Blake Allen, Young Adult and Student Pastor, LHBC
1 Timothy 2:1-4
“2 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. 7 For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth..”
Clarksville United happened this past Wednesday. And let me tell you, it was awesome to see so many youth from all over Clarksville coming together for worship! Worship songs were sung. Lives were changed. Decisions were made. God was simply doing a work only He can do in the hearts of our youth. God used His unifying gospel to bring about life transformation. And with everything going on in the world, at that moment, all the student’s focus was on our risen savior.
What if this small picture of gospel unity were magnified on a larger scale? When we look out into the world, unity is not the picture that comes to mind. This is especially true when it comes to politics in our culture. Sure, we must all take a stand for our convictions but when we pursue agendas more than Christ, lives are not changed. When we pursue pride over prayer, we create a further divide. After all, how many lives have we changed over Facebook debates? We can win the argument but lose the person. And behaviors won’t change until the heart does.
There is nothing wrong with taking a stance. But there is something wrong when our solution is anything other than Christ. Our culture is facing spiritual problems that require spiritual answers. But too often, we fight these battles with the wrong ammunition.
When Timothy was facing issues in his culture, Paul wrote to him for encouragement and guidance. Paul’s solution to Timothy was not to argue his opponents into submission. It was not to publicly humiliate or attack the kings and authority figures in his time. Paul’s weapon of choice was prayer. Because prayer produces progress. Prayer gets things done. Paul encouraged Timothy to pray for the leaders of his day.
Paul’s two main reasons for this was to bring about unity and salvation. Unity is a gospel ethic kingdom people must pursue. This cannot be achieved by creating intentional dissension or demonstrating untamed opinionated fervor. When we spend more time on our computer keys instead of our knees, we have missed the heart of the gospel. Christ came to tear down the walls of hostility in our culture (Ephesians 2:14). And the church is to be a living testimony to this reality.
Paul was also convinced that living a life of tranquility, dignity, peacefulness, and prayerfulness serves as a testimony to others and leads people to faith. In other words, when you share and live the gospel it serves as a power witness to the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. As stated by Paul, there is only one way, one hope, one mediator between God and humanity. And that is His son, Jesus Christ. He is the answer. He is the ransom who bought us with a price. He is our one and only hope!
The answer to the world’s problems, politics, and civil unrest is not fighting fire with fire. We must fight fire with prayer. Because the answer to the battles we face is and will always be Jesus.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Heavenly Father, thank you for the reminder that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. For no one can come to you except through your son. Remind us that the most effective way to reach our culture is through prayer and testifying to the gospel of your grace. In Jesus name, Amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
1 Timothy 2:5-6
5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.