Highlights In Today's Reading:
Need to be grounded in Truth. All Christians need these warnings. Center worship on Jesus Christ (1:3-14). Believe this (1:15). Only One God and Mediator (2:5-6). Prayer must be without anger or an unforgiving spirit toward anyone: Warning (see Matt. 18:21-35). We're the Church of the Living God (I Tim. 3:15-16). Do this and you can't go wrong (4:6-16; 6:14).
This world would be a wonderful place to live in if all the rulers, kings, and presidents were Christians who were concerned with administering justice equally for everyone — rich and poor alike. On the contrary, the majority of the people in the world are ruled by ruthless, self-centered men.
Although there is no mention in the Bible of the cruel Roman ruler then reigning, it appears that, at the time Paul wrote the Book of I Timothy, Nero was persecuting Christians and having them put to death.
Yet, Paul emphasized the importance of Christians praying for those who were in authority over them: I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the Truth. . . . I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting (2:1-8).
Yes, even Nero was included when Jesus said: Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven (Matt. 5:44-45).
As we pray for our world leaders, we can be sure our prayers will affect their actions — whether they themselves are godly or evil. But equally important, prayer will produce, in the one who prays, a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty (I Tim. 2:2).
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. . . . Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake (Rom. 13:1,5).
Thought for Today:
When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn (Prov. 29:2).
For I Tim. 5:18: See Deut. 25:4.
1:5 unfeigned =genuine; without hypocrisy; 1:10 menstealers =kidnappers, people who enslave (control) others for their own evil purposes; 2:9 shamefacedness =modest behavior, reverence; 2:12 usurp authority =domineer; 3:2 husband of one wife =married only once until parted by death; vigilant =disciplined, self-controlled: 3:8 greedy of filthy lucre =craving wealth; 3:13 purchase to themselves a good degree =gain a good reputation; 5:11 wax wanton against Christ =allow their passions to draw them away from Christ; 6:4 questions and strifes of words =controversial, contentious speculations, attacking the authority and reliability of Scripture.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored D. Keith Mullet • Staff: Mary Kay Wagner • Government Officials: Rep. Mary Fallin (OK), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Rep. Pete Olson (TX), and Rep. Ciro Rodrigues (TX) • Country: New Zealand (4 million) two large islands southeast of Australia • Major languages: English and Maori • Religious freedom • 51% Protestant; 16% Roman Catholic; 3% cults • Prayer Suggestion: Seek God as more important than food to satisfy your spiritual hunger (Prov. 3:13-18).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 18:34