Topic: Heart for the Harvest: “If I perish, I perish

Text: Esther 4:16

Martin Luther King Jr once said “if a man has not discovered something that he can die for, he is not fit to live” an African Proverb says exactly the same thing; “he who has nothing to die for, has nothing to live for”. I personally strongly believe that death is not the greatest loss in life, the greatest loss in life is the loss of purpose and passion to live. No life is created by God to live in a vacuum, for Adam he said “let us make man in our own image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth”. Genesis 1:26. In Genesis 2:18 the Lord said “it is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him an help meet for him”. Adam was made for God, Eve, the first woman was made for the Adam. What were you made for?

It is purpose that fuels passion; it became very easy for Queen Esther to say if I perish I perish because Mordecai showed her what was her purpose in that palace at such a time. The fear of death suddenly disappeared into thin air; purpose dominated the heart, so passion was born.  Paul came to a level where he could say “For me to live is Christ, to die is gain”. The most dangerous people on the earth are those who have nothing to lose in dying, they can do anything at any time to express their passion.

I read the story of the Empress of Ireland, a ship that sank on her way from Canada to London in 1914, it was reported that 170 of the 1400 passengers on board were Salvation Army youth leaders but none of them was among the 400 survivors even though their cabin was next to the life jacket storage facility. They all got the life jackets, but instead of saving themselves they swam around in the cold sea exchanging their lives with those of unbelievers who were drowning in the sea.

After the survivors were rescued, rescuers searched for the 170 Salvation Army youth leaders but they couldn’t see a single one of them, every one of them died. The rescuers were so puzzled so they decided to investigate to know what happened to these young leaders, so they held a survivors meeting. In the meeting, the survivors started sharing their stories, and the stories that came out were all the same, some were witnesses, some had personal experience, they all said the same thing, ‘a young man’, ‘a young lady’ swam up to me took off their life jackets and gave them to me and laid down their lives. And after they had no more life jackets, they knew they didn’t have much time, the water was too cold, but they swam around asking people, are you a Christian? And leading people to Christ, praying for people, until eventually every one of them died.

One of the survivors, who told his story, was this big, macho, strong, tattoo guy. While in the water, a 19-year-old girl swam up to him, took off her life jacket and gave to him, he took it and put it on, but after a while, he thought ‘I am a man, how can I take life jacket from a young girl?’ So he swam back after the girl and gave the girl back the life jacket. The girl asked him, ‘are you a Christian?’ he said ‘No, I am not ready to be a Christian’. He said the girl got upset with him, took off the life jacket and threw it back at him and said to him ‘I will die better than you, when I die, I will go to heaven, if you die you will not go to heaven, so you have got to live’. The man with tears on his eyes said, ‘that night I was saved twice, one from the sea and two from my sins’. He gave his life to Christ.


  • Lord save the church in our generation especially in Nigeria from selfish and materialistic gospel. Restore to us the heart of the cross.
  • Give us leaders and pastors, like Mordecai, who can instruct the body of Christ boldly and challenge us to lay down our lives for the sake of the kingdom.
  • Ask the Lord to raise more Esthers, Nehemiahs and more of the tribes of the Salvation Army youth leaders of 1914 to take the gospel boldly to risky regions of our world with the power of the Holy Spirit. Give us the heart of Daniel, Shadrach, Mishak and Abednego to speak for Christ while facing the fire.

Pastor Victor Idakwoji

Director Mobilization and Networking, NEMA

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