How often do you remember how God has blessed you?
…Have them celebrate annually the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration. He wrote them to observe the days as days of feasting and joy and giving presents of food to one another and gifts to the poor. Esther 9:21-22 NIV
[Therefore, these days were called Purim, from the word pur.] These days should be remembered and observed in every generation by every family, …and these days of Purim should never fail to be celebrated…nor should the memory of these days die out among their descendants. Esther 9:26-28 NIV
Has it occurred to you that you get to celebrate 2 birthdays? The first is your physical birthday when you were born. The second is your spiritual birthday when you became born again. That was when you realized and admitted that your sin separated you from God. This led you to repent and place your faith in Jesus Christ the same way the thief on the cross did. This marked your spiritual birthday. What a special time! You may not remember the day, month, or year. However, you have become aware of this experience over time. You have realized that you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the living God. This has become so precious to you. Life has changed. It is no longer aimless and unsettled. Now you have purpose and peace that God daily gives you. You have come to cherish the privilege to pray and read your Bible. This is truly something to celebrate. But do you?
Purim is a two-day joyous, yearly Jewish celebration. It began because the Jewish people were delivered by God from grave danger during the time of Queen Esther. A law was declared to annihilate all Jews. You can read this riveting story in the book of Esther. Every year, during Purim, Jews participate in reading about this beautiful young Jewish orphan who lived in Persia. Her cousin, Mordecai, was influential in her being chosen to become the wife of King Xerxes. A sinister plot was devised by an evil man named Haman who wanted to destroy all the Jews. Esther was used by God to save her people.
During some time in your life, it is likely that you have faced danger which could have destroyed you. Who hasn’t? Maybe it was a near death situation caused by an accident which almost took your life. Perhaps you were physically or emotionally sick. God healed you and delivered you from what may have seemed like a dungeon of death. Maybe you faced a financial loss of almost everything except the clothes on your back. Now you are financially strong and secure because God made a way for you to be delivered. It could have been a family tragedy, a reputation slandered, or so much more. But you are here to tell the story of God’s saving power. The question is, “Do you celebrate your deliverance?” You are alive to share your story! God intervened so that you might live.
The point is this. Just like the Jewish people in Esther’s time, you have probably had moments of grave danger followed by God’s great deliverances. You have reason to celebrate your own personal Purim. Why not yearly recall your greatest, most memorable deliverances from death? If you cannot remember something truly significant, you can still celebrate your own personal Purim because your sin had sentenced you to death. [Romans 6:23] Jesus Christ delivered you from eternal separation from God. He died on Calvary to pay the price for your sin. [Romans 3:23] Jesus died to forgive you and then give you eternal life in heaven. Once you were a sinner facing the danger of hell. Now you are a believer looking forward to being with Jesus Christ in heaven. This alone is a reason to celebrate your own personal Purim.
You celebrate your physical birthday. Now you should celebrate your spiritual birthday. Every time you participate in communion you are doing that. However, you could take a special time every year to do this as well. Once you lived your life for yourself. Now you live your life to bring glory and honor and attention to Jesus Christ your Savior and Lord. Once you were self-centered. Now you are Christ-centered. This is a cause for celebration. When you hear the Jewish people are celebrating Purim, why not take that time to celebrate all the times God has delivered you from death? Particularly remember the fact that he gives you eternal life having delivered you from sin.
Purim is usually celebrated sometime in February or March. When the Jewish people celebrate it, make a note to yourself to celebrate all the times God has delivered you from danger, destruction, and death. Remember your greatest death deliverance was when Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for your sin.
You may not be Jewish but that does not mean you should not CELEBRATE YOUR PURIM. Three things will come your way when you celebrate God’s deliverance events in your life.
#1 You will be yearly putting things into perspective. Your celebration will remind you that God is greater than all the problems that you have ever faced.
#2 You will be reminded who God is and who you are without Him.
#3 You will spiritually grow. “Celebrating is like watering a plant.” Do you want to bloom and blossom? Then just remember God is awesome!
SOMETHING TO DO
Throughout today, recall how God has delivered you from danger. Write down the numerous times God has turned your sorrow into joy and your mourning into celebration.
SOUL TIME PRAYER
Heavenly Father, You have spared my life, healed me, and so often delivered me from potential disaster. If it were not for You, I may not be alive today. Thank you, Lord. I will regularly celebrate Your goodness to me. You are my both my Deliverer and Protector! AMEN