Focus – be a servant . . .

Matthew 23:11-12 NIV

The greatest among you will be your servant. [12] For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.


Story of two woman . . .

This is an interesting story of two woman.  Firstly, Queen Vashti’s refusal sounds defiant and dangerous to other woman.  The king afraid that all woman will rebell against there husbands, he sends out a new decree.    I really don’t know what the cascading effect of her defiance is; but it did open the door for another.

Esther 1:10–22 (ESV)

Queen Vashti’s Refusal

10 On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha and Abagtha, Zethar and Carkas, the seven eunuchs who served in the presence of King Ahasuerus, 11 to bring Queen Vashti before the king with her royal crown, in order to show the peoples and the princes her beauty, for she was lovely to look at. 12 But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command delivered by the eunuchs. At this the king became enraged, and his anger burned within him.

13 Then the king said to the wise men who knew the times (for this was the king’s procedure toward all who were versed in law and judgment, 14 the men next to him being Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, who saw the king’s face, and sat first in the kingdom): 15 “According to the law, what is to be done to Queen Vashti, because she has not performed the command of King Ahasuerus delivered by the eunuchs?” 16 Then Memucan said in the presence of the king and the officials, “Not only against the king has Queen Vashti done wrong, but also against all the officials and all the peoples who are in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus. 17 For the queen’s behavior will be made known to all women, causing them to look at their husbands with contempt, since they will say, ‘King Ahasuerus commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, and she did not come.’ 18 This very day the noble women of Persia and Media who have heard of the queen’s behavior will say the same to all the king’s officials, and there will be contempt and wrath in plenty. 19 If it please the king, let a royal order go out from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes so that it may not be repealed, that Vashti is never again to come before King Ahasuerus. And let the king give her royal position to another who is better than she. 20 So when the decree made by the king is proclaimed throughout all his kingdom, for it is vast, all women will give honor to their husbands, high and low alike.” 21 This advice pleased the king and the princes, and the king did as Memucan proposed. 22 He sent letters to all the royal provinces, to every province in its own script and to every people in its own language, that every man be master in his own household and speak according to the language of his people.

The word Pray . . .


My Thoughts: I never really felt that words made a difference – overall in the Bible, I am not sure it makes that much of a difference; however, after discovering such important words such as, Pray, Love, God have are used so many different times per translation of the Bible, I am amazed how it does effect the impact the verses have on me.

I am a little blown away by the NIV adding words, such as pray or a version of the word.  It makes me more reserved in my trust of what is being said.  Like I mentioned, I have read both the ESV and the NIV and I did not come away with less of an impression of God, Jesus Christ, Heaven, or Hell.

If you know nothing of either version, the ESV (English Standard Version) is considered a word for word translation, the NIV (New International Version) is considered a “dynamic equivalence.”  So, if you really want to have a greater confidence with what was actually said, I would use the ESV.  The NIV is the bestselling Bible translation and is for a good reason, the reading is easier, mor poetic and flows more naturally.

The New International Version English Standard Version
Jn 17:1 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. Jn 17:1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you,
Jn 17:20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, Jn 17:20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
Jn 18:1 When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it. Jn 18:1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered.

Resitst Pride be Humble

James 4:4–6 (NIV)

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:

“God opposes the proud

but shows favor to the humble.”

The heart . . .

Matthew 15:2-20 NIV
“Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!” [3] Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? [4] For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ [5] But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ [6] they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. [7] You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: [8] “ ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. [9] They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules. ‘ ” [10] Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. [11] What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” [12] Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?” [13] He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. [14] Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” [15] Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.” [16] “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. [17] “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? [18] But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. [19] For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. [20] These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”

Courage to go. . .

My thoughts: This was brought to my attention by the pastor of The Church at Azle. When you read these verses traditionally focused on Peter’s failure and the scolding Jesus gave him. But focus on the following, it was night, the water was rough, yet when Peter realized it was Jesus, he ignored all the elements and responded to a one word command from Jesus; “Come”,with that Peter walked on water even in the midst of the storm. And when Peter starting sinking into the water, he cried out and Jesus saved him. Finally, when they got into the boat, the storm calmed.

Matthew 14:22-33 NIV
Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. [23] After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, [24] and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. [25] Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. [26] When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. [27] But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” [28] “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” [29] “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. [30] But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” [31] Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” [32] And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. [33] Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”