Too often as Christians we tend to follow the example of Esther in the opening chapters of the book rather than the bold example of Jesus. At first, she hid her faith and acted out of a conflicted identity. But in chapters 4 and 5, it’s amazing to see Esther grow in faith and find her true identity while putting her life on the line to save her people. She didn’t just know what she should do. She did it.
Just do it
As Christians we need to get out in front of our desks, books, and laptops and put into practice what we’re talking and reading about. Oftentimes we like to study the plays, but not actually run them. What our cities need are Christians running the plays that Jesus lays out for us.
It’s one thing to talk and write about serving and loving the city you belong to (which I realize is what I’m doing right now), but it is incredibly important to actually do that very thing as a witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
No reason not to help
What are the needs of the people in your community? Are there ways that you and your Community Group can meet those needs? It’s one thing to talk about serving the city and another thing to actually go to your city leaders and ask how you can help. Build relationships with the neighborhood alliance, city council, mayor, governor, and those who are in charge. It’s important to simply begin praying for all those “in high positions” as we’re instructed to in 1 Timothy 2:1–4.
Our city leaders need our prayers and our help, and there’s no reason for us not to ask them how we can help. I’ve found there to be many needs that I can help with personally, as well as needs that our community can help with.
Ask for opportunities
These opportunities are testaments of God’s grace on how he opens doors when we ask, seek, and knock. I’ve been asked to serve as the chair of our neighborhood business association, and also help spearhead city initiatives to bring vitality to our city, including opening a new community center, which our city has been trying to do for over a decade. After years of false starts, we had the privilege of helping opening this up to the neighborhood and city a few weeks ago.
God opens up doors when we are willing to serve and get our hands dirty. What are the needs in your city or neighborhood? Are you praying for your city leaders? Have you asked them how you can serve them? God has called Christians to be the very best citizens of the city we are called to so that we can bear witness to the incredible grace and mercy of Jesus Christ and what he has done for us.