Share This Episode
Building Relationships Dr. Gary Chapman Logo

Summoned: Esther - Megan Brown

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman
The Truth Network Radio
September 4, 2021 1:00 am

Summoned: Esther - Megan Brown

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 234 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.


September 4, 2021 1:00 am

If you feel like what you’ve been called to in life is impossible to accomplish, don’t miss this edition of Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman. Author, teacher and military missionary, Megan Brown will take us to the book of Esther. She’ll help us discover truths about this Old Testament figure whose life speaks to us today.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Matt Slick Live!
Matt Slick
Building Relationships
Dr. Gary Chapman
Renewing Your Mind
R.C. Sproul
Delight in Grace
Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
Truth for Life
Alistair Begg
Renewing Your Mind
R.C. Sproul

Today, on Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, what we can learn from a woman in today's world. Author and speaker, Megan Brown will join us.

Our featured resource today is Megan's book, Summoned, Answering a Call to the Impossible, an eight-week study of Esther. How that can influence real heart change in people. Have you seen that happen in lives through the years?

I've seen it happen in my own life, Chris. And yes, in the lives of others. And I think also small group studies, personal studies, certainly, nothing wrong with that. I always encourage people to study the Bible personally, but small group things, where you hear other people's response to the Scriptures and how they've applied it to their life and that sort of thing.

It really does. I mean, I don't know anything really more powerful in having changing things in your life that need to be changed than studying the Scriptures. Because Scriptures cover everything. And as you study the Scriptures and discuss it and think about it and how does it apply, you're going to see that. And then if you talk to God, because in the Bible, God's talking to us. And then we're talking to Him in prayer and asking God to make those things real in our lives.

I mean, I'm excited about anytime people get involved in a Bible study. So this is a real relational topic that touches on the spiritual today. And I have to say, before we begin, this conversation with Megan happened before the events that have unfolded recently in Afghanistan. Megan Brown is a military spouse, a mom, a Bible teacher and military missionary with CREW Military, a graduate of Moody Bible Institute with a degree in Ministry Leadership.

She lives in South Mississippi with her husband, Master Sergeant Keith Brown, U.S. Air Force, and their four children. At FiveLoveLanguages.com, you'll find her new study. It's titled, Summoned, Answering a Call to the Impossible, an eight-week study of Esther.

Find it at FiveLoveLanguages.com. Well, Megan, welcome to Building Relationships. Thank you so much for having me.

I am so excited to be here. Well, we're going to dig into your book. But in this first segment, I want to hear a little bit about your story, your relationship with your husband, how y'all met, etc., and your family. So share a little bit about that journey. Well, as military couples are wont to do, we met and married very young. I was in college, and I was working full time, and we met when we were barely 20 years old. And before we knew it, six months later, we were taking that trip down the aisle. It really was an interesting story of how we met. We met through a mutual friend, and if you know what I look like and you've seen my picture, I have bright neon hair. I was still just as stylish in those years.

My husband, on the other hand, had a very crisp, white oxford. His shirt was tucked in, he had a nice little belt, very clean cut, and you definitely would have heard that the telltale opposites attract. But he was a devout believer, is a devout believer, and he was so excited to tell me about all the things the Lord was doing in his life while we were dating, what he thought the Lord was calling him to do. At the time, I really wasn't sure what I believed, and he was so certain. Even on our first date, he was like, oh my gosh, I cannot wait to get married.

I remember thinking, oh wow, okay, all right, that was interesting. But really, a few months after we had been married, he woke me up on a Sunday morning, and he said, Megan, I would really love for you to come to church with me. I remember joking and saying, hey, you can carry me to lunch after you go to church.

I'm not particularly interested. He just looked at me and said, I would really, really appreciate it if you would go, and I'm going to be really disappointed if you don't. I remember thinking, okay, I can pull it together and go to church with them. So I packed up that Bible they give you when you graduate high school with a new international version. It had a lot of red letters and gold foil, and thank the Lord, it had tabs. He took me to this church in Columbus, Mississippi, where this older gentleman with a fabulous comb-over and a three-piece suit waddled his way to the pulpit. He began unpacking Ephesians, and I remember he said, all right, beloved, I want everybody to get your Bibles, and you're going to turn to the book of Ephesians.

It seemed like everyone around me just plopped their Bibles open to the right page, and I'm kind of peering over to my neighbor to see if there's a page number. I'm like, what is an Ephesia? What's that? But then this man started talking about being predestined to sonship, adopted, cared for by the Lord, chosen, and these words wrecked me.

I remember being in the car afterward asking my husband, Oh my gosh, is this true? What is this book? What is this for?

Is this for real? He took me to Chili's, and he just continued to unpack what we talked about in the sermon. It was that day that I gave my heart to the Lord. A little John up the road, I was baptized when I was pregnant with our first child, and so he patiently discipled me.

But really something exciting and just a fun, unique little snippet. Your book, "The 5 Love Languages" , was one of the first books I received as a new believer. This church really shepherded us, and they plugged us into this newly, nearly married Sunday school class.

I'd never been in a Sunday school class. That was a new experience, but they gave us a copy of this little purple book and a workbook. They were like, all right, this is what we're going to do together. My husband and I attribute those early years where we really learned what it was like to care for one another and love one another well. That really had a large part in our story as believers, as a married couple, and really disciplers of children. So we're so grateful for you. I'm so excited to be here with you today.

Well, thank you, Megan. We're glad you're here. That is an exciting story. To see the way God worked through your husband and through the pastor and the church to minister to you, that's wonderful. I want to talk a little bit about the military, because I know your husband's full time in the military, and you call yourself a missionary to the military working with the crew.

We're familiar with that organization. What's it like to be a modern military spouse? My goodness, I guess in a word, it's chaos. I mean, albeit organized chaos, the experience of most modern military families really consists of the constant adjustments and recalibrations. In response to an ever changing set of circumstances.

I mean, you have deployments, relocations and temporary duty stations. And those are only part of the upheaval that we as military families endure. We struggle to create new connections and new places. We often find ourselves exhausted and overwhelmed or in seasons of long suffering. And many times, these hardships or hard circumstances are experienced completely alone while our spouse has boots on the ground somewhere else.

I mean, we long for community and for support. And really, we're always in a constant state of reaction or recovery. It's really like a balancing act.

If you could imagine balancing on a little round ball while spinning too many plates while they're simultaneous cannon fire sounding off from somewhere. We have to kind of juggle our own emotional hiccups while trying to stabilize our children and calm their fears while managing our own. Essentially, sometimes the cost of serving alongside of our service member really adds up in an emotional and mental toll of labor. You know, I think you just described a lifestyle that many in civilian life are not familiar with. And they just have a vague idea of what it's like to be in the military.

But I think what you've just shared is reality. You know, I've had the privilege of being on a number of military bases through the years and actually wrote a special edition of "The 5 Love Languages" for the military. Particularly talking about how do you speak these love languages when you're deployed, you know, so you can stay emotionally connected while you are apart.

So thanks for sharing that. And after the break, I want to talk a little bit more about your military ministry. This is Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" . If you'd like to hear a past program, take an assessment of your love language or see our featured resource today, go to our website at FiveLoveLanguages.com. That resource is the book by Megan Brown, Summoned, Answering a Call to the Impossible, an eight week study of Esther.

Just go to FiveLoveLanguages.com to find out more. Megan, you are a military missionary. You work with an organization called CREW, which used to be Campus Crusade for Christ.

What's that like? What are you learning as you're trying to reach out to people and share Christ in the military? I guess the most important lesson that I've learned is that women in our space, military women and wives, are really craving the Lord. They want to know him intimately, but no one has ever discipled them, plugged them into the life of the church, or taught them how to engage with Scripture well.

I feel like they're always striving to find community, and so oftentimes they're really disappointed. Our ministry started several years ago. I joined CREW, I onboarded last year, and it has been one of the greatest decisions I've ever made because they are phenomenal in infrastructure and in encouragement. It no longer feels like I'm kind of a lone wolf doing mission work, but our mission work started about seven years ago. We were stationed on the Gulf Coast, and all I did was open up our living room for a small group Bible study. I just wanted to learn alongside of my peers, and I thought, you know, I'm totally ill-prepared.

I don't really know what I'm doing, but I'm sure that I can read through these passages of Scripture with my neighbors and we can learn something together. What happened was so interesting. The first week we had six women that were just sort of huddled around my coffee table.

We weren't using a workbook or any curriculum. We were simply unpacking the Gospel of Luke chronologically, verse by verse, line by line. Then that second week, there were 17 women, and the week after that, there were 25. Before I knew it, our military housing unit, our streets were packed with women dragging lawn chairs and red wagons full of kids.

I mean, my kitchen was a Plato nightmare, Gary. It was insane. We had children everywhere, but women were just earnestly leaning in, longing to hear what God had to say about who He is, who Christ is, and what He wants from us in response to the Gospel. We ended up reaching out to the local chapel here, and we partnered and opened a ministry with 40 women and 50 kids.

Before we knew it, two years later, we had outgrown the government facility, the funding, the staff, and I had to train these women to open their homes. So we launched 10 simultaneous Bible studies in the local Kiesler area. Now, several years later, there are hundreds of groups meeting all over the continental U.S.

In the North Pole, we've got groups in Italy and England and Japan and Hawaii. We're seeing this revival just sweep through our community, and the Lord is just in such fierce pursuit of this community. I really would love to just cast the vision of what could happen if the local church could come alongside us and shepherd us and serve us and send us. Military families are perfectly positioned to be gospel carriers.

We're in all 50 states. We're in the middle of oceans. If you want the gospel to go to the Middle East, man, we have guys over there. I think that what I'm really trying to say is that within this community lies the potential for the third great awakening. I really believe in the gospel just explode through our community. I think that we could see the Great Commission fulfilled in our day. I'm excited about your excitement, okay?

I'm not excited at all. So it's exciting to me to hear how you started very, very simply with having ladies over at your house, and then you outgrew your house. Then you used the facility that the base provided.

Then you went back to houses because you outgrew that. Now that there are groups scattered all over the world. I certainly agree with you.

I mean, military men and women are scattered all over the world, so they're already in place in other countries. It's a matter of them having, first of all, the relationship with Christ, and then the vision of how they can be missionaries where they are. Yeah, well, I'm excited about what you're sharing. In the introduction to your book, you tell a story about a postal worker coming to your front door. Tell us about that. Really, that was an interesting time. When I first became a believer, I really wasn't discipled well. We were plugged into a local church, but as soon as orders dropped, we moved. So I spent several years in my early life as a Christian just believing that the Bible was only for Sundays. I just needed to take it with me, that someone would explain it to me in little snippets. I learned some of the language.

I learned some of the vocabulary. But really, I wasn't living in a way that reflected a deep and abiding understanding of the gospel and the call to live communally. So we were stationed remote in Ohio.

I was at a local church, but I wasn't really in one. One day, the orders for my husband to go on his first big deployment dropped. We had been married for maybe five or six years. Our children were young. I think Hannah was five. My sons were three and one. Our fourth child wasn't even an idea. I was a younger mom.

I think I was 26 or 27. So he went to the Middle East and he was driving convoys. The communication over there was not what it is today. We weren't able to connect or talk very often.

I mean, weeks would go by. It was during one of these lulls between no calls or emails that a postal worker shows up at my front door. She has, in her possession, my husband's foot lockers. Now, we lived about an hour and a half away from the nearest base.

The first thought in my mind is that this postal worker has beaten the casualty officers. That my husband was killed in combat and that I am going to learn it right now with this lady bringing his stuff to me before he was due home. I just turned white as a sheet. I panicked. As a believer, I didn't know how to access that hope, that comfort that we proclaim that we have in Christ, knowing that we are watched, held, cared for, loved. I didn't feel any of that in the moment of my greatest fear as a professing believer. When she loaded those things into my garage and the door closed behind her, I froze. I remember standing in my doorway, soaked in tears, not really knowing what to do.

I had no one to call. I was completely consumed with fear. I remember what I now know as the Holy Spirit. In that moment, just something prompted me to pick up my Bible.

It was that same gold foil, red letter, new international version that by this point had been a little bit worn and torn because I'd been carting it with me for so long. I just flopped it open on my coffee table and it landed in 1 Thessalonians. I read it from beginning to end, but the only thing I was able to grasp was to pray without ceasing. I thought, all right, Lord, I will lean in. I will learn to pray in the fire.

That's what we're doing. I would be wiping down counters and washing dishes and just saying out loud, Lord, please don't let my husband be dead. I would be bathing children, please don't let my husband be dead. First thing in the morning, the only thing I could get out was please. While I didn't really know what was happening, I just knew that there was calm. There was calm in communing with the Lord. There was calm in His Word. And ultimately, a few days, I think it was like four or five days later, my husband called me. What happened is that he was being moved to a different station and they couldn't fit his stuff.

So they stuck stamps on it and sent it home and he couldn't tell me. I was brought face to face with my greatest fear. What that showed me in that moment is that I was completely alone, completely unprepared. I had no idea how to go to the Word of the Lord to hear what He was going to say to me in that moment.

If you would have asked me then, I wouldn't have said this. But I truly believe that our lives as missionaries began in that moment, feeling that loneliness and understanding fundamentally that there's got to be a better way. And also wanting to make sure that no other military spouse was faced with that kind of fear alone, without a hope, without the gospel, without being discipled. So we just made it our life's mission to serve this community to make sure that there's no woman left behind.

It's amazing, isn't it, how God uses simple circumstances to bring us face to face with the reality of life and death, and then use that in a positive way in our lives. You reminded me of a time that I sat with 21 military wives in Norfolk, Virginia. They were wives of Navy SEALs. I said, tell me what it's like in the military. And one lady said, well, I know this may sound crazy, but every time I hear a door slam outside my apartment, I listen to hear if there's two doors that slam, because I know if there's been a casualty, two people will come to my door.

And I thought, wow, you know, civilian marriages, we have our struggles, but we don't face living with the reality when your husband's deployed that he could not only have casualty, but he could be dead, you know. So, wow, well, it's wonderful to see the way God used that in your life. And so we've been talking about your military career as along with the missionary career. But now you've created a Bible study based on the life of Esther. Incidentally, I just finished reading Esther in my own personal quiet time.

I'm now in Job. Ooh, yeah, ooh, yes. Because it comes right after Esther. Yes. So this Bible study, let me ask you what Chris asked me when we started this program. Have you seen evidence that studying the Bible can really bring about real heart change in the lives of people?

Oh, my goodness, yes, yes, yes, a million times yes. One of those ministry milestones that I think all of us that serve in some way in ministry have experienced. There's one milestone that just stands out in my mind every time I'm asked a question like this. There was a young woman who had been attending some Bible studies, but they were very surface level, book club type. They weren't really necessarily missional in nature, and she had been to Bible study and had never actually heard the gospel. She had studied on biblical marriage. I think they were doing a book, I don't remember which book, but they had looked at the biblical principles of marriage. But she never had really heard the gospel or really understood what the Bible actually said about Christ, about his work, and about the redemptive nature of Christ. And so after meeting with her over coffee and sharing the gospel with her, we spent about eight weeks delving into the depths of the Bible.

I mean, we did a bird's eye view, but we covered all the things that we could possibly cover. The story of scripture, the beginning, the middle, the end. What's the Old Testament? What's the new? How does every single scripture lead up to or is a result of the gospel? How do we do these things?

What are we to understand? And at the end, she was so excited. She says, Megan, I want to get in the water. Can I do it today? Can I call my family?

Can you do it? Can you call your church? Can I do it at your church? And I'll never forget that Sunday morning, our pastor let me perform the submersion into the water. And so the whole Bible study packed the house. I mean, we had four pews side to side packed full of families that were there to support her.

And so as I immersed her into the water and pulled her back up, you wouldn't have been able to tell where my tears, her tears and those baptismal waters started or ended. But can the Bible studying the Bible bring about real heart change? You betcha. Absolutely.

It can save. Yeah, that's amazing. You know, God uses his word to touch our hearts and lead us to the next step that we need to be taking with him. Now, on this book of Esther, now you have to admit that this story of a Jewish woman who lived in ancient Persia feels like it wouldn't really speak into today's world. But you disagree with that, right? I do.

I do. You know, as a young baby Christian, I'll just use that term, as a baby Christian, it was so funny how I would study Scripture. I feel like God would look back at this and think it was precious, but I was a little embarrassed at the time. I had a big girl Bible, right? I had the Bible. I had a children's Bible, and then I had a dictionary. And I was just trying to understand what these stories were about.

I didn't really understand how these stories in the Old Testament connected to the New. What does this mean? What does that mean?

What am I supposed to learn? And really, the first time I heard Esther, and several women have said they've had the same experience, it was a very child-friendly, hand-sanitized version of the story. There was once a beautiful woman who fell in love with a powerful king, and through her bravery, she saved her people. And it almost read like a Hallmark movie when you would think about it. But when we look at Esther, it is dark, and there are some deep and insidious things lurking right at the surface. I mean, these are women that are kidnapped off the street into a government-sanctioned harem. I mean, this is not the kid's version that I was exposed to first. There were no pretty Tiaras here.

It was hate. And I thought, if there was ever a story that would speak to us today, it could be this story. And really, the heartbeat of the study is this, that God is good when things are bad, and that He is so faithful. I think in our culture, there's this permeation of a story that God is only good when our businesses are thriving, or when our marriages are thriving, or when our kids are healthy, or when things for us are going well. And really, this story in Esther shows us that, man, God is still good when things are not well, that He is moving in and through. And my goodness, shouldn't we praise Him that He works in hard providence?

That's really the heart of this book, is that God is good when things are bad, and He is so faithful. Thanks for joining us today for Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman. Find us online at fivelovelanguages.com. We have some great resources, a tool to assess your love language. You can hear a podcast of the program and find out about our featured resource. It's the study by Megan Brown titled Summoned, Answering a Call to the Impossible, an eight-week study of Esther.

Just go to fivelovelanguages.com. Megan, one of the aspects of this study on Esther is being quiet enough to hear God's whisper to us. What does that concept mean to you? You know, I really believe that God speaks through His Word. He speaks to us today in it. And I think, specifically in women's ministry culture, women are pursuing purpose above a relationship with the Lord, above the study of His Word. And really what I want women to focus on is to be still long enough to know that all our purposes are essentially the same. Christ commissioned us to go and make disciples.

And really the hard part is figuring out in what context. I deliver the gospel and make disciples in my context as a military spouse. I go when and where God sends me all over God's green earth. But really I feel like what women need to do is to be still long enough to sit and hear God speak in His Word. Through the ardent study of His Scripture, He's revealed Himself to us in such a beautiful way. And I feel like women are so sadly missing that because they're so busy chasing a job or a role or a checklist that they miss Christ Himself. Yeah, we have to slow down sometimes to discover the voice of God, right?

Amen. For our listeners who may not know anything about this biblical book, Esther and the story of Esther's life, why don't you just give us an overview of the book? Well, really this is set in ancient Persia in a season of diaspora. And that's really just a fancy word for exile. God's people have been exiled out of His promised land. They're outside of Jerusalem.

The temple has been razed to the ground and they have been dispersed all over the Persian Empire. And where we find ourselves in this story is in the city of Susa. It's in modern day Iran. It's really important to know that the Bible is written on the map and on the historical timeline.

It's on the calendar, right? I mean, the story did not start with once upon a time in a land far, far away. This happened in an actual place, in an actual city, and it is read as a historical account. And so we see these characters in the story of Esther. You have Esther, Mordecai, her uncle, the king, and Ahasuerus or Xerxes, depending on your translation, and Haman.

And there's a few other characters sprinkled in and through, but really this is a spoiler alert. It's not really Esther's story at all. It's God's story. It is God talking about himself. And it's really ironic that you won't find God's name in Esther. And really the invitation from the Lord in this book is to seek how he is moving in and through every aspect of a story where he seems and feels absent. So the king has ordered an edict that all the Jewish people should be killed, right?

Right. And how does Esther play into this? You know, one of the things that I found in my research while I was writing this book is that a lot of the comparable books on Esther really talk about her character, which is good. I mean, the message in those books were be brave like Esther and be courageous like Esther. And really what I found when I was reading through, and I'm looking at this horrendous edict, right, there's life and death on the line. And Esther, her submission to the will of the Lord is really the focal point for me, seeing how Esther was willing to risk her life and obedience to her Lord and master, to her king in heaven, not an earthly king. It really spoke to me that there is such a bravery and courageousness in the surrender of our will, of our life, of our wants, of our needs to the Lord who is good and who calls us to do big things. And small things for his glory and our good. Yeah. So you said that this book is really not about Esther, it's about God.

And I certainly agree with that. So what is God saying about himself in the book of Esther? Really one of the big questions in the book of Esther is will God be faithful, right?

There's this nervousness. Will God be faithful when we are outside of his promised land, right? There's no temple. They are not in the proper worship of the Lord as they would have known it to be in the law. Will God uphold what he said he was going to uphold when God's people were not? And that's really the big question. And spoiler alert again, he is faithful. He's so faithful. If we look at Esther from the 50,000 foot view, he's preserving his people for his purpose. He is going to bring the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, into the world through this people. And so what they were wondering in Esther's time is will God be faithful to do what he said he was going to do?

And I think many believers today are asking that same question. Is God faithful? And I believe what God is saying about himself in the book of Esther is that he is present. He is never far and he is oh so faithful.

Yeah. And it was through Esther, God used his people, through Esther that the Jewish people were spared because of what she did, the brave things she did in standing before the king and requesting that this edict he had made, which he did unknowingly. The king unknowingly did this because he was talked into it by somebody that he trusted. So it's a fascinating story of looking for God's hand in that whole scenario of how God used Esther. So women who are involved in Bible study, why is it important for them to really engage with the Bible?

Not just simply read it and see it as history, but looking for the voice of God in the midst of that. One of the things that I wanted to impart to women is that being confident to come to the Scripture is so important in the life of a believer. I remember when I was handed my first Bible study.

It was after our first time that we moved to Kiesler. A couple of other women invited me to do a study through Ezekiel. Erica Wigganhorn pinned that, another author on the movie line, and it was called Ezekiel Every Life Position for Purpose. It was the first Bible study that I had done that was chapter and verse, line by line, context, cultural implications, big concepts. I thought, Oh my gosh, I feel like I could go to any book in the Bible and know what it's trying to say. Because while the Bible is definitely written to us and for us, it was written during a very specific time. It's important for women to know how to engage well with the Bible so that they can interpret it properly and so they can respond properly. When you misinterpret the Bible and what the Bible is saying for you, you run the risk of missing God altogether. I mentioned this earlier when Chris and I were talking, and that is the value of studying the Bible with a small group of people.

What are the advantages of being in a Bible study group like that that's really digging into the Scriptures, and you have opportunities to interface with others? There's an African proverb that I absolutely love. It says, If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

I think going together will take you very, very far. What I think it looks like is accountability and encouragement and support, really spiritual growth that is massively more than what we can accomplish on our own. Really, if I had a sub-message to that message, it's that a small group Bible study can't and does not replace what the life of the local church brings to the believer. So many times in our community, women will be part of a small group and they will dismiss or forgo the church. They'll think, Well, I'm studying the Bible.

That's really all I need. But man, if I could impart any word of wisdom to those that are listening who are in the military community, it is to attend a small group, yes. But plant yourself and firmly root yourself in the life of a local church.

A study is supplemental. The connection to a local church is life-giving. I think every pastor and every leader in churches would say, Amen to what you just said.

Yes. God ordained the church, you know, and it's a universal church. I mean, true Christian churches are committed to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

And there's various ways that a local church can minister to not only to the parents, but to the children, because they're typically activities for children and young people in most of our churches as well. We're glad you've joined us today for Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman. He's the author of the New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" . Megan Brown is our guest. Her book is our featured resource at fivelovelanguages.com. The title is Summoned, Answering a Call to the Impossible, an eight-week study of Esther.

Find out more at fivelovelanguages.com. Megan, in this last segment, I want to touch on a couple of the chapters in your study book and also in the Scriptures. One is titled Summoned to Seek.

What do you learn in that section of this study? One of the things that I hear often when women talk about the book of Esther is that they can readily quote Esther for the first such a time as this. And I think that that is amazing. I love every word that is in God's word. But I also want women to understand that there's an entire story behind the one scripture that can fit on an Instagram square.

So many times women will get really stuck on one sentiment within the word and they'll miss the rest of the story. So in Summoned to Seek, I'm inviting these women to go deeper, to learn, to listen, to look at historical context, to look at cultural context, to understand that there was a lot that led up to that really famous and wonderful line of scripture. Absolutely, yes. God does call us to timely things. And that's what I believe people are saying to one another when they use that scripture. But there is so much more. So in the section of Summoned to Seek, we really invite them to go deeper, to hear more, to see the bigger picture. Another chapter you discuss is entitled Summoned to Share Sorrow. Why is it important to share our struggles and sorrows with others? I think empathy is one of the least developed characteristics in people today. I think that we want to silver line hard things.

But I really have to say in my time as a military missionary, one of the skills that I am so grateful for is the ability to perspective take and to sit with those that are in pain without trying to fix it. And really what I mean by that is in our community, there are harsh realities. We talked about it earlier. Sometimes spouses don't come back. Sometimes children pass too soon. Sometimes marriages end badly. Sometimes affairs shatter worlds. We deal with hard things. And I think that to be an ambassador for Christ is to be a vehicle for comfort.

And yes, sometimes we can give good constructive advice. But I think one of the most gracious and loving things we can do is share sorrow with people. One of the women that I know and love, she is a gold star spouse.

And it is my joy to sit with her on the days that things are hard. Sometimes you don't think about what these women are grieving. You don't really know what it is they're thinking about.

When a spouse chooses to have their significant other buried in a military cemetery and they remarry, they give up the right to be buried next to them. There are so many different things. Grief shifts. Chapters change. And one of the biggest gifts you can give to these women is the ability to just sit and share their sorrow, loving them well and holding their hand until they have the ability to hope again.

I can fully agree with that as a counselor. The last chapter in your book is called Summoned to Serve. Is that really what Esther's story is all about? You know, really, I think Esther's story is really about God's sovereignty and his faithfulness.

But one of the applications of that is our response. What is our response to this beautiful gift that the gospel gives us, the freedom it gives us? There should be an ignition of a flame in our heart of hearts for those who do not yet have the gospel, who have not heard it. You know, faith comes through hearing, right? And the gospel is made of words.

And so we have to share this story. The last chapter is really about Esther's place in this big story and those that were delivered by her obedience to surrender herself to the Lord. I think that serving is a cornerstone in the Christian life. And don't hear me say that it's a long list of doing. But really what I'm talking about is a response with our lives, the full belief that the gospel is true and that because the gospel is true, we have a job to do. A very good friend of mine, she wrote a beautiful book called Love Riot, Sarah Barrett. She says we keep thinking that discipling, we have to reject the apathy that it's someone else's job. It's our job. Megan, what do you hope will happen for women who complete this study and work through this study guide you've written on Esther?

You know, my deepest prayer is that women will be found. I will call me a zennial, right? I'm in that micro generation. I was born in the early 80s. I didn't have a cell phone until college.

I learned how to operate computers on DOS key commands, right? Like, I'm right there on the line. But what I see in my generation of millennials is that they are being led off cliffs, in droves, chasing after the pursuit of purpose, a side hustle.

They're trying to check boxes in these lists that mean that they're going to be okay. But I want women to lay down their checklist, to lay down their striving, and to simply sit with the invitation that the Lord is giving them to come and to be held by Him, seen by Him, saved by Him. I hope that women who complete this study will gain a love for God's Word, that they will fall head over heels in love with Him, His character, His attributes, but also His Word, so that they can hear Him speak through His revealed Word.

My hope is that women will be found. I really believe that can happen because I've seen God do that many, many times, as you have as well. As we come to the end of our time, I want to ask you one more question about the military. You alluded to this earlier, but how can the local church come alongside active duty military members and their families?

I think it starts with an awareness. My plea for the local church is to realize that we live as a missional and sent people already. We're master community builders.

We're moving every two to four years. We are perfectly primed to carry the story of Christ to the four corners. However, we need to be shepherded and discipled and cared for.

Really, there needs to be practical help. So many times I've had military families tell me that their frustration with the church is that they will go every Sunday desperately grasping for community to find that those circles have already been closed. People have already built their communities. They've been in churches for a long time. They're not really open to bringing other families into the communities they've built and simultaneously that their families suffer during deployments or TDYs or moving and that the local church sometimes feels and seems apathetic because they don't have any way to offer practical help. I was talking with a few friends on social and this one young woman shared this beautiful story that a local church woman came up to her after her spouse had been gone for about two or three weeks and just embraced her in the biggest hug.

She said, I can only imagine it's been a long time since you got a hug. What a beautiful story for this church member to see the struggle and to step in and meet the need and just to say, I'm here for you. I want to encourage you.

You have basic need and I can meet that. I mean, there are so many big things that we need during those seasons that the church seems to let us slip through the cracks. And so my plea for churches, be intentional. Don't treat military members like perpetual visitors, even if we're only with you for six months, nine months, 12 months, two years.

You have an opportunity. And really, most churches do a great job of exegeting the text and their congregations. If churches are settled within an urban setting, they have great homeless missions, soup kitchens. If they're in college towns, they usually have really great young adult missions. But if you are a church and God has established your borders five to 10 miles away from a military installation, you should have military contextualized ministries. And at a minimum, a person who is tracking and caring for military families in your congregation. Well, Megan, we could talk another hour on the military ministry and also this book of Esther. But I want to thank you for being with us today. I do hope that church leaders who are listening will hear what you just said, because I do believe that local churches that are near military bases can have a tremendous ministry in equipping those military personnel.

That wherever they go when they leave there, they're going to go with a closer walk with God and with a vision of how they can minister to others. So thanks again for putting this study together. I hope that many of our listeners, especially ladies in women's groups, will hear this.

Incidentally, it would also be good for men. So thanks for your investment and thanks for being with us today. Thank you so much for having me. And I would love for anyone listening who wants to connect, follow me on social at megbrownrights. You can find me at meganbbrown.com.

I would love to hear how the story is impacting you and how the Scriptures are speaking to you. Thank you for having me on, Gary. I really appreciate it. You're welcome.

Thank you. I love the passion of Megan Brown. And the title again of the resource Summoned, Answering a Call to the Impossible, an eight-week study of Esther. Again, written by Megan Brown. And we have it linked at the website fivelovelanguages.com.

That's fivelovelanguages.com. And next week, if you're a parent, don't miss a conversation about the four habits of raising joy-filled kids. Dr. Marcus Warner and Chris Corzy will be with us next week. Well, a big thank you today to our production team, Steve Wick and Janice Todd. Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman is a production of Moody Radio in Chicago, in association with Moody Publishers, a ministry of Moody Bible Institute. Thanks for listening.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-21 14:55:46 / 2023-08-21 15:13:28 / 18

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime