Old Testament Lesson
We haven't read all the story of Esther, but we see in this, Haman thinks he is going to be honored, when in reality, the evil he has done will soon be coming back to him. We reap what we sow. I heard a great sermon once where the preacher was saying that we reap what we sow, but sometimes, we sow, and then we hope for raining, thinking that we will not reap it. But, we will. If we do evil, at some point, evil will come back to us.
Now, God does make the rain fall on both the righteous and the unrighteous, and good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people. But, if you are living a life of hatred, it will come back to you. Likewise, if you are living a life apart from God, it will come back to you. Today, we see the beginnings of Haman's downfall. This downfall was caused by his own sinful actions.
New Testament Lesson
We see that Paul continued to preach to do what God wanted him to do, even when folks left. He continued to be faithful, even when things didn't work out perfect. He continued to obey and serve God, even when things didn't go like he may have wanted. Friends, all we are called to do is be faithful. God will take care of the rest. We are called to work, the results are up to God. Today, your calling from God is simply this: be faithful.
We see the importance of the Bible in this passage. When Jesus was tempted by the devil, He quoted the Bible back to the devil. He knew the Bible well enough to be able to recall it when it was needed. Do you know the Bible well enough this morning to do that. Temptation will come. Knowing the Word is the best defence against it.
Also, notice that the devil quoted the Bible to Jesus. But, Jesus knew the true meaning of the passages that the devil quoted. Lots of folks quote the Bible. Many, many, many take it out context. It isn't just enough for us to be able to quote the Bible, but we must be able to know what it actually means. The only way we can do this is digging deep within, and studying. And, studying with God's people: Bible Study at church, Sunday School, things such as this.
Right now, I know that each person that reads this will claim to love God and claim to love the Bible. But, does your love for the Bible move beyond words to action? Do you merely talk about how much you love the Bible, or do you actually read it, as an individual, and within the church?