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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Having God's Favor: An Outline

I thought of posting here a bible study outline I did for a friend. It's about having God's favor:


Verse: Esther 2.12-17
Title: "Getting the King's Favor"

Passage:

[12] Before a girl's turn came to go into King Xerxes' chamber, she should have completed 12 months of rigid beauty treatments required of women--6 months for oil of myrrh treatment, and 6 months of perfumes and cosmetics.

[13] And then she went to the king in this way: she would be given a free choice on whatever she wished to take with her from the Harem to the king's palace (to attract the king with).

[14] Come evening, she would enter the king's bedroom, and in the morning be sent to a place in the Harem under the care of Shaashgas, the eunuch in charge of the concubines. She was not allowed to see the king again unless he wished for her and called her by name. 

[15] When it was Esther's turn to go to Xerxes (Esther was Mordecai's adopted, daughter of his Uncle Abihail), she asked for nothing except what Hegai, the king's eunuch managing the entire Harem, thought she should take with her to the king. Thus, Esther looked so beautiful to everyone.

[16] She went to the king in his royal residence, in the 10th month, Tebeth, in the 7th year of Xerxes. 

[17] The king saw that Esther was the most beautiful of all compared to the other contestants, and she got his favor and approval more than the other virgins. She became queen in place of ex-Queen Vashti.
 
Bible Study Outline:

1. Pursue After God's Favor. It's good to be blessed, but getting God's favor is more important. In fact, it's the only thing important.
  • God blesses both the good and bad, both innocent men and criminals.
  • He makes the sun shine and the rain fall on both the righteous and unrighteous [Matt.5.45].
  • But God's favor is given only to faith champions like Esther. 
  • The concubines were all so blessed. But only Esther was favored.
  • Therefore, we should aim for God's favor, not just blessings.
2. The LIFE of a Faith Champion. The life of a true faith champion is a life of preparing for the King, nothing more, nothing less.

       A. Church people can be classified into 3:
    • Audience - They are active in church but have no real interest in seeking the King, being really intimate with Him.
    • Contestants - They want to be intimate with the King, but only to ask Him for special favors for self benefit.
            Example: Their prayer request is all about their needs and wants.
      1. They need money for tuition fee. 
      2. They need money to pay their bills and other payables. 
      3. They need healing for their ailments, or for someone dear to them.
      4. They need a job.
      5. They need a promotion.
      6. But they never pray about what the King wants.
    • Champions -Champions have only one prayer request. They want to know what the King wants. Such was the prayer of Jesus.
       B. Champions prepare all their lives to meet the King that final moment.
    • Esther prepared for 1 year for that one night with the king.
    • We need to prepare all our lives for that one "night" when we finally meet Jesus Christ.
       C. The preparation has two parts:
    • Inner man preparation -oil of myrrh preparation. The oil of myrrh, according to tradition, was steamed while the contestants were lying down over it. This made the myrrh soak through the skin for cleansing and making the fragrance go deeper into the skin.
          We need to be well cleansed with the Word and have it go deeper into  our inner beings through the anointing power of the Holy Spirit.
    • Outer man preparation -Esther had cosmetics and perfumes on her to please the King.
       D. Our outer "cosmetics and perfume" should be the life and ministry of Jesus. Our oil of myrrh treatment should be the spirit and mind of Christ in us. God wants to see Jesus in and on us. We should die to self and have Christ formed in us [Gal.4.19].

       E. The life of a faith champion is a life of utter dedication (dedicating one's whole life) to please the King, not just get His favor.

3. Trusting Hegai. Hegai was the king's well trusted eunuch. The king put him in charge of the entire Harem. Hegai knew the king in a very personal way.
    • Esther wisely decided to get instructions on how to please the king only from Hegai.
    • Other contestants trusted in themselves, in what they thought was best for the king. They never consulted Hegai.
    • They did everything except what the king wanted.
    • Esther wanted only what the King wanted. She never trusted her own insight, or what she thought was best for the king. So she asked Hegai what to do.
    • Hegai can symbolize Jesus Christ, the Person closest to the Father. 
    • Hegai can also symbolize a spiritual mentor or discipler who is extra intimate with Jesus.
    • Do you have a Hegai in your life?
4. The Final Moment. Daily we must face the King of kings, aside from facing Him finally on Judgment Day.
  • Daily, and each moment, we should have a special final moment with Jesus. This needs thorough preparation in the Spirit.
  • It's a preparation for perfection. "Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect," [Matt.5.48].
  • One imperfection in that final moment and we are demoted at once to being a mere concubine.
Two kinds of Christians:
  • Concubines - Yes, they live in the King's Harem (Kingdom) and get blessed there, but they: [1] don't get the King's favor. [2]They cannot get intimate with the King. [3]They cannot go to His inner chamber, to His secret place. [4] They get to see His face only during the few times they are needed for a task.
  • Champions - [1]They are able to sleep with the King of kings. [2]They get God's favor, not just blessings. [3]The King Himself teaches them the Word of God deeply so that, [4]They are able to do what the King wants. They live in the center of God's will.
Key thought here: Be desperate to know the King, know what He really wants, and please Him accordingly.

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