July 2, 2019
Happy 4th of July!
We live in an incredible country. You heard me right. It is the greatest country in the world. That doesn’t mean the U.S.A. gets it right all the time or has it right. It just means that I wouldn’t be realistic or grateful if I didn’t own the fact that I am personally blessed to call it my country. True gratitude means recognizing the good while not ignoring the challenges and struggles that exist.
I have come to believe that only God knows the motives and hearts of people. Paul tells Timothy, “People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
I believe that reality is why Paul challenges Timothy to call people to pray. 1 Timothy 2:1-2 says, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all who are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”
The Living Bible translation makes our instructions even more understandable and direct.
Here are my directions. Pray much for others. Plead for God’s mercy upon them. Give thanks for all He is going to do for them. Praying this way for kings, and all others who are in authority over us, or in places of high responsibility, so that we can live in peace and quietness spending our time in godly living and thinking much about the Lord. This is good and pleases God our Savior. For He longs for all to be saved and to understand this truth (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
I firmly believe that the people in our government are elected in order to represent the people of this nation. Politicians aren’t elected to advance their own agenda when it comes to making policies, but they are to represent the will of the people. As citizens, we expect our elected officials to vote certain ways; ways that represent our values and beliefs. If we want our elected officials to vote in line with God’s Word and in line with biblical values, we have a great responsibility to pray for them regularly.
Remember, God tells us through Ephesians 6:12: “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” THIS is who we are to oppose.
So as much as we would see lines being drawn between Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, and Independents, that is not reality. The divisions are really between good and evil. There are good things in each area and bad things in each as well. Good and evil. No party has a corner on either one.
I encourage you to continually pray for our President (and whoever is next) and his Cabinet and for all our elected officials: local, state, and national. Pray daily that they will make right and godly decisions for our benefit and the benefit of the world.
According to the Word of God, if we want to lead a quiet and peaceable life, living a lifestyle of godliness and honesty, it’s not the way we vote that’s most important. It’s the way we pray. It’s imperative we pray for our President and for all those in authority.
Thomas Jefferson’s published prayer for the nation while he was president is helpful and instructive. I am praying it today. May we be a people God can bless.
Almighty God, Who has given us this good land for our heritage, we humbly beseech Thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of Thy favor and glad to do Thy will. Bless our land with honorable ministry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion, from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitude brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endow with Thy spirit of wisdom those whom in Thy name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that through obedience to Thy law, we may show forth Thy praise among the nations of the earth. In time of prosperity fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in Thee to fail; all of which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
President Thomas Jefferson Washington D.C. March 4, 1801