September 12

Esther 4:14-16 (NIV) 14For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" 15Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16"Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish."

Mordecai's fellow Jews must have wondered how he could justify sending his stepdaughter to try out for queen of Persia. After all, the King was not a believer. The sovereign hand of God had placed her just where she needed to be when the Jews came under attack. We know Mordecai was not a compromising individual for he would not bow to Haman, and that is what was the source of the threat toward the Jews. Haman was a close friend of the King. The King ordered everyone to bow before him because of his position, but Jews do not bow to men.

This made Haman furious. When he found out Mordecai was a Jew, he wanted all Jews exterminated. He convinced the King to issue the decree. The King did not know his new queen was a Jew. Mordecai and many of the Jews fasted and prayed that God would deliver them. When Esther saw he was dressed in sackcloth, she had a messenger find out what was wrong. Mordecai asked her to plead the case before the King. If she went into his presence without being summoned, she could be executed. Mordecai told her she would be executed anyway, just for being Jewish. She asked the Jews to all fast and pray for her for three days and then she went in to see the King. She had decided that if she was executed it would be for a just cause. How could she live with herself if she did not try to save her people?

We could use some of her desperation. We often fear sharing salvation because we think we might be rejected, but we are sharing with them to save their souls. The life of a nation was at stake. We are not so fearful of losing our lives, but we do face rejection. We have to say, "If we are rejected then we are rejected." People still need to know the truth. God placed Esther where she was to serve a purpose. He has placed you where you are also. Your friends and acquaintances are not in your life by accident.

Consider: When God opens the door, share, and don't worry about the consequences. Lives are at stake. God has placed you where you are for such a time as this!

September 12

2 Corinthians 5:18,20-21 (NIV) 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:

20We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Paul has been writing about the wonder of Christ transforming our lives and preparing us for eternity. He knew he had laid up his treasure there and would prefer to leave and be with Christ. Now he adds that this is all from God. It is not his work but Christ in him. We are sent to help people find a right relationship with God. As we share the work of Christ and encourage them to surrender to His love, we all become ministers of reconciliation. The damage that was done through Adam and our own choices must be reconciled if we are to spend eternity in His presence.

That is why we are Christ's ambassadors. The word is literally 'elders', but the context shows that 'ambassadors' was a good choice of words. We go out representing God, making His appeal to man. We plead with people, imploring them to be made right with God.

It is such an incredible offer! There is a ledger of debt and credit in every life. Sin adds to the debt side. When we first hear God's offer through one of His servants, we realize we only come with debts, insurmountable ones at that. He shows us the ledger of Christ. He has no debts, but His credit page is full, credit beyond our imagination, the righteousness of God. Then he offers to change the names on the ledger, yours for Jesus of Nazareth. Yes, He will take your huge debts, and in return, give you His ledger of incredible credit. Blind to the reality of sins destructiveness, some will reject the offer. They realize that in the exchange, they will become a new creation with a new Master. They look back at their debt producing bondage and find some pleasure in it. But some will take the offer.

Remember: You are an ambassador. Share the wonderful process of reconciliation.