On Sunday mornings North Village Church has been studying through the book of Esther. A common theme we see throughout the book is that God involves people in the lives of other people. It’s that simple.
Throughout Scripture we God involving people in the lives of other people and it is something we need to consider about our lives today. Here are a few questions to help us reflect:
Am I Embracing My Faith? Esther and Mordecai hid their faith for half of the book. There are specific parts where they tell one another to “Tell no one.”
I imagine this is an area where some of us can identify with Esther and Mordecai. You might know Jesus, but everyone else in your life would be completely surprised. Perhaps we left home, left family, left friends and for some of us we might have left our faith, but just like we see throughout the book of Esther, God has not left.
He is still there. He is still working. His hand is on your life, and He is inviting us to come to Him, confess, repent, and not only inviting you to know Him, but to get involved in the lives of people you live around every day.
Am I Embracing My Position? Esther and Mordecai were politicians essentially. Some how we have created this weird context where these are types of things pastors do, while the rest of us are just on the JV team.
That is so weird. It doesn’t show up anywhere in Scripture. We are all given the same Holy Spirit to get involved in the lives of other people. Some of us are business leaders, professors, management, service industry, students, and we all need to embrace our positions to His glory, and look at our positions through a different lens.
Am I Embracing My Desperate Need for Jesus: If you read this and think, “That’s right! I need to get involved in the lives of other people.” It won’t last long. We are a people that are simply too frustrating.
We are too messy. We are too complicated, disappointing, hurtful, and we say mean things, we have been mistreated, and after this happens for so long we start to hate people, and give up.
This is why God enters into human history. This is why in Romans 5 it says, “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man;…8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son.”
Did you hear that? “While we were yet enemies!” Scripture teaches the reason we are complicated, messy, broken, and frustrated is because we are enemies of God. We were created to be in relationship with God, but we rejected God and we went to war with God as enemies.
The average person is going to say, “Calling us enemies is a bit harsh!” Don’t really feel like I am at war with God.” This is the good news is, “If you don’t think you have never been an enemy of God, you’re not a Christian right now!” I know that might sound abrasive, but if that is offensive then this is actually really good news.
Sometimes we think, “A Christian is someone who lives a moral life, comes to church, and tries to help other people.” I think that is called Southern Hospitality. Lets not get that confused with Jesus.
A Christian isn’t someone who is simply hospitable. A Christian is someone who says, “God makes me angry, and I don’t naturally love God.” A Christian is aware that they only “love God” when God does what we want, how we want, which is not really loving God, but using God. Right? And when bad things happen, children die, jobs are lost, cars break down, and dreams don’t come true, it makes us really angry at God.
That is why it is not our work to love people. That is why Romans 5 says, “But God demonstrates His own love while we were yet enemies.” Do you know what this means? This is great news! This means our only hope to love God, and love others is if God sees the inner wickedness and warring and hostility of our hearts toward God, and still comes, still chases after you to put your sin to death at the cross, clothe you in the righteousness of Christ, adopt us into God’s family as sons and daughters and present us as holy and blameless.
When that happens, and you see your hostility and anger, and you see God chasing after you it is called Christianity. In that moment there is a little crack of fire in your heart to love God and love other people because He first loved you (1 John 4:19).
It is only then that we will be able to get involved in the lives of other people.