• Prayers of Thanksgiving

    1 Thessalonians 1:2–3

    One commentator notes that Paul’s statement in 1 Thessalonians 1:2–3 shows us that Christian prayer gives first place to thanksgiving to God and to others’ self-interest.Paul thanked the Lord regularly for the Thessalonians and for His good work in them. ...Read More

  • First Thessalonians

    1 Thessalonians 1:1

    Paul opens 1 Thessalonians with a greeting expressing grace and peace to the Thessalonians. Indeed, the whole of the Christian life is lived in the grace of God, which produces peace between the Lord and His people. Let us thank ...Read More

  • The God of Second Chances

    Esther 10

    The full story line of the Old Testament Historical Books points us finally to Christ. We learn in these books our need of a perfectly righteous king when we see the leaders of God’s people fail time and again. Because ...Read More

  • Divine Reversals of Fortune

    Esther 8–9

    The early church father Athanasius of Alexandria comments that the fifth-century-BC Jews “called a feast, thanking and praising the Lord, because he had changed the situation for them.” When God intervenes to rescue His children, the only appropriate response ...Read More

  • The Christmas Letdown

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  • The Invisible Hand of Providence

    Esther 5–7

    There is no such thing as chance in the sense of things that “just happen”; chance is simply a name for mathematical probabilities. Our universe is not randomly running on its own, and things never occur by coincidence. The Lord ...Read More

  • The Moment of Decision

    Esther 4

    Matthew Henry comments on Esther’s decision to intervene: She “said not this in despair or passion, but in a holy resolution to do her duty and trust God with the issue; welcome his holy will.” We may not have to ...Read More

  • Haman the Agagite

    Esther 3

    Sometimes we bring unnecessary trouble on ourselves by failing to honor those whom we should honor. If we respect those whom we are supposed to respect, we make things easier for ourselves and, more importantly, we obey the Lord in ...Read More

  • Esther and Mordecai

    Esther 2

    As Christians, we know that we are to live separately from the world, not following its evil customs as we seek to be lights pointing the way to Christ (2 Cor. 6:14–18). It can be difficult to know how to ...Read More

  • Trouble in the Persian Court

    Esther 1

    The author of Esther had to tell us about Vashti’s being removed from her position in order to explain how Esther became queen. But he did not have to go into such detail. Make no mistake—he included these facts to ...Read More