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DAY 20

Mordecai’s Turn

[5 minutes]
Mindsetter Moment: You have made it to day 20 of our 30 for 30 challenge!  This is a milestone worth celebrating. We hope you have grown in your faith and encountered God in a new way over the last few weeks.

Psalm 37:4 says “take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

As we partner with God and prioritize His story, God will begin to change our hearts to align with His vision. Take a moment to reflect on where you were 20 days ago. Has your heart changed? Is your mindset any different? Take a moment to make a note in your journal about how you have grown spiritually since starting this challenge.

[15 minutes]
Scripture reading:

Esther 8:1 - 10:3
1 Corinthians 12:27 - 13:13
Psalm 37:1 - 11
Proverbs 21:23 -24

Devotional thought
It seemed like we wrapped up the Esther story pretty well at the end of chapter seven, but now we have three more chapters! Why is this story so long? The bad guy was punished. Esther got to survive. What more is there to say? If this were a Disney movie that probably would be the end, but this is a God story, and His are just a bit longer.

You see, there was still a little, tiny, major problem! We learn in Esther 8:8, that no decree signed with the king’s seal could be revoked. There was a particular, unfortunate, decree that had been signed with the king’s seal and sent out to the whole kingdom instructing people to kill the Jews. Now Esther must approach the king again to ask for another decree, protecting her people on the day they were to be murdered.

Even after disclosing her identity, Esther continued to have favor with the king, procuring a decree of protection for the Jews to be delivered across the kingdom. In addition, Mordecai was given a position of prominence, second only to the king. Mordecai wrote a letter to the Jewish people scattered throughout the kingdom so they would know God’s story of deliverance and celebrate it each year.

In our current time, during the annual Purim celebration (a festival to remember the story of Esther), Jewish families all over the world gather to hear the story of Esther read. When they get to the last verse the whole group recites these words together, “Mordecai the Jew was second in rank to King Xerxes, preeminent among the Jews and held in high esteem by his many fellow Jews, because he worked for the good of his people and spoke up for the welfare of the Jews.” Esther 10:3

What applies to me?
Although this book is about Esther, let’s take a moment to consider how the story ends. The last verse highlights Mordecai; the cousin who provided for and watched over his orphaned family member. Mordecai was the one who checked on Esther, offered encouragement, and challenged her. Mordecai is the one our Esther story honors in the end.

Today’s passage in 1 Corinthians talks about a Mordecai kind of person. It is a reminder that we can be gifted, smart, talented, and popular but if we don’t have love, we’ll just be annoying. Mordecai lived out the kind of love we see described in 1 Corinthians 13. He was kind, looking out for an orphan. While Haman sought personal glory, Mordecai honored God by caring for the needs of others. Mordecai risked his life to honor God and protect his people, and because of that he is remembered to this day.

It is not an overestimation to say that the Esther story wouldn’t exist without Mordecai. You might relate to Esther, the unlikely queen. Maybe you relate more to Mordecai, the caring cousin. Both of these characters found ways to protect God’s people from right where they were. Wherever you find yourself today, remember that creatively and courageously living out God’s love has the power to change the world.

[10 minutes]
Write it out: Who do you relate more with, Esther or Mordecai? How can you share God’s love with family, coworkers, or friends? Write 2 ideas in your journal.

Pray it out: Use 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 as inspiration for your prayer time. Pray for God to help you be patient, kind, gentle, and forgiving.

Live it out: “Love never fails.” Look for ways to live out the “never fails” kind of love today.