Text: Esther 2:1-11
“And every day Mordecai walked in front of the court of the harem to learn how Esther was and what was happening to her.” —Esther 2:11
Most of us have heard of the name Billy Graham. As a teenager growing up on a dairy farm in North Carolina during the Great Depression, he grudgingly attended church with his family. The young Graham often felt restless and resentful during his family’s Bible reading, praying, and psalm singing. But that all changed one night after he surrendered his life to Christ at a tent revival in Charlotte. He went on to become a legendary preacher—for decades, Billy Graham held numerous preaching Crusades in stadiums and sports arenas across the United States and the world, leading millions to faith in Christ.
We know about Dr. Graham’s legacy. But do you know the name of Graham’s teenage friend who invited him to that tent revival? Most do not. His name is Albert McMakin. He invited Billy to the meeting by saying, “Why don’t you come out and hear our fighting preacher?” The deal was then clinched when McMakin offered to let Billy drive his dairy truck to the meetings. The rest is history.
Do you know what McMakin was doing? He was simply doing for one what he wished he could do for all—constructing opportunities for people to encounter Jesus. God used McMakin in the tapestry of Billy’s life. That young man helped shape eternity in many by investing in the one right in front of him. Though that may not always seem far-reaching, it is much bigger than you realize.
Oftentimes when we think about the story of Esther, we are mindful of the orphan minority girl who bravely saved her people from genocide. We might tend to overlook the simple example of how Mordecai—the devoted foster parent, the consummate mentor, and the intentional discipler—changed the world by investing in ONE vulnerable young person. He didn’t change the world or redirect the course of history by pastoring a mega church, building a mammoth non-profit organization, preaching mass crusades, or producing faith-based films that influence millions.
No, Mordecai changed the world by investing in the faith of ONE person caringly and consistently—Esther!
Mordecai took Esther in and raised her after she lost her parents. He nurtured her, bringing her up in a God-fearing home. He endowed her with courage, faith, and dignity. He empowered her to use the gifts she had for the right purposes in serving others rather than self-preservation. Then he unleashed her potential by sending her out with confidence (though he wasn’t in control of her destiny). Furthermore, he continued to walk by the king’s palace every day to check on her as she was preparing for her big moment with the king.
Mordecai invested so much into one. Who is that one that God wants you to intentionally invest in right now? Is there a colleague or friend in need of spiritual answers? Where do you need to mentor, disciple, parent, or just be there for one presently in need of encouragement, guidance, or strength. Whose corner do you need to stand in right now in this season as they endure hardship or trials?
Changing the world doesn’t have to sound intimidating, it’s simply a matter of saying “yes” to Jesus regarding those in your path of responsibility or proximity of influence. Think about that as you seek to abide in Him this week.
God, help us to be encouraged as disciplers and world changers—salt and light in a land that is desperate for gospel saturation. Guide us each day into those contexts and relationships where we can flesh out the gospel and invest in a future generation that will serve you faithfully. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Questions for Reflection, Small Group or Family Discussion:
- Why does changing the world feel so intimidating?
- In what ways might accomplishing ordinary things for God make us instruments of change?
- Who has God brought into your life that you have a sense of responsibility to mentor?
- In what ways does the story of Mordecai and Esther challenge your faith?
- How does knowing that you were made for such a time as this affect the way you approach each day you’ve been given in this lifetime?
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