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Scripture: 1 John 1:1-4

The first four verses of I John, which serve as a preface to the letter, represent a grammatical knot.

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Read Esther 4:12-16
ESTHER

When it comes to touching the heart, few things do it as well as a song or a story. We all know occasions where the right music combined with the right lyrics wooed us or someone we know back to God. Sometimes it is a song that our mother taught us, or some moving hymn we learned years ago in church. Nostalgia serves us best when it's a magnet, drawing our hearts back to God.

A story will do the same, softening the soil of our souls. When you have the right characters who carry out life's issues in a plot that is mixed with adventure, surprise, and some humour, along with purpose and an ultimate moral, there's something about that story that sweeps us into a right state of mind. Esther is just such a story. It has adventure and suspense mixed with courage and hope, plus a touch of humour and certainly a twist of surprise.

What a great film or play Esther would make. Can't you just hear the words of Mordecai ringing with passion as he says, "If you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?"

And then, with incredible courage, Esther herself replies, "Go, assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa, and fast for me; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maidens also will fast in the same way. And thus I will go in to the king, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish."

I can hear the applause as the curtain closes on this act with this grand speech that prepares our leading lady to take her place in history.

It reminds me of something C. S. Lewis said about the importance of being loyal to a cause that is greater than ourselves. He likened that quality to a person's chest. "What we need are people with chests." The old American word for this is "guts." We need people with guts who will say, "I will stand for this, and if I must die for it, then I die."

Will you be one of those people?

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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A Profound Preface

The first four verses of I John, which serve as a preface to the letter, represent a grammatical knot.

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