Today’s Reading: Esther 1:1-3:15 (additional reading: Psalm 35:17-28 and Proverbs 21:19-20)
Today we were introduced to a story that has fascinated men and women through the years as it tells of a king and his queens and how a young Jewish girl rose to fame from her humble beginnings as an orphan girl. Yet, while the story never mentions the name of God, we have already begun to see, God was there all along, working behind the scenes to accomplish His divine will.
Both Mordecai and Esther have certain qualities about them that made them usable by God and both were blessed more than they ever dreamed. Mordecai was a man characterized by great love – in this instance a great love for his family. Verses 5-7 tell us how he adopted Esther, his cousin as his own daughter after her parents died.
Love is not optional for the child of God. We’re commanded to love others. Jesus said that the greatest commandment was to love God. The second commandment is to love others. In the Bible, we are commanded to love our families, and there’s something wrong with the person, husband or wife, mom or dad, son or daughter who can’t love the others. It’s not natural. You shouldn’t have to be commanded to love your family. We’re also commanded to love our neighbours, those who are outside our families. Lastly, we are commanded to love our enemies. Jesus said that anyone could love his friends, but we must love those who hate us.
Not natural you say? You’re exactly right – it’s not natural. That leads me to the second thing we must learn about love. According to Galatians 5, love is a fruit of the Spirit, which means that the only way you can have it is to be in right relationship with God by following the leadership of the Holy Spirit. You must be in fellowship with Jesus – abide in Him and Him abiding in you. Think of a fruit tree. Jesus is the trunk, you are a branch, and love is the fruit that is produced in your life as you stay hooked up with Jesus. The moment you separate your life from Him you quit producing fruit.
Mordecai didn’t just say to Esther, “I love you.” but kept his distance he welcomed her as his own daughter. He went all the way. If you’re going to be a person of love, then you’re going to have to pay the price it costs to express it, but if you’ll pay up, not only will God be able to use you, you’ll experience greater blessings in your relationships than you’ve ever dreamed possible.
Are your relationships marked by love?
Father, Thank You that You demonstrate to us what it means to be a relationship based on love. Thank You that You love us even though we have nothing to offer. Help us to love others with a love that overflows from You. In Jesus’ name, Amen