AN ACT OF SERVICE IS OFTEN RETURNED
During the time Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, became angry and conspired to assassinate King Xerxes. But Mordecai found out about the plot and told Queen Esther, who in turn reported it to the king, giving credit to Mordecai. Esther 2:21-22
No one can afford to ignore God’s promptings. When He nudges any of us to serve another with an act of kindness, it often comes back to us in a critical time of need. While that shouldn’t be our motivation, it can be the unexpected outcome.
While sitting at the palace gate, Mordecai overheard a plot to kill the king. He could have chalked it up to male bravado but God must have impressed upon him the gravity of the threat because he voiced his concern to Esther. Mordecai did the king a good turn without regard to himself. But in God’s sovereignty, the king would have an opportunity later to do Mordecai, and the Jews, a good turn.
I have been humbled over the years to see how important it is in ministry to handle each encounter with grace, whether a skycap, a store clerk, or a college student who offers to help with some heavy boxes at a conference. Oftentimes, the most important work I can do for the Kingdom is what seems trivial at the time. An 18-year-old kid who helped me in my early twenties grew up to become someone’s boss. A newly married guy in his twenties, working as a sound tech in one of my early concerts, became a vice-president and the decision maker for a publishing company.
I have lived long enough to receive some kindnesses of those in high positions because, many years ago, God led me to stop and say a prayer or offer grace to someone who was barely hanging on.
Now, I’m sure I’ve withheld when I should have reached out. I’m flawed and must fight selfishness like everyone else. Nonetheless, by God’s grace, I have received gifts of grace from those I never expected to meet again. God gets mileage from the simplest acts of obedience. If I serve, I will reap what I sow. It’s a sowing and reaping world, after all. What I consider to be small things matter a lot. Small things are big things when God is in it.
Help me love others without expecting anything in return. But I know you, Lord Jesus. You hold unexpected gifts in your hands from unexpected sources. You are a generous Father. Amen.
Originally published Wednesday, 03 April 2019.