Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC

Esther 4
When Mordecai learned all that had been done, Mordecai tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and he cried out with a loud and bitter cry. 2 He went up to the entrance of the king’s gate, for no one was allowed to enter the king’s gate clothed in sackcloth. 3 And in every province, wherever the king’s command and his decree reached, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting and weeping and lamenting, and many of them lay in sackcloth and ashes. 4 When Esther’s young women and her eunuchs came and told her, the queen was deeply distressed. She sent garments to clothe Mordecai, so that he might take off his sackcloth, but he would not accept them.5 Then Esther called for Hathach, one of the king’s eunuchs, who had been appointed to attend her, and ordered him to go to Mordecai to learn what this was and why it was. 6 Hathach went out to Mordecai in the open square of the city in front of the king’s gate, 7 and Mordecai told him all that had happened to him, and the exact sum of money that Haman had promised to pay into the king’s treasuries for the destruction of the Jews. 8 Mordecai also gave him a copy of the written decree issued in Susa for their destruction, that he might show it to Esther and explain it to her and command her to go to the king to beg his favor and plead with him on behalf of her people. 9 And Hathach went and told Esther what Mordecai had said. 10 Then Esther spoke to Hathach and commanded him to go to Mordecai and say, 11 “All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that if any man or woman goes to the king inside the inner court without being called, there is but one law—to be put to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter so that he may live. But as for me, I have not been called to come in to the king these thirty days.” 12 And they told Mordecai what Esther had said. 13 Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. 14 For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” 15 Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, 16 “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.” 17 Mordecai then went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.

When I was a teenager, Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls ruled the basketball world. With his tongue wagging, Nike shoe wearing, and slam dunking swagger MJ was the basketball craze and a huge part of pop culture. I played basketball, so naturally I wanted to, as the commercial said, “be like Mike.” Before every game Michael Jordan would lead his teammates in a chant. I can still see them in the tunnel leading out to the floor saying it. “What time is it?! Game time…Huh!” So, before basketball games my teammates and I would try and recite this chant just the same way MJ did in hopes that somehow his ability would magically be ours. Needless to say it didn’t work, but it was fun nonetheless.

Esther is Queen of Persia. She was taken into the King’s harem, but through the grace and favor of God, she was the only one chosen out to serve the King as his queen. Esther is Jewish, which was a big step out for a pagan King, but ultimately God was in on this arrangement. By the way, don’t you know God is always at work in and through our circumstances! In the Persian royal court the king’s right hand man is a man by the name of Haman. Haman is an Agagite by origin, one of the hated enemies of Israel. Behind the scenes he incites the Kingdom against the Jews and tricks the king into giving him the authority to eradicate all Jews from Persia. Genocide. Ethnic Cleansing. Racism. Hatred. Murder. This is Satan’s ultimate strategy, and he has always tried to rid the world of the Lord and His people.

But God had a plan. God had placed Esther in this influential role for a reason. Her godly uncle Mordecai sends her a note and reminds her that it was for such a time as this that God placed her as queen. Now was her time to shine. Now was her time to step into the destiny God had for her life. Now was her time to stand up for Jesus and God’s people in the midst of persecution and opposition. Don’t miss the Christological imagery here, it was just a handful of centuries later that Jesus would step in and die for us on the cross to save us from eternal death in hell and rise from the dead for our justification.

Child of God, the circumstances in your life may not be as dire as Esther’s, but the principle is the same. You and I were created for such a time as this. We were placed on this earth, at this specific point in history, around the people that we are around daily, so that we will give glory to Jesus and invite others to know Him. We were created for such a time as this. Because Jesus delivered us through His death on the cross and glorious resurrection, we have the power to impact others.

So, what time is it? It’s game time! Game on. Every morning it’s game on for Jesus. Are you going to get in the game? Are you going to bring glory to God and share Christ with those right around you, or are you going to sit back and let the enemy win? I challenge you today to get in the game for Jesus. Stop sitting on the sidelines in your service. Stop just being a fan of others when it comes to giving. Stop trying to coach when you’re supposed to be playing. Stop passing the ball when it’s your opportunity to tell someone about Jesus. Child of God, what time is it? It’s game time. Get in the game for Jesus.    

Dear Lord, I know that I am Your special creation. I was created on purpose for a purpose, and Jesus You saved me not to sit but to serve and to share the gospel. Lord, I want to get in the game. Help me to serve, to give, and to invite others to You today. In Jesus name, amen.

Matthew 6:33
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.