First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. — 1 Timothy 2:1-4
This text is an excellent reminder to us during an election cycle. Isn't it? The spirit of Paul's word is right on.
Here is the warning he is giving to Timothy. He reminds him that the Christian movement could easily be misinterpreted as an uprising. But that was never Paul's goal. Paul never intended for his ministry to result in a revolt against either Jews or Romans. Now Paul did preach a challenging gospel which earned him a reputation for being a troublemaker. But a lot of the trouble around Paul was stirred up by other people — like angry mobs, merchants, and malicious Jews, which is exactly what happened the last time he was in Ephesus. So Paul knew, better than most, that preaching the gospel could have some unintended effects and be interpreted as an attack on business, religion, and the government resulting in a revolt. But right here, he clears this up. That is not his goal. His goal is to represent Jesus honorably in hopes of saving all people.
So here is what he tells Timothy to do. Pray and intercede for everyone, especially those who lead the government. And I think this is spot on in our time. We live in a time where our country is profoundly divided on just about every issue. Everything is politicized. We are in a contentious war over untruth. And while we have a civic duty to speak up and stand up, we must remember our aim is salvation for all of God's creation so that they may know his truth. We have to remember this. And one of the best ways to be reminded of this goal is to pray for the lost and those who lead our government.
So the next time you are a little irritated by what's happening in this country, turn this irritation into a prompt. Let your irritation become a prompt to pray for the opposition. It might remind you to aim for the higher goal — salvation and understanding for the lost.
ASK THIS: Who do you disagree with that you need to be praying for?
DO THIS: Pray for them. Like right now.
PRAY THIS: God, bring salvation to the lost and open their mind to the knowledge of the truth.
PLAY THIS: Never Lost.
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