1 First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, 2 for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and humanity, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, a testimony at the proper time. 7 For this I was appointed a herald, an apostle (I am telling the truth; I am not lying), and a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
1 Timothy 2:1-7
My schedule has me writing this the weekend between the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.
The Democrats have just come off a historic week of virtual speeches, a woman of color running for Vice President, and making sure everyone who listens is convinced of how much better things will be if Joe Biden is elected President. Next week will be the Republicans’ turn. More virtual speeches, yes. But a plea from every speech deliverer that America is so much greater than it was and that it will only continue to advance if Donald Trump is re-elected.
Aren’t you glad whoever gets elected tomorrow will not dictate whether the gospel will continue to advance? Sure. We followers of Jesus need to vote. It’s one of a million reasons I love our country. We must exercise our right to vote and do so with biblical integrity and conviction. Whoever is elected President for the next four years should be a big deal, to say the least.
But we cannot make it THE deal. The deal is Jesus and His gospel. The deal is living our lives so that as many as possible will know Him and what He has done for them. The deal is exercising our privilege as followers of the true King to worship and glorify Him in all we say and do.
The leaders in Rome who were overseeing the Roman empire at the time of Paul were the absolute worst. Horrible. Let me remind you where Paul was when he wrote 1st Timothy. He was in jail for being a Christian. In other words, the leadership in Rome were not Bible-believing, Jesus-loving Southern Baptists.
Yet the Apostle didn’t call the church to pray for a Christian leader. He didn’t ask the church to pray for a conservative party to rule the day. He didn’t call the church to pray for four more years of biblical policies. All these things are fine and good. It’s not wrong to pray and ask God for these things. I urge you to pray and vote accordingly. But it’s not the main thing. It’s not what Paul—while in prison—called the church to do.
What did he tell Timothy to lead his flock to do? Pray for the leaders so the church could live the life God had called them to live, directing the world to the One who had brought peaceful mediation between God and man—Jesus. Go ahead. Read 1 Timothy 2:1-7 again. I’ll wait. Paul wanted prayer for the government of his day so he and the church could continue to live peaceful and quiet lives, subversively leading men and women to Christ.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- What have your prayers for our country looked like recently? Do they mirror what Paul called the church to pray for? Why or why not?
- Paul didn’t delegate the responsibility to advance the gospel to the government. Could it be that Jesus followers today might be guilty of wanting a “Christian” government to do for them what they themselves are called and appointed to do? Why or why not?
- Would you pray—right now—for God’s will to be done in tomorrow’s election? And would you ask God to lead you in how to vote? More than anything, would you ask the Lord to grant our government the decency to cultivate a culture where the church can live to advance the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Talk with your family about one of the verses mentioned today in the devotion. 1 Timothy 2:4“..who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
- Ask your family the Question- What is the knowledge of truth?
- Remind them of this truth- Jesus Christ, God’s only son, came down to save us from our sins-(talk about what sins are and that we all have sinned), he died, and rose on the 3rd day, and all who believe and follow Him will have eternal life-(be in heaven one day with Him).
- Have them to practice saying it.
Pray for refugees living in camps during the pandemic and for the global workers who are laboring to care for them and to share Christ with these families.