The First 15

Friday May 22, 2020

by First Methodist Mansfield

Remember the Faithfulness of God


Esther 9:20-28

20 Mordecai recorded these events, and he sent letters to all the Jews throughout the provinces of King Xerxes, near and far, 21 to have them celebrate annually the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar 22 as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration. He wrote them to observe the days as days of feasting and joy and giving presents of food to one another and gifts to the poor.

23 So the Jews agreed to continue the celebration they had begun, doing what Mordecai had written to them. 24 For Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to destroy them and had cast the pur (that is, the lot) for their ruin and destruction. 25 But when the plot came to the king’s attention, he issued written orders that the evil scheme Haman had devised against the Jews should come back onto his own head, and that he and his sons should be impaled on poles. 26 (Therefore these days were called Purim, from the word pur.) Because of everything written in this letter and because of what they had seen and what had happened to them, 27 the Jews took it on themselves to establish the custom that they and their descendants and all who join them should without fail observe these two days every year, in the way prescribed and at the time appointed. 28 These days should be remembered and observed in every generation by every family, and in every province and in every city. And these days of Purim should never fail to be celebrated by the Jews—nor should the memory of these days die out among their descendants.


When you think of sin, what are the first things that come to your mind? Maybe you think of the seven deadly sins? Or, maybe you thought of a definition? Rebellion against God. Missing the mark of his good and perfect will. Being self-centered rather than God-centered. All of these and more can work as basic definitions for sin. An apt illustration for our time especially is sin as a virus. Think for a moment about everything viruses do. They spread quickly. The sin in our life doesn’t simply affect us. Through our actions and influence it spreads to others and affects creation. Viruses are resilient and mutate to affect the host and resist remedies. Sin is pervasive and it’s power resists our efforts to do the will of God. Paul says, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” (Romans 7:15). This is the apostle Paul speaking who knows a few things about succumbing to sin. He’ll say again, “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst” (1 Timothy 1:15). Remember Paul’s past as one who used to be the greatest enemy of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Killing, destroying, and reprimanding all he could. Viruses are concealed. They are hidden in plain sight. Sin too is often dressed up by the enemy as virtue. It doesn’t usually appear as something bad that will harm us. It seems appetizing like a big, delicious, red Fugi apple. Take and eat the fruit the serpent says. It’s good for you. It’ll make you more like God. Viruses provoke fear and panic, they raise our worry and anxiety levels, and they can lead to death. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). The power of sin desires to consume us and bend our will and mindset to dwell in fear and shame and guilt and insecurity.

So much of our propensity to sin starts in our mind. When the virus of sin takes hold of our mind, we start to forget. We forget who we are. We forget whose we are. We forget the faithfulness of God and all he’s done. When you were associating words with sin, you probably didn’t associate forgetfulness with sin. For those of us who are blessed with the capacity to remember, it is a sin to forsake the gift of memory. Remember the faithfulness of God. “These days should be remembered and observed in every generation by every family, and in every province and in every city. And these days of Purim should never fail to be celebrated by the Jews—nor should the memory of these days die out among their descendants” (Esther 9:28). Let us not be conformed to the patterns of this world but allow God to renew our minds so we always remember what he has done; so we can see what he is doing; and so we can look forward in expectation as to what he will do.

Prayer for Today

Prayer (on YouTube)

The Lord bless you
And keep you
Make His face shine upon you
And be gracious to you
The Lord turn His
Face toward you
And give you peace

May His favor be upon you
And a thousand generations
And your family and your children
And their children, and their children

May His presence go before you
And behind you, and beside you
All around you, and within you
He is with you, He is with you

In the morning, in the evening
In your coming, and your going
In your weeping, and rejoicing
He is for you, He is for you

The First 15

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