Today is the 57th Presidential Inauguration for the United States of America. It is exciting to watch the ceremonies and the activities that surround the traditions of swearing in the President. Whether I am a fan of the current President or not, I think all the excitement around the Inauguration is fun to take in.
Today, as the history of our nation continues on, let’s remember 1 Timothy 2:1-4. Often we would rather complain about decisions made, laws passed, and choices made by the leaders who run our country, but that is not what Scripture tells us to do.
1 Timothy 2:1-4 – “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.”
Defining these exhortations according to MacArthur’s Study Bible notes makes them clear:
supplications – from the word meaning “to lack” “to be deprived” or “to be without.” This prayer is made because of a need the person has for which we are praying. The lost have a great need for salvation. And we, as believers, need to be pleading to God to fill that need and save our leaders.
intercessions – from the word meaning “to fall in with someone” or “to draw near so as to speak intimately.” This word is used to point to the way that Christ and the Spirit intercede before the throne of God on behalf of the children of God. We are to plead on behalf of our leaders that they understand the depths of their pain and misery, and come to intimately plea to God for their salvation.
thanksgivings – we need to be thankful for those who lead our country and thank God for them. Along with supplications and intercessions, I believe we need to thank God in faith for hearing our supplications and intercessions and believe that in His will and plan He will work all things out for His glory.
1 Timothy 2:3 says, “This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,”
Paul exhorts us to pray for it is pleasing in the sight of God to do this. My complaining about the laws passed the moral depravity of my leaders and the corrupt decay of our nation is not pleasing in the sight of God. However, when I stop complaining and start praying for my leaders, I please my God, my Savior. And I am not praying so that I can complain to God about the issues I just mentioned but, instead, I am praying for the salvation of my leaders. And THAT is pleasing to God because of what 1 Timothy 2:4 says, “[God] desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
“Well,” you say, “I just can’t bring myself to pray that for the man whom I would never have voted into office. I don’t believe he has any place in that office anyway.”
Paul doesn’t say anything about that. That’s not important. You are still commanded to pray for them. Whether you voted for them or not. Whether you agree with them and their decisions or not. Pray for them.
First Timothy 2:5-6 says, “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.”
You see, Paul reminds us that Christ Jesus Himself mediated on our behalf. And Christ Jesus gave Himself as a ransom for us. What if Christ said, “Well, I just can’t bring myself to pray for that wretched sinner __(insert your name here)__. I will not be the ransom for such a wicked person.”
You were an enemy of God. You committed high treason against the God of the universe when you sinned. But Jesus Christ died to reconcile you as an enemy and make you a child of God. Romans 5:10-11, “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”
Christ gave His life for my Ransom. Christ died in my place. Christ was my Substitute, my Reconciler, my Redeemer, my Mediator, my Savior. And when I pray for my leaders and intercede on their behalf I begin to look more like my Savior. I begin to act like He does. And that is what I want. To be like Him.
1) be saved
2) and come to the knowledge of the truth.