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DAY 19

Such a Time as This

[5 minutes]
Mindsetter Moment: Read Proverbs 21:21-22 first today. As we go through the rest of our daily reading, consider the priorities of Esther and Mordecai in light of this Proverb. While King Xerxes is prioritizing his own kingdom, Mordecai prioritizes God’s Kingdom. Where Haman seeks the approval of men, Mordecai seeks the approval of God. In the New Testament Jesus says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” Matthew 6:33. When we value what God values, things have a way of falling into place. Look for opportunities to pursue righteousness and love today. Trust God with the outcome.

[15 minutes]
Scripture reading:

Esther 4:1-7:10
1 Corinthians 12:1-26
Psalm 36: 1-12
Proverbs 21:21-22

Devotional thought
“For such a time as this” give yourself ten points for every mug, coaster, sign, and shirt you have with this quote. It is arguably the most famous passage from the story of Esther. Let’s back up a bit though, Mordecai’s message to Esther has three parts. First, he tells Esther not to imagine that this edict won’t affect her. Second, he tells Esther that if she won’t do something, God will still deliver his people. Finally, he challenges her to consider the bigger picture of her position.

It is easy to imagine the story of Esther through a Hollywood, “hero to the rescue,” lens. Let’s put a pause on that for a second. Mordecai doesn’t say “Esther, you are our only hope, our last chance!” His message is actually the opposite. Mordecai says if Esther remains silent, “relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place.” Mordecai doesn’t invite Esther to be the hero, he encourages Esther to partner with God, the ultimate hero in this deliverance story.

Now Esther had a valid reason to be concerned. Remember what happened to Queen Vashti when she broke the rules? Not only is Esther about to break a rule by visiting the king. She is also going to reveal a secret that she has been hiding. One thing we know about King Xerxes is that he doesn’t like looking foolish. There is a good chance finding out how Esther has kept her identity a secret will make him feel quite foolish indeed.

What applies to me?
As we see in our story, Esther does rise to the challenge, breaks the rules, and risks death to save her people. There are so many amazing lessons hidden in this story. Here is one thought to consider today. Right now, around the world, there are Christians suffering for their faith. Here in our own town, people are held captive by addiction and fear. All around us children go to bed hungry and lack basic necessities.  

Many of us are in an Esther position. We are protected by our homes and good jobs, religious freedom, and a safe family. It is into this “palace” of luxury that Mordecai would send his message. First, let’s not think that the suffering of others has nothing to do with us. Second, God doesn’t need heroes, but he invites us to partner with Him in the work of deliverance. Finally, who knows but that we have been placed in this position “for such a time as this.”

[10 minutes]
Write it out: Take a few moments and think about the needs around you - the needs just beyond your doorstep. Write down needs that you could meet this week, such as a place you can serve to help the hungry or a neighbor, co-worker, or friend who is in need. Make a list of “Esther” opportunities.

Pray it out: Now let’s begin to pray over those needs. While meeting a need physically can be so meaningful, it’s much more powerful when God is involved. Take some time to ask God to bless, anoint, and go before you as you seek to be an “Esther” in your sphere of influence.  

Live it out: Writing down the needs is good! Praying over the needs is better, but living it out is best. Put feet to your faith this week. Who knows how God might use your encouraging words, a warm meal, or a surprise visit? You have one life to risk. Risk it like Esther, for such a time as this.