The Choice is Ours to Make a Difference

Paul wrote in Philippians 2:13:  For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to will and to act for His good purpose (Holman Christian Standard Bible).

Yesterday, July 27, 2017, the United States Senate failed in an attempt to repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act, aka – Obamacare.  After months (years) of promises to do so; after myriads of amendments proffered; and after all debate concluded – it was time to vote.  In that vote every senator exercised the authority given them by their state’s constituents both to choose and to act in their behalf.  American history records and the future will prove just how significant a choice, a vote can be in affecting many, many lives.

The story of Esther in the Old Testament is one of the greatest examples of what one person’s choice can mean in the greater scheme of things.  The fate of the Jewish people and the future of western civilization as it unfolded were given into the hands of this young and inexperienced queen of Persia.  In the fifth century B.C. the people descended from Abraham through Isaac, i.e. the Jews lived scattered throughout the vast Persian Empire which extended from India to Egypt and was ruled by the monarch Xerxes.  The king’s right-hand man, Haman, hated the Jews and devised a plan to exterminate them.  Upon discovering the plan Esther’s cousin and adoptive father, Mordecai, appealed to her to intercede with the king on her people’s behalf.  But according to the law of that time, anyone approaching the king uninvited would be put to death.  Naturally, Esther hesitated to do as Mordecai asked and so informed him.  Mordecai’s response was both compelling to Esther and important for our consideration:

“For 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?” (Esther 4:14 New International Version)

Mordecai’s words revealed that God’s plan was to give relief and deliverance for the Jews and perhaps He had given Esther royal position to do exactly that.  Esther had to consider that her place in history was according to a greater plan that concerned all history.  God himself had providentially put her in a place to make a difference; but Esther had to decide herself what she would do.  Her choice to risk her own life by approaching the king uninvited and the deliverance it brought is celebrated annually by Jews all over the world in the festival of Purim.

Like Esther, let us consider Mordecai’s advice that we are living in the time where and when God meant us to be.  Also ponder the apostle Paul’s point that God is today working in you and me, enabling us both to choose and to act according to His good purpose.  Consider carefully the choices you make today and every day because they really will make a difference in your life and in other lives as well.

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