Today’s Devotional: A Samurai’s Influence

Who do you influence? Today’s devotional, from Our Daily Bread, draws on Nehemiah 1:11-25. It compares the stories of William Adams—the first Englishman to become a samurai—and Nehemiah. Because of their service, both men found themselves in positions to influence the leaders above them:

William Adams (1564–1620) is believed to be the first Englishman to reach Japan. Taking a liking to Adams, the ruling Japanese shogun made him his interpreter and personal advisor concerning the Western powers. Eventually, Adams was presented with two swords with rank of a Samurai. This showed just how much the Japanese revered Adams. Because William Adams served his foreign king well, he was also rewarded with greater opportunity for influence.

Centuries earlier, another man in a foreign country also had great influence over his king. Nehemiah was a cupbearer to Persian King Artaxerxes (Neh. 1:11). In the royal court, the cupbearer would test the wine before it was given to the king to protect him from poisoning. But this position also meant he had the king’s ear as a trusted advisor. Nehemiah’s integrity, administrative gifts, and wisdom made him a confidant to his ruler, which paved the way for the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem.

Read the rest of the devotional at Our Daily Bread.

The author makes a point toward the end of the devotional that we all have a sphere of influence, even if it seems smaller than Adams’ or Nehemiah’s. How do you positively influence those around you for Christ’s Kingdom?

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