June 2023 Newsletter
by Pastor Mike Novotny
Our church got a little bit rowdy awhile back, which is notable, since we aren’t normally a rowdy church. On the scale of emotional expression (1 = straight-faced/somber, 10 = dancing in the aisles), we are, in my opinion, usually a 4.
But on this particular Sunday, we were a solid 7!
Why? We were finishing up a sermon series on the book of Esther and noticed how, in the midst of their fight for survival, God’s Old Testament people celebrated. Esther 8:16,17 says,
“For the Jews it was a time of happiness and joy, gladness and honor. In every province and in every city to which the edict of the king came, there was joy and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating.”
You read that right, smack dab in the middle of a fight for their very lives, the people threw a party. Why? Because of the king’s edict—an edict that essentially saved the Jews from annihilation.
Can you relate? Maybe not with the annihilation part, but I bet that like those Jews from ancient Persia, you might be fighting some serious battles today.
Maybe your health is failing and you feel it in your joints every morning. Maybe your husband’s mind is slipping and you hear it every time he (re)tells a story. Maybe you are struggling to stay connected at your church and you sense it every weekend.
Life in this world can be hard enough to break your heart. But these verses from Esther chapter 8 teach us that we don’t have to wait until the fight is over to experience joy. We too have “the edict of the king,” a declaration that makes us sing, smile, and celebrate.
What is that edict? The declaration that through the sacrifice of Jesus, the King of the universe is your Father in heaven. The sovereign Lord who controls all things is the same God who knows your name, hears your prayers, forgives your sins, will bring you to heaven one day, and is using your problems today for a greater purpose that will last for eternity.
Please don’t breeze past that last paragraph. It is the best news that you will hear, and it comes with divine authority and, therefore, absolute certainty. Reread it and apply it to your personal situation until the depth of God’s goodness lights a fire in your soul.
And look out…because once the gospel takes hold of you, you just might get rowdy with praise!
Thank you! Your prayers and gifts of support help reach so many people with the love of Jesus through Time of Grace. People like Laila are blessed daily by the ministry you make possible.
I’m so grateful for this ministry….Every day I find encouragement from your various Bible-based resources. I have been battling chronic illness for more than 26 years, and in the past couple of years I have been plagued daily by anxiety and depression. My faith in Jesus, the love and support of my family and various ministries, and my home church have been so instrumental in helping me to persevere. Time of Grace Ministry is a major part of my life….I have learned and been comforted so much by your teachings about the Lord and how he loves us and forgives us and wants to be in true relationship with us. Thank you.
Thank you for encouraging so many people like Laila through your partnership—it just wouldn’t be possible without you!
God has raised you up for such a time as this!
You can’t tell God’s story in Scripture without the faith and fortitude of the women he used to accomplish his purposes.
From Sarah to Ruth to Mary Magdalene and so many others, the women of the Bible consistently rose to the challenges of their day and embraced God’s purpose for their lives. And you can too!
Dr. Paul Kelm’s new book, Real Women of the Bible, explores the character of some of the remarkable women in Scripture to reveal how each one of us today can carry on the same legacy of faith.
So if you want to be inspired by real women with real imperfections whom God used to accomplish really remarkable things—then request your copy today and make a difference in your God-given moment.
Leave a legacy of faith by adopting the Jesus-sharing, Bible-teaching ministry of Time of Grace.
When you adopt Time of Grace as an additional heir of your estate, it means supporting the ongoing mission of telling people about their adoption as children of God through Jesus.
[God] predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will. (Ephesians 1:5)
By adopting Time of Grace, you can not only provide for those you love but also support the spread of the gospel.
For information on estate planning or to request a FREE estate planning guide, please email Matt Trotter: email@example.com
In July, we are returning to a popular and important series called Abuse: What Does God Say? Despite the shocking statistics, the topic of abuse is rarely addressed in the Christian community. What does God say about abuse? What does God think about abuse? What does God say to a church filled with unspoken trauma and deep wounds? In this three-part series, Pastor Mike takes on this issue from a biblical perspective—using both grace and truth. Watch on TV or online!
The first episode of Abuse: What Does God Say? is available to watch on July 16th with new episodes released each Sunday in July and August.
I am so glad that our Father is not a male chauvinist. Our Creator loved Eve as much as Adam, and our Savior died for the sins of the world, no matter our gender.
I love that truth, because the people I love most in this world are women! God blessed me with a wife and two daughters, which means this man is outnumbered every time we gather for dinner.
This passage from Esther, which my eldest artistically added to our chalkboard door, reminds me that God has an essential purpose for the men and women of his kingdom—Esther, my daughters, you, your sister, and every faithful female in the family of God.
Thank God for a Father who truly loves every one of his kids, including you!
Recently, you may have received a survey asking what particular Time of Grace resources God often uses to bless your life. If you didn’t get one, don’t worry. I didn’t get one either!
The response was really cool. Some people connected with Time of Grace on YouTube. Even more of you tuned in on TV. A lot of you enjoyed reading the books available each month. But the highest percentage of people connected through our daily devotions (a.k.a. Grace Moments).
And that just makes me smile…because it means that many of you are connecting with God every day. And that’s so encouraging! We all need God’s forgiveness, God’s strength, and God’s guidance every day, so I’m thanking God for the way that Time of Grace helps you to hear your Father’s voice from Sunday morning to Saturday night.
If that’s not you just yet, we would love to help. Whether it’s a Grace Talks video to start your day, one of the many podcasts on your drive to work, or a Grace Moments book that sits next to your bed, we want to help you have a stronger connection to God. Maybe today is the right moment to explore timeofgrace.org and discover the right resource for this chapter of your life.
About 2,500 years ago in the days of Esther, God’s people saw the value of creating a way (the celebration of Purim) to help themselves remember their salvation. We hope and pray that we can help you do the same thing, establishing the small habits that make a big difference in your relationship with Jesus.