Attitudes and Responses to our Government
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I have had many thoughts and ideas bouncing around in my head regarding the virus, the government actions, and the ongoing ministry of the church.
With all the uncertainties there remains many unanswered questions. Amid the questions though, some things are crystal clear.
I would like to encourage us to think about one of those clear things and to respond in faithful obedience today.
In 1 Timothy 2:1-8 we find these words:
First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying) as a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension. (emphasis added)
On the short list of those whom God has put in authority over us in these days would be President Trump, Oregon Governor Kate Brown, and Washington Governor Jay Inslee.
Please allow me to highlight a few of the things that are important to keep in mind as we seek to faithfully obey God regarding our attitudes and responses to our government:
Our attitudes and actions regarding those in authority are to be regulated by a sharing in God's desire that people be saved. We submit to civil authorities because how we relate to civil authorities has an impact on our ability and effectiveness in sharing the gospel. The salvation of people is the priority.
The text does not tell us WHAT we are to pray for those in authority, but it does tell us WHY, "so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity." If our lives are chaotic, if we lack personal peace, if we lack dignity or ungodly we cannot effectively share the gospel with others. If we are in rebellion toward the government in attitude or action, we lack what is needed to share the gospel. Praying for leaders provides an attitude adjustment for us.
Then there is the attitude in our prayers that leads to peace and tranquility, "without wrath and dissension." If we have wrath and dissension we lack peace and tranquility. Again, it is our submission that leads to internal and external peace that enables us to share the gospel.
We may or may not agree with what our leaders are doing. But regardless of whether we do or not, to be faithful to God we need to adjust our attitude to humbly submit and pray so that we might have peace so we might reach people with the gospel.
Please feel free to connect with me by phone: 503-556-3809, email firstname.lastname@example.org or FB messenger; We will need to put forth extra effort serve and encourage one another in this present time.
Serving with joy,