MORDECAI AND ESTHER
Esther 2:5–7; 4:8–17
During a recent worship service at the church where I serve as pastor, a father and his two young sons made their way to the front of the altar in preparation to collect the tithes and offerings from the congregation. I cannot tell you what I preached that day, what songs were sung or how many attended, but I can recall the impression it left on me to see the two young boys watch and listen as their dad prayed and then follow his lead while serving.
Sometimes, we are called to go to or support missions efforts in places overseas that we would have trouble finding on a map. Other times, we may be called to assist in our state or town. And then sometimes, our impact and mentoring are most needed with those we share the dinner table with. Our family is our most important ministry opportunity and is critical in reaching our world for Christ.
In our study together this week, we find the fascinating story of Mordecai and Esther. Mordecai and Esther were cousins, with Mordecai serving as her legal guardian. Esther would become queen of Persia, and Mordecai would aid in saving the Jewish people from extermination.
Our influence should be felt first and foremost in the family. (2:5–7)
It has been said each one of us is three different people: who we think we are, who others think we are and who God knows we are. The last one is the only one that matters.
If you are a parent or grandparent, our efforts amount to little if our children do not see us striving each day to love, forgive and protect them like Jesus. In these verses, we see the compassionate heart of Mordecai on display when he adopts Esther following the death of her parents.
Challenge others to do what is right. (4:8–14)
True mentors will tell the people they are seeking to influence what is best even when it may be difficult or unsettling.
Mordecai was clear when he warned Esther about failing to do the right thing. He made his plea personal and powerful. Mordecai was speaking based on conviction, not just a whim.
Mordecai relayed the message back to Esther that she could not hide or dismiss his words. A godly mentor will lead others to do what is good, even when it is hard. Now was the time for Esther to do what was right!
Pray and fast for those you mentor. (4:15–17)
Esther heard the cries of both Mordecai and the people. She asked them to join her for three days and nights of fasting and seeking wisdom and clarity.
We are at our best when we are praying for others. Prayer is neither an art form to master nor a formula to solve; rather, it is a conversation and time of listening to the heavenly Father who loves us more than we can imagine. God uses prayer to change us and give us a new perspective, peace and purpose.
You don’t have to crisscross the globe to change the world. Maybe you can begin with those you share your home with — or perhaps take up the offering on Sunday morning.
By Bobby McKay
Pastor of New Liberty Baptist Church in Morton, Mississippi