Good Friday morning to all. Just a reminder, Prayer Service at 8:00 p.m. tonight. Dial 1-605-562-8401. Access Code is 670-7270.
Secondly, see today’s message below:
When I woke up this morning, the word voices came to my mind. I suppose it is because we are not using our voices in ways that will promote and bring about positive change. It would have been wonderful to hear more voices speaking out publicly in support of the Haitians during their traumatic experiences at the Mexico/US border. God gave all of us a voice and He expects for us to use it. Some are called to use their voice to sing, teach, preach, advise, encourage, conversate, discipline, etc. Let us not forget that there is power in our voices that can be used for good or evil. God has given us this gift, so use it to build up the church and bring glory to God. Think about all the times you used your voice to instruct and discipline your children. It was your voice that was or is used to let children know they are loved, but it was also the voice that kept them in check. The message today will hopefully encourage you to use your voice for something positive and good. Speak hope into someone today rather than despair. Use your voice today to sow a seed into someone’s life, with the hope of them bearing fruit. Use your voice today to be a blessing to someone else who may be lonely, in despair or sick.
I encourage you to find a cause where you can use your voice to maybe save someone’s life. I believe in freedom of speech and the right for people to make their own decisions. During this pandemic, I believe all of us could use our voices more in convincing or encouraging person to take the vaccine. Otherwise, the coronavirus will continue to spread and take lives. To a certain degree, I understand the concern regarding the vaccine. It is not the vaccine most people are afraid of, it’s the people who are behind the vaccines, pharmaceuticals. We have reached a point where many no longer trust the government. We have reached a point in society where the rich continue to get richer and the poor continue to get poorer. One of our former leaders has caused us to lose faith and trust in people who hold high political positions.
One of the very familiar stories in the Bible is about a queen, Esther, who used her voice and beauty to save an entire race of people, the Jews. It was the voice of her cousin, Mordecai, who encouraged her to speak up for her people. “Who knows? Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just such a time as this!” For it was the voice of a prideful and jealous Haman’s voice that spoke against Mordecai simply because he refused to bow down to him. It was the voice of Haman’s wife, Zeresh, who says, “If Mordecai, before whom your downfall has begun, is of the Jewish people, you will not prevail against him, but will surely fall before him” (Esther 6:13).
It was Mordecai who said, “For if you keep silence in a time such as this, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another quarter” (Esther 4:14). As believers we are all God’s servants stationed in a place of God’s choosing. Use your voice to minister to others, be it a neighbor, friend, child who has strayed, a sick relative, a broken heart, etc.
Sometimes we are afraid to use our voices because of the trouble or losses it may bring us. We certainly do not wish to offend anyone, so we keep our mouths shut. Sometimes we keep silent because we do not wish to make waves for a larger and stronger system. It is human nature that we guide and protect ourselves from powerful people. People in powerful positions, however, may use or should use their power to bring about positive change. Again, I give Kamala Harris, Vice President, applause for using her voice to support the Haitians, but it was not enough.
Realistically, we must remember, she is vice president and not president. Where are our other prominent leaders?
Let’s get back to Esther, for there is another message in this story. We do not hear the voice of God in this story, but we know He is not absent. We see evidence of God being at work. Was it by chance that Esther was chosen the fairest in the land? His name may not be used in this story, but His presence is certainly felt. Search out the instances that reflects God’s activity in the book of Esther.
Out of the depths I cry to you; Lord; Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy” (Psalm 130:1-2)
We have a voice and when we use it, people do listen. Some may have more influence than others, but let us use what we have for kingdom building.
Not a sermon, just my thoughts!
Robert Earl Slade, Pastor
Secondly, see today’s message below: