Love God’s People

Mordecai the Jew was second in rank to King Ahasuerus, and he was great among the Jews and popular with the multitude of his brothers, for he sought the welfare of his people and spoke peace to all his people” (Esth 10:3 ESV2011).

Mordecai cared enough to take and raise Esther when her parents died (Esth 2:7). He faithfully served king Ahasuerus and saved him from a possible assassination (Esth 2:19-23). When Haman decreed the destruction of all Jews, Mordecai stepped forward and eventually saved his people (Esth 4).

Mordecai did not only love God, but he also loved God’s people to the extend of taking risks to save them.

His love for Esther meant that he should take and raise her as his own child. His love for God’s people meant that he should face the enemy to stop the massacre of God’s people.

There is so much to learn for us from the legacy of Mordecai. Many of us claim to love God and our neighbours. But do we love God’s people to the extend of facing the enemy to save them?

Today, Christians (God’s adopted people) are attacked from every corner intellectually, physically, politically and economically. Today, Jews (God’s chosen people) are fighting for their survival as Muslims are attacking them with the determination to kill every Jew until none is left. More and more the nations of the world are turning against Israel and supporting Islamic destruction of Jews. Today there is so much need for Christian men like Mordecai who will stand up and defend Jews and Christians from the attacks of the enemy.

Farther, forgive my selfishness and cowardice. May I love and stand up for your people. Bless me with love for them and boldness to defend them.

Serving God with your heart

“I have found David, my servant; with my holy oil I have anointed him, so that my hand shall be established with him; my arm also shall strengthen him.” (Ps 89:20-21, ESV2011).

God found, anointed and empowered the little shepherd boy David to kill Goliath, to rule the nation of Israel and to pave the way for Messiah. Although he made mistakes, he lived for God, worked for God, fought for God and left behind a great legacy and a great kingdom.

But the question is, was David merely an obedient servant who only did what God said or was he more than that? The answer is found in Acts 13:22: David was not only a servant, but a man after God’s heart who would do all God’s will. He was not merely obeying God, but passionately trying to fulfil God’s desires. He was not merely a labourer but a passionate man of God. He did not just put in his labour but firstly his heart, then all he had to see God’s will done.

That is the kind of servant God looks for. If you work for a corporation, it will be enough if you put in your expertise and labour. But if work for God, your expertise, labour and even your obedience will not be enough. First and foremost you must give your heart as David did.

May the Lord give us His heart, passion and desires so that we may be a people after His own heart.

Salt and Light

“You are the salt of the earth, … You are the light of the world…” (Mat 5:13-14, ESV2011).

Salt has preserving and flavouring abilities and is used to preserve and make food tastier. In the same way, God meant that Christians should act as preserving and flavouring agents in this constantly decaying and tasteless world.

Light is what chases away darkness and makes any place pleasant and habitable. In the same way, God meant Christians to be light in this dark and corrupt world.

Since the days of Christ, God used many Jews and Christians as salt and light to make this world a more habitable, pleasant and flavourful place. For example: the hospitals and the medical system, education and universities, equality and freedom of all men were introduced and implemented in this world by Christians. God used Christians like William Wilberforce to fight against the slave trade and to establish the concept of freedom for all men. God used Christians like George Muller to establish orphanages and care for abandoned children. God used Christians like Corrie Ten Boom to protect and shelter Jews from the Nazis during the 2nd World War. Today God is using many Christians to shelter and provide for victims of Islamic violence and terrorism in the Middle east and North Africa. Islamic armies arrive to kill, destroy and kidnap. Christians arrive to save, shelter and give life.

What is your role in God’s work? Where does God want you to be salt and light? Where does God want you to save, shelter and give life?

Father God, please use me as salt and light in this dark and bitter world. Use me to preserve what is good and pleasant and to fight against what is evil. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

Fruitfulness

… make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Pet 1:5-8, HCSB).

Faith is a gift of God and it comes first. However, we still need to work on adding these qualifications onto our faith. Goodness (“virtue” as some translations say), knowledge, self-control, endurance, godliness, brotherly affection and love are the things we need to develop and make part of our life to be fruitful servants of Christ. Often, these qualifications are contrary to our nature, culture and default behaviour patterns. Thus it requires intentional work and prayer to make them part of who we are. Sadly, without these, our faith and knowledge of Christ will remain only in theory, unable to produce fruit in our own lives and in our circles of influence. As James (2:20) said “faith without works is dead”, faith without these qualifications is fruitless just like a dead and dry tree. However, the man who supplements his faith with these qualifications is like fruitful tree by streams of water bearing lots of fruit in season (Ps 1:-3).

Father thank you for blessing me with faith in Christ. Father, please help me also to add these characteristics onto my faith and my personality so that I my lead a fruitful life.