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There's something about the story of Queen Esther in the Old Testament that fascinates and intrigues me. When my son was little we read the story of this brave queen numerous times from his Bible Stories  by Arthur Maxwell. Here was a little orphan, a nobody, if you will, who grew up to be used by God 'for such a time as this' to bring deliverance to a whole nation. Incredible, isn't it?

For Such a Time

Real perilous times, for the Jews lay ahead
The wrath of the king, Mordecai did dread
While the wicked command, caused the righteous to grieve
Their Redeemer divine, would defend and relieve.

God's plan was in place, to deliver His few
Unknown to the king, he had married a Jew!
As proud Haman conspired, and the gallows prepared
Esther's family all prayed, and God heard their prayers.

Alone, Persia's king, could reverse his decree,
To soften his heart, God would use Esther's plea
His own precious wife, he could never destroy
Why, who was the rogue, who contrived such a ploy?

Mordecai's kind deeds, recompensed at the last
Their lives were all spared, Haman's judgment was passed
God protected his own, and thus kept his promise
He had Esther there, for such a time as this.

Queen Esther of old, our example has set
Those trusting the Lord, He has never failed yet
The henchmen from hell, were humbled and thwarted
And the God of all grace, her pure faith rewarded.

Still Christians today, are faced with like trials
Discouragements, perils, and long dreary miles
The enemy plots, to destroy and devour
With great fears and doubts, and temptation's hour.

But let come what may, God's Spirit abides
Our Saviour is there, to comfort and guide
The Devil must flee, from God's child depart
Who first fears the Lord, and serves from the heart.

So cleave to the Bible, Revelation divine
And trust in God's promise, and presence sublime
Now His Word changes hearts, to accomplish His will
To reward and protect, and His purpose fulfill.

Then walk with the Lord, Daughters of the King
For God hears your prayers, and true peace will bring
While abiding in Christ, still rejoicing in bliss
You're God's Esthers today, for such a time as this.

--Used by permission from the
Wyldewood Baptist Church

From age to age, God raises up men and women in their time to make an impact and a difference in the world they live in.

In the midst of moral darkness, dissipation, debauchery, and religious decadence, Martin Luther, an Augustinian monk, came to the fore to bring reformation to the church and enlightenment to the world. How could he, one person, do an undertaking of such great magnitude that was destined to impact and change the world? Let's read his confession: God does not guide me, He pushes me forward. He carries me away. I am not master of myself. I desire to live in repose; but I am thrown into the midst of tumults and revolutions." --D'Aubigne, b. 5, ch. 2

Oh, that we would be pushed by God!--Pushed and endowed with an overwhelming passion to do what needs to be done to make a difference in the world and to bring honor and glory to His Holy Name.

When Luther was called to a professorship at the University of Wittenberg, he applied himself to the study of the Scriptures. He began to lecture upon the Bible and opened to the understanding of his students the various truths contained therein. The grace of God rested mightily upon him. When he found out people were buying indulgences, a means to replace confession and allow people, without remorse for their sins, to buy their salvation, Martin Luther was completely repulsed.

Climbing 'Pilate's staircase' on his knees for penance one day, he suddenly heard a voice like thunder in his ears saying: 'The just shall live by faith.'  He sprang to his feet and hastened from the place in shame and horror. That text never lost its power upon his soul. From that time he saw more clearly than ever before the fallacy of trusting to human works for salvation, and the necessity of constant faith in the merits of Christ. His eyes had been opened, and were never again to be closed, to the delusions of the papacy. When he turned his face from Rome he had turned away also in heart, and from that time the separation grew wider, until he severed all connection with the papal church.

After his return from Rome, Luther received a doctor of divinity degree from the University of Wittenberg. Now he was at liberty to devote himself, as never before, to the Scriptures that he loved. He had taken a solemn vow to study carefully and to preach with fidelity the word of God, not the sayings and doctrines of the popes, all the days of his life. He was no longer the mere monk or professor, but the authorized herald of the Bible. He had been called as a shepherd to feed the flock of God, that were hungering and thirsting for the truth. He firmly declared that Christians should receive no other doctrines than those which rest on the authority of the Sacred scriptures. These words struck at the very foundation of papal supremacy. They contained the vital principle of the Reformation.--The Great Controversy, page 125.

For such a time as this, Martin Luther came on the scene and carried out the plan God had for him, and the world was changed.

We are living in the most solemn times of earth's history just before the return of Jesus Christ to this earth. God has placed us here for a purpose--for such a time as this--to build for time and for eternity.

Isn't it strange
That princes and kings,
And clowns that caper
In sawdust rings,
And common people
Like you and me
Are builders for eternity?

Each is given a bag of tools,
A shapeless mass,
And a book of rules;
And each must make--
Ere life is flown--
A stumbling block
Or a stepping-stone.

Which are we--a stumbling block or a stepping stone? If our lives are stumbling blocks, no need to despair. Submit the blocks to the hands of the Master Builder. He will hammer and chisel them into stepping stones for the blessing and uplifting of humanity.

His life, a stumbling block, John Newton was a godless sailor who dealt in the African slave trade. He became a drunken wretch who fell victim to the people he tried to enslave. At length, the love of the Master Builder touched his heart in a most amazing way. He gave up his vile business and was transformed into a mighty worker for the Lord. For such a time as this, John Newton was used of God in the preaching of His word and the writing of almost 300 hymns. He made a difference in the world he lived in. Millions will remember him for his beloved hymn that discloses what the amazing love of God can do.

Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound!
That saved a wretch like me,
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.

T'was grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils, and snares,
I have already come;
'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

When we've been there ten thousand years,
Bright, shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's grace,
Than when we first begun.

Maybe you're thinking: I could never be an Esther in this world, or a Martin Luther, or a John Newton. I don't have any special talents. I can't speak in public, I don't sing; God can't use me. There are many people with talents He can use.  If you have thoughts along this line, take heart, you're not alone. Many people, at different times, feel very inadequate for the tasks they feel the Lord would want them to do.

But, let's learn from the experience of Ina D. Ogdon, the hymn writer of 'Brighten the Corner Where You Are'. Early in life, she had hoped to be a preacher and preach on the Chautauqua circuit, but her father became ill, and she was forced to abandon her plans for an evangelistic career. She stayed home and took care of him instead. Ina Ogdon wrote these encouraging words showing how one can serve the Lord in many different ways and circumstances. In other words, make the best of where you find yourself. There's darkness around, and you can brighten the corner where you are.

Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do,
Do not wait to shed your light afar,
To the many duties ever near you now be true,
Brighten the corner where you are.


Brighten the corner where you are!
Brighten the corner where you are!
Someone far from harbor you may guide across the bar;
Brighten the corner where you are!

Just above are clouded skies that you may help to clear,
Let not narrow self your way debar;
Though into one heart alone may fall your song of cheer,
Brighten the corner where you are.

Here for all your talent you may surely find a need,
Here reflect the bright and Morning Star;
Even from your humble hand the Bread of Life may feed,
Brighten the corner where you are.

The tide had come in and with it came scores of jelly fishes stranded in the sand and destined to die in the heat of the sun. A woman jogging on the beach saw the predicament of these helpless creatures and started throwing one jelly fish at a time back into the sea. A fellow jogger saw that she was not making any headway on such an insurmountable task and remarked: Oh, forget it; it doesn't make any difference. At that, the jogger picked up another jelly fish and said: To this one, it does.

We may not be able to feed all the hungry people in Africa, but we can feed one person here at home, can we not? If every Christian would be the eyes, ears, hands, and feet for God to just one needy person out there, what a difference our world would be. If every Christian in the world would light just one little candle, what a bright world this world would be.

Have you ever felt sad and discouraged and you felt like the world was caving in on you? The phone rang, you picked it up. Lo and behold, it was a dear friend, and her words just buoyed your spirits up, you were walking on clouds. You felt like a totally different person after you hung up the phone. Or, maybe a friend called you to let you know that you would never know what your email had meant to her and that she appreciated your thoughts and prayers.

I correspond with some inmates from different correctional institutions in the state of Florida. Some of these men have come to a deeper relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ while incarcerated. While I try to give hope and encouragement to them as they wait out their time for release (some don't have release dates for they are in for life), I am delighted to know that they, in turn, are giving hope and encouragement to fellow inmates.

To many of the inmates, life is only a destination, and they fail to enjoy the journey. After all, how could one in prison smell the roses along life's pathway or listen to the robins sing or view a glorious sunset and give glory to the Creator? Yet, with Christ enshrined in the heart, these things could be done. With our eyes of faith opened we could see beyond the present forbidding circumstances and see our future eternal reward. What a wonder it is to live life to the full no matter where we are and to share that joy and happiness in the Lord with others.

The little acts of kindness we do for others are of great value in the sight of God. We may never be an Esther, a Martin Luther, or a John Newton in this world, but we can brighten the corner where we are because we are placed there for such a time as this.

Why Me, Lord?

What have I ever done to deserve even one
Of the pleasures I've known
Lord, what did I ever do to deserve loving You
And the kindness You've shown.

Lord help me Jesus I've wasted it...
So help me Jesus, You know what I am
Now that I know that I've needed you...
So help me Jesus my soul's in Your hands.

Try me Lord, if You think there's a way
I can ever repay, all I've taken from You
Maybe Lord, I can show someone else
What I've been through myself
On my way back to You.

Lord help me Jesus I've wasted it...
So help me Jesus, You know what I am
Now that I know that I've needed you...
So help me Jesus my soul's in Your hands.

Words & Music By:
Kris Kristoffersen

See also  Bloom Where You Are Planted!  and  A Bend in the Road.

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Why Me, Lord? Midi