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Lesson for August 8th, 2015

Esther and Mordecai

Scripture Focus

Esther 1–10; 1 Corinthians 9:19-23; John 4:1-26; Acts 17:26; Matthew 22:21; Romans 1:18-20

Concept

God uses those who are willing to stand up and speak for God. This means that people have to be prepared to be used by God when the time arises.

Materials Needed

Pens or pencils, paper, Bibles, large paper or whiteboard, markers

Connecting with the Scripture Topic

  1. Have you ever been in a situation where someone ended the encounter by saying, “I’m so glad you were here!” Or perhaps he or she said, “I don’t know what I would have done if you hadn’t come along!” How did that make you feel?
  2. How do you think God prepares us for the jobs, tasks, and relationships we will tackle in our daily lives?

Sharing and Receiving Scripture

  1. On a large sheet of paper or whiteboard, draw an outline of a person. Underneath, write the words, “. . . for such a time as . . .” (Esther 4:14). Ask the group to think of characters in the Bible who were available when God called. Write their names inside the outline.
  2. Thought Questions

Esther demonstrated some valuable character traits in this story. Although some traits might seem to contradict others, she used each at just the right time (Esther 2; 4).

  1. Esther followed Mordecai’s instructions regarding her ethnicity (Esther 2:10, 11).
  2. Before going to meet the king, she followed the advice of Hegai, the eunuch in charge (Esther 2:15).
  3. In Mordecai’s home, she followed his orders (Esther 2:20).
  4. Upon hearing about the plot to kill the king, she told the king (Esther 2:22).
  5. She and her maids prepared for her meeting with the king by not eating or drinking for three days (Esther 4:16).
  6. Other...

When she met with the king, Esther continued to demonstrate diplomacy, patience, and sensitivity (Esther 5:1, 2; 8:3-6; 9:13).

  1. Esther entered the royal courts, uninvited, to see the king (5:1, 2).
  2. The king and Haman were invited to a banquet (5:4).
  3. Rather than share her plan at the first banquet, she invited both the king and Haman to a second banquet the next day (5:7, 8).
  4. She asked the king to reverse Haman’s orders (8:3-6).
  5. Seeing that the first day had been one that saved the Jews, Esther asked for one more day (9:13).
  6. Other...

In 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, Paul gives several if/then statements. How do these conditions show his readiness to serve in any situation at any time?

  1. He chose to become a slave to all, even though he was free (v. 19).
  2. Paul followed Jewish law when he was with Jews (v. 19).
  3. When he was with the Gentiles, he lived apart from Jewish law (v. 21).
  4. He shared in the weakness of others to bring them to Christ (v. 22).
  5. So that he could spread the good news, he tried to find common ground with everyone (v. 23).
  6. Other...

John 4:1-42 tells the story of the meeting between Jesus and the woman of Samaria. How did their dialogue demonstrate concern and respect that went against the expected?

  1. Jesus, a Jew, asked for water from a Samaritan woman (v. 7).
  2. The woman asked Jesus, “Why me?” (v. 9)
  3. When she heard that the water gave eternal life, she asked for it (v. 15).
  4. After meeting the Messiah, she brought others to meet Jesus as well (v. 29).
  5. As a result of the woman telling those in her village about Jesus, many Samaritans believed (v. 39).
  6. Other...

Applying the Message of Scripture

Gather in groups of two or three. Choose one of the following options and work on a solution. Then report back to your group when your facilitator says time is up.

  • Option 1: Read Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23. Was he following his convictions and demonstrating faith in God? How could he do that while acting differently in various situations?
  • Option 2: Make a list of the attributes demonstrated in the stories in this week’s lesson. How can these traits help prepare you to share about or serve Jesus?
  • Option 3: Think about your community. How could you demonstrate the principles of being there for others in order to lead them to Christ? Create a plan to reach out to a segment of the population.

Valuing Scripture in Your Life

  1. As you think about being both submissive and bold, of being a follower and a leader, how can you demonstrate these qualities during the week in your encounters with others while sharing the good news about Jesus?
  2. Divide into groups of two or three and pray for the ability, strength, and wisdom you will need in your relationships this week.

Next Week's Scripture Focus

2 Timothy 1:8, 9; Isaiah 42:1-9; Daniel 9:24-27; Luke 2:8-14; Matthew 10:5, 6; Acts 1:1-14

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