Student Devotionals


Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.


-- 1 Timothy 4:12 (NLT)

Sunday, November 15, 2020
by John Hutchison

When I was in college, there was a song that was very popular in Christian circles. It

was called “Ordinary People.” As you know this was a long time ago. It was pre-CD. I know

LPs are making a come back, but this song wasn’t a comeback. It was released on vinyl,

cassettes, and I probably could have gotten it on 8-track. 8-track wasn’t quite dead, when the

song was popular. I don’t remember all the lyrics, as I said it was a long time ago. The chorus

said something deep and true, “God uses plain old ordinary people. He uses people who are

WILLING to lend a hand.” It left a pretty big impression. I think it’s something we need to

remember during these extraordinary times.

One of the things that can happen when we read the stories in the Bible is we can get

the wrong impression of the people in the Bible. When we see Gideon’s faith, Samson’s

strength, and Moses’ humility and the awesome things God achieved through them, we can feel

they weren’t normal every day people. We start to believe they achieved those amazing things

because they were special. We forget the God who made all of these things possible. They

weren’t the amazing ones. Their God was the amazing one.

You are living in extraordinary times. The issues facing our country and this world can

seem insurmountable. I think it would be unnecessarily tedious and depressing to list them all.

When I look at my small talents and abilities and pit them against this avalanche of impossible

circumstances I am completely overwhelmed. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone.

The world can seem very scary at times. I’m going to begin a series talking about plain old

ordinary people who were stuck in some very difficult situations. They were frightened. They

were broken. God did some amazing things through them. They changed their world in a very

real way, because they were willing. God needs willingness.

The first one I thought I’d talk about is Esther. Esther was a pretty young Jewish

woman. Her people Israel were in exile. I would suggest you read the whole story. It’s found in

the Old Testament in the book of Esther (surprise). I won’t try and tell the whole story at this

time. Esther ended up being chosen to be queen of the country that was oppressing the

Israelites. Her heritage wasn’t known.

The king had an important counselor/advisor. The man advised the king on many

different issues. He was a very powerful man in the kingdom. This counselor, Haman, got

angry with a Jewish man. In something that wasn’t coincidence, the Jewish man, Mordecai,

was Esther’s uncle. Haman wasn’t just angry. He was vindictive. He not only wanted to kill

Mordecai, but he decided to kill all the Jews at the same time. It was the original final solution

(think Nazis if you don’t know what I’m talking about).

Mordecai found Esther and told her she had to do something. The Jewish nation was in

danger. She had access to the king. Mordecai said she had to take a stand; she needed to go

before the king to plead for the lives of her people.

However, Esther was afraid. She had good reason to be afraid. As queen she couldn’t

visit the king whenever she wanted. The king had to send for her. If she wasn’t called before

the king, she could try to approach him. But if he didn’t extend his scepter toward her, she

would be killed. Approaching the king on her own could mean her death. That’s a pretty good

reason not to approach the king. Mordecai told her something that has been repeated in the

church for a long time. I want you to think about these words. “Who knows? Maybe God

raised you up for just such a time as this.”


Esther wasn’t super smart. She wasn’t a great warrior. She was a pretty woman. Like I

said, I won’t tell you the whole story, but God used her to save Mordecai and the whole Jewish

nation. Haman ended up suffering the same fate he’d planned for Mordecai. God used her in a

mighty way. She was brave enough to face possible death to do what God planned, and the

Jewish people were saved. It’s a pretty awesome story. It’s definitely worth reading. Take the

time to look it over, and it might give you the courage to face your own struggles. Remember

God uses plain old ordinary people to achieve amazing things.


Southview exists so that people far from God will be raised to new life in Jesus Christ.




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Herndon, VA 20171

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