God has been given a starvation diet by most us. We all felt our “banquets” for the Lord have been haphazard, micro waved leftovers that wouldn’t even appeal to a stray cat much less the King of Kings. Again, we recognized the need to put Him at the center of our lives, to make His needs our priority because it is through attending to Him that we will truly find ourselves. Instead of continually bringing Him our wants, our needs, our problems, we should see to His needs, His wants, His problems, which will help us to re-focus our lives and clarify what’s really important, what’s really needed, what’s really a problem.
Finally, we expressed some very guarded feelings about those moments when we recognized that someone wasn’t able to accept us for who we are. It’s one thing when a stranger shows enmity toward you, but the hurt comes when a person we know, or worse still, a person we love reveals it. It is hard, sometimes extremely hard, to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes in order to understand the problem, the source of the discord―the hatred; but if we don’t do it, then we are letting God down. He tells us to love our enemies, forgive those who trespass against you, and if we don’t try, really give it our heartfelt best effort, then we are disappointing God. He still loves us, just as we still love our own children even when they do something that disappoints us, but our heart hurts. Imagine how His heart hurts because of us. We ended resolving to use the Lenten season to renew our relationship with God. Join us!
What follows are the study questions for Chapters 11 & 12.
Chapter 11 – RIGHT QUESTION, WRONG TIME
Don’t Ask Him Now
1. Have you ever used the strategy on your father or significant other that Tenney suggests women know how to use to get something they want? Explain.
2. Would you consider it to be a form of manipulation if you tried the same technique when asking God for something? Why or why not?
3. Have you ever felt that it was the wrong time to try to ask God for something? If so, what prompted that feeling?
4. How have you taken God for granted?
5. How often do you seek God just to tell him you love Him without asking Him for anything in return?
Chapter 12 – HAPPILY EVER AFTER
Living in the King’s House and Wearing the King’s Ring
1. Have you found yourself weary, discouraged, and seemingly no farther down the road of life than when you entered the valley of trial and tribulation? Did you quit or did you begin walking again, step-by-step?
2. Have you ever lived in confusing times or circumstances?
3. Has there ever been a time when your own pride or your own tower of proud words caused your downfall? Explain.
4. Have you ever experienced a time when one day made all the difference? Explain.
5. To what extent will you go to complete the victory? Is there a battle that you are in that you are trying to avoid, hoping that it will just go away? What is God calling you to do to resolve the situation? Are you prepared? Why or why not?
posted by Bonny.