December 3, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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Icebreaker Question: What’s the most interesting dinner party you’ve ever attended? What made it stand out for you?
God is a God of justice, truth, and righteousness. As His children, we must also be a people of justice, truth, and righteousness. We must fight for justice, be a voice for those who don’t have a voice, take up the cause of the oppressed, marginalized, and downtrodden, and do everything we can to defend people from injustice, exploitation, and evil. Over and over again in Scripture, God calls on His people to be His instrument of help, relief, and defense against the forces that seek to harm vulnerable people.
Now, have you ever asked yourself, “Where is God in this situation? Why does He allow injustice and exploitation to occur?” In reality, what we should be asking is, “Where was I? Why am I doing nothing while injustice and exploitation take place around me when I’ve been commanded to advocate and fight?” God has ordained us to be His ambassadors, to stand up against such things in His name and be used by Him in these areas, to be His instruments of justice, truth, and righteousness.
In chapters 5-7, we see Esther take the step and advocate for justice for the Jewish people against the wicked schemes of Haman. We see her step out in bold obedience to accomplish what she had been positioned for and use her influence to fight for those who don’t have a voice and stand for what is right.
Consider what David Guzik wrote regarding this passage: “Esther … showed great tact … wisdom in how she framed her request. She appealed on a personal basis, knowing that she has never done anything but please the king.” The lesson? How we approach making an impact in an area of injustice, how we fight, and how we advocate matters! If you want to be used by God to help others and be an influence for justice, truth, and good, your life and approach matter!
Consider Romans 12:18 (NIV), which says, “As far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” or Luke 2:52 (NIV) which says, “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” Consider Titus 2 and 3, where we’re told that our lives and actions impact the manner in which the gospel is perceived by those we’re called to reach!
Like Joseph, Daniel, and Nehemiah, Esther was used by God to save His people because God granted her favor with the king and others. If you want to have influence and make a difference in the world, live like Esther, Joseph, Daniel, and Nehemiah, live like Jesus, who “grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52 NIV)! Live out the words of Micah 6:8 (NIV): “What does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” As you do this, you will see the Lord grant you favor with others, which will open doors for you to share the gospel and bring the hope and salvation of Jesus to people.
Now, you may be thinking, I’m not a royal, politician, CEO, philanthropist, or influencer. I can’t make a difference like Esther did. What can I do? It’s a fair question, but it’s the wrong question. See, not all of us are called to influence at the level or scale that Esther did. We may simply be called to fight for one kid in our neighborhood who’s being exploited or advocate for local people struggling with homelessness or addiction or bring the gospel into the lives of a few people who are culturally and ideologically opposed. That’s okay, because God isn’t looking at numbers; He’s looking at what you did with what He gave you! And imagine if every believer in the world simply fought for justice, truth, righteousness, and salvation in Jesus’ name using whatever influence they have, large or small, taking Esther’s approach! Together, we’d make a massive impact!
Pray about how God wants to use you to be an Esther in the areas of passion and burden He’s given you and in the lives of the people He’s called you to help and reach.
“Then Queen Esther answered, ‘If I have found favor with you, Your Majesty, and if it pleases you, grant me my life—this is my petition. And spare my people—this is my request. For I and my people have been sold to be destroyed, killed and annihilated. If we had merely been sold as male and female slaves, I would have kept quiet, because no such distress would justify disturbing the king.’”—Esther 7:3–4 (NIV)
Dear Lord, thank You for the example of people like Esther, Joseph, Nehemiah, Daniel, Paul, and, most importantly, Jesus. Thank You for calling me to be Your hands and feet in the world, an instrument of Your salvation, to bring justice and goodness into the world. Help me, Father, to not seek after the big fish of massive, wide-scale change and influence if that’s not what You have called me to. If you’ve called me to that, I thank You and ask for Your guidance and for the Spirit to speak to and through me. But if You haven’t, that’s okay because it’s not about me! So, dear Lord, I ask You to help me focus on and be faithful to the areas of influence You HAVE called me to. May I never minimize the impact of the one. May I never overlook the people in my own neighborhood and community for the sake of the whole world. Instead, may I simply live in submission to You and as an example of Your Son to those around me, that I may have a seat of influence and change in exactly the places and spaces You have ordained for me? Amen.
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Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.