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The Power of One | Esther 3:8-11; 4:9-16
The Power of One
Did you know that the power of one person can radically change another person’s life? I’m reminded of a woman who accompanied her husband to the doctor’s office.
After his checkup, the doctor called his wife into his office alone.
He said, “I’m sorry to tell you but your husband is suffering from a very severe disease combined with horrible stress. If you don’t do the following, your husband will surely die.
Each morning, rise up very early and fix him a four course breakfast with homemade bisquits, scrambled eggs and fresh squeezed orange juice.
For lunch, make sure you have a three course meal with fish, cooked vegetables and homemade bread.
After lunch, draw him a bath and give him a two hour sea salt scrub on his back and feet.
And for dinner, prepare an especially nutritious supper with a reduced fat homemade dessert. Don’t let him do any chores or any lifting or any cleaning. This could further his stress.
Each nite before you go to bed give your husband a 90 minute massage and rub his legs thoroughly.
And most importantly, satisfy his every demand and request.
If you can do this for the next 10 months to a year, I think your husband will make a full recovery.” On the way home, the husband said to his wife, “Well, what did the doctor say?”
“Honey,” she said, “you’re going to die!”
Never underestimate the power of one. Aren’t you glad that there have been people who have always believed in the power of one? Like back in…
1776…when one vote gave America the English language instead of German.
Or in 1845…when one vote brought the State of Texas into the Union Or in 1868…when one vote saved President Andrew Johnson from impeachment.
Or last November in Kentucky when one vote sent a woman into the House of Representative.
The Bible too has underscored the power of one. How about a little pop quiz on the Bible. If you know the answer, shout it out. Are you ready?
How many people were chosen by God to confront a Pharaoh and lead the Exodus? One!
How many people did it take to knock down a Giant named Goliath? One!
How many prophets were called to stand before wicked King Ahab? One! How many women were called to give birth to the Son of God? One!
Too often many of us believe that there are others far more important and far more capable and far more talented and far more gifted and so we sit on the sidelines.
Never underestimate the power of one. Many centuries ago a woman almost did. She thought things were too far gone.
She certainly didn’t think there was anything she could do. It was only a matter of time before all the Jews on the planet would be exterminated.
Her name was Esther. Esther was the Jewish wife of a Persian King, King Xerxes, the man who was about to be tricked into making an irrevocable, disastrous decision of Hitler proportions.
His goal was to eliminate the entire Jewish population. But believe it or not, one person can make a difference.
Esther’s adopted father, Mordecai, realized that Esther alone held the key to her husband’s heart and so he appealed to her conscience. Listen again to his plea.
He said: “If you remain silent at this time…you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have attained royalty for such a time as this.”
The Hebrew word for such a time is the word, a-nah which literally means to speak or cry out or testify.
Now, Mordecai was asking Esther to speak her mind and risk her life for the sake of her people. You see, back then no one was allowed to waltz into the inner sanctum of the king.
Esther knew the consequences. Listen to her reply. She said,
“All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that for any man or woman who comes to the king to the inner court who is not summoned,
he has but one law, that he be put to death, unless the king holds out to him the golden scepter so that he may live. And I have not been summoned to come to the king for these thirty days.”
Esther was in a dangerous position but she was also in the best place to make a difference as she was beloved by the king. Mordecai reminded her that she was made the Queen for such a time as this.
The power of one. Have you felt like God put you in a certain place for such a time as this?
Who knows why you pass a certain person on a certain day for a certain reason.
Who knows why you feel the urge to call a person in need of encouragement. Maybe God knows and way back then God knew that the king’s choice to choose Esther as his wife was no accident but divine providence. Esther was now in a position to change her world and save her people from destruction. And she did.
She broke her long standing protocol and risked her life and marched straight into the king’s throne room to speak her mind and rescue her people.
One woman, one voice, saved an entire nation. She said, “If I perish then I perish.”
It was an amazing act of courage. Courage is what sets us apart from others.
Courage is what sets us apart from others. Would you stand up knowing you were the only one standing for what is right?
In this story from Esther I find a few practical ways we can use the power of one to change our world.
First, find your calling in the crisis.
A couple of years ago, an elderly gentleman stopped by a local playground to watch some young kids play baseball.
The gentleman loved watching baseball so much that he would sit for hours watching a game; from little league to the pros it did not matter, it was a baseball game.
The gentleman was curious about the score and asked one of the young boys in the outfield what the score was.
The boy said, “We’re behind 17 to nothing,” The man said, “I guess you must be discouraged and ready to quit!”
The young boy replied, “Why should we be discouraged? We haven’t even been up to bat yet.” I love that attitude. He found his calling in a crisis.
Esther feels the circumstances closing in around her and is trying to avoid letting it affect her directly… but she can’t!
Esther’s temptation was to simply remain silent, to blend in with everyone else around her, to distance herself from her people, from her true identity.
Don’t we sometimes do the same, pretend that we’re not a Christian. We want to blend in and follow the crowd and conform to this world.
But Paul reminds us in Romans to not be conformed to this world but transformed by the renewing of our minds.
We can find courage by discovering our calling in the midst of a crisis
Second use your fear to find your faith. In this story, Esther finally realized her unique calling in life.
If she goes to the king she may die, if she doesn’t go to the king she will most surely die… her options are limited
There’s nothing like an ultimatum to clear things up.
But Esther took the time to pray and fast and ask God to help her, one person become a majority.
• Esther’s legitimate fear caused her to put on the breaks and approach with caution and then after praying to God, she approached her husband with courage.
And he listened and stopped the execution of thousands of Jews. One person, one place, one chance.
The lesson from Esther is that each of us is in a particular place for a particular reason. Think, this week what you can do to change someone’s life forever?
That someone just may change the lives of hundreds who may change the lives of thousands who may changes the lives of millions.
It all starts with a calling, one person, one time, one God. One note. (Pastor Daniel then went to the piano and showed how when he closed his eyes to write a piece of music he landed on b flat.
Then he put both hands together to show how one note added to another can make a difference. Just like when one person cares then another then the body of Christ comes together as one.
Check out his piano on Facebook!
Never underestimate the power of one. Amen.
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Pastor Daniel writes and posts a weekly newsletter that keeps members and friends of the congregation up-to-date. His earlier newsletters are also online, so if you missed something, check those past editions.
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