Saturday, August 22, 2009

Seeking the Salvation of our Nation

I've been reflecting on 1 Timothy 2:1-3 lately. There the apostle Paul writes, "I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone - for kings and all those those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior." We live in tempestuous times, as did Paul. The emperor for whom he told Christians to pray was pagan religiously and a persecutor of Christians. Rather than frontal assault by protest marches, the Christian writer advocates prayer for this ruler. He offers this prayer, later verses reveal, in the context of God's desire to save humanity. A prayer for a ruler includes prayer for his health, for his family, that he will govern in the way that will best serve his nation's citizens, and that he too will know the saving grace of God by obeying God's will. I have read and heard (on television and radio) caustic attacks on our nations leaders (both Democrat and Republican). Some of the most bitter attacks came from professed Christians, and at times simply were false. We can work for good causes without slandering our leaders. Let's pray for our President and other leaders of our government and military. If we want a particular course of action to succeed, let's do our homework, learn details of the situation, write letters to our leaders, participate as informed, well-mannered citizens in town hall meetings, and present to the public and leaders the gracefulness and joy that comes with being a servant of God. Let's lift up holy hands, in prayer, without anger and disputing (check out 1 Timothy 2:8). Let's seek the salvation of our country, our leaders, and ourselves with behavior that God approves.

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