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America’s Favorite Author is Back!

Julie Blim - 700 Club Producer

IDENTIFYING WITH ESTHER

The Old Testament’s Book of Esther provides the background and teaching of Max Lucado’s newest book, "You Were Made for This Moment." 

Max divides the well-known story of the Jewish girl who saved her people into three acts of a play: Confusion (the lies being perpetrated about the Jews in the land of Persia), Crisis (Haman’s wicked mandate that all Jews be extinguished), and Conquest (Esther’s winsome appeals to her husband, King Xerxes, which ultimately saved her people).

In the first section, Max discusses the lies being told by the Persian government, and how we all can identify with that today. “Persia is lying to you,” he says.  “Do we need the same reminder? The assignment given to the Jews has been passed on to us. God displays his glory and goodness through the Church. As we worship God, love our neighbors, and cherish our families, we become billboards of God’s message.”

“We, too, are caretakers,” Max believes. “Caretakers of the message of Jesus. He was born through the lineage of the Jews. Today, he is born through the lives of his saints. As you and I live out our faith, he is delivered into a faith-famished culture. We have the hope that this world needs. But sometimes we forget. Persia is lying to us. I don’t mean to be blunt, but, then again, I do. Billion-dollar industries are coming to lure you into lifestyles that will leave you wounded and weary. How do God’s people live in a godless society? Blend in and assimilate? No, this is the time to stand out and assist. We were made for this moment.”  

Max then gets to the root of Esther’s challenge and ours: identity. “In such moments, God’s message is clear: Remember your name. Do you know who you are? And whose you are? Unique in all of creation. Secured by Christ for eternity. The devil can’t touch you. The demons can’t have you. The world can’t possess you. What people think about you matters not one whit. You belong to your heavenly Father.”     

LESSONS FROM ESTHER

How in the world did a young Jewish girl find the courage to become part of the King’s bevy of wives in order to save a nation? Her cousin, Mordecai, laid out the divine plan she must fulfill, telling her she was made for “such a time as this.” Max extends that calling to us. “So were you, my friend. You, like Esther, were made for this moment. To be clear, you didn’t ask for this struggle. You want to get past it.You don’t know how much longer you can hold up. But what if God is in this? Did he not place you on this planet in this generation? He determined your birthdate, nationality, and selected your neighborhood. What if you, like Esther, have an opportunity to act in a way that will bless more people than you could imagine?”  

Max takes a close look at the tool Esther used for her mission. “She chose prayer. Her story urges us to do the same. This is the time for a no-nonsense, honest, face-on-the-floor talk with the Lord of All. Three days of fasting is optional, but the prayer of genuine humility is not. What Haman-sized challenges are you facing? Is your job in jeopardy? Is your loved one in hospice? Is your family under attack? Is your faith in tatters? Retreat into your prayer closet. Once we’ve spoken to the king of heaven, we are ready to face any king on earth.”    

HOPE FROM ESTHER 

For the trials we all face in this earthly life, Max offers encouragement from how the story of Esther and Mordecai played out. “Assume that God is at work. Move forward as if God is moving forward in your life,” he coaches. “Give no quarter to the voices of doubt and fear. Don’t cower to the struggle. You can’t see God’s hand? Can’t make sense of his ways? That’s ok. Obey what you know to do and be patient for what you don’t. When the world seems off the rails, hold fast to this truth: butterfly wings don’t determine the course of history, God does. He did in the days of Esther. He still does today.”  

“Sometimes I wonder if the church has forgotten the vastness of God,” Max ponders. “Visit a congregation on a given Sunday, and you’ll likely find a group of people sitting in comfortable chairs hearing a comforting message about a God who keeps us comfortable. Do we comprehend his grandeur? His glory, fire, and power? Are we suffering from a loss of awe? Here’s what I think. A wimpy God makes for a wimpy heart. But a great God makes for a solid saint. Let Him be big.”  

Do our lives today matter like Esther’s and Mordecai’s? Max gives the answer. “To help us choose the wise path, God gave the wonderfully wild story of Esther. It seems to me that the entire world is in a state of trauma. People do not know why they were born or to where they are destined. This is the age of much know-how and very little know-why. The invisible enemy of sin and secularism has left us dazed and bewildered. The world needs you! We need people with the resolve of Mordecai and the courage of Esther. The world is in desperate need for a people of God who will stay steady in the chaos.”

MAX’S CURRENT HEALTH CHALLENGE 

This summer Max announced through a video message on his website that he has a health challenge: an ascending aortic aneurysm. “To be honest, it is a serious issue, because the aneurysm, or bulge in the aorta is quite sizeable,” Max explained. “Surgery is possible. I have a great medical team; I’ve been so blessed with a tremendous team of brilliant physicians and caretakers.” Their strategy now, he said, is to keep a close eye on if and how much the bulge grows. Meantime, he plans to continue his normal routines and ministry. He closed with a reassuring smile, asking for prayer for the Lord’s perfect will to be done. “We trust Him for all things, don’t we, and I’m trusting Him for this.”     

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