After a month of non-preaching hiatus, I have started preaching again. Last Sunday I spent 5 hours on the road to preach to the women's group of my home church in Kota Kinabalu. On Sunday I drove from Namaus at 6am and arrived in KK just after 8.15am. But the women's meeting was in the afternoon and I had a long wait for my sermon based on the book of Esther. In it I shared 5 main points. If the world ruled by a Persian king that men ought to be heads of the households how much should Christian men rise up and be leaders and heads of their households? Second, the removal of Queen Wasti was to make way for Esther and there will be times and in God's timing, persons or personnel will be removed to make way for those chosen by God to carry out His will and fulfil his purposes. Third, why did the king choose Esther above all the beautiful young maidens of the kingdoms and provinces under Persian control? Twice it was said only beautiful young virgins were taken and Esther was among those taken to the king's harems. Why did the king favour Esther above the rest? No doubt the 12-month beauty treatment had enhanced the beauty of the already beautiful maidens. Then they were tested whether they could please the king sexually by spending an evening with the king and returning to their chambers in the morning.
But Esther whose Hebrew name is Hadassah was different from them all. Hadassah in Hebrew means compassion. She was compassionate and kind, a gentle soul whose beauty was not just outward as important as it was, but also inward so much so the king loved her above all the other young women. Fourth, Esther took risks in seeking the king's audience on behalf of her people. She fasted for three days and three nights before appearing before the king and even that she hesitated to speak when the king asked her about her concerns until she was sure of God's timing. She requested the king and Haman to come to her banquet on the following day before on the second evening she spoke of her requests to her husband, the king. How important it is to know God's timing before one acts and it is only after much prayer and fasting that we discern not only God's will but also His timing for accomplishing his purposes. Fifth, Mordecai is seen as the saviour of his people as the last verse of the book of Esther, Mordecai is said to be a good leader, always wanting to see the good of his people and seek after their welfare (Est 10:3). How important it is for the church to have leaders who seek after the welfare of its members and shepherd them by the love of Christ.
This weekend I shall be preaching twice, one on Saturday night in a District, 2 hours' drive from Ranau and then on Sunday morning service at the College on Romans 13:1-7 concerning the role of a citizen in light of the forthcoming Independence Day on 31st August.