Verse of the Day Devotion: 1 Timothy 2:1
“First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men,” – 1 Timothy 2:1
In Chapter one, Paul speaks about false teachers and their need to warn others about them. “As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith.” 1 Timothy 1:3-4. There were many who taught false doctrines and Paul wanted to let them know that what they were doing was wrong. They were not to focus on the law as the Jews did, but the grace of God through the sacrifice of Christ.
In chapter two, he is now giving Timothy advice to follow during church meetings. He tells them, in our focus verse, to start off with prayer for all people in this world. “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.” 1 Timothy 2:1-2. The goal of Christians is to go out and spread the good news of Christ to all, no matter their position in society. To the kings and nobility, as well as the poorest and ignored. They were not to skip anyone but reach out to all with the truth. And the reason? “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.” 1 Timothy 2:3-4. God desires that all people be saved, that all would enter the Kingdom of God with Him forever.
Going back to our focus verse, we see what we can do to make a big difference in our calling. We are to pray for all people who still need to hear the gospel and accept it. We are to pray for those who have heard but not accepted the message that Jesus loves them and desires for them to accept His work. We are to pray with fervency that the unsaved will give their lives over to Him. We should not overlook anyone, no matter how insolent they may be to us. God loves all people, and because we are called to imitate God, we must love them as well. “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” Ephesians 5:1-2. Jesus came to provide a way of salvation. We should show all what that path is and how to receive it. We were not worthy of eternity with God because of our sins, but Christ paid the price for us. Therefore, all can become worthy through the work of Christ. Not anything we have done, but because the penalty was paid via the perfect sacrifice.
Every time we gather together as Christians to worship and praise our wonderful God, we should start with lifting up those who do not understand and have neglected so great a salvation. We should lift them up, asking that God will guide us to them to share the truth, giving us the words to say as well as what to do in order to help them see the truth. He then tells them that “Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension.” 1 Timothy 2:8. And “Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness.” 1 Timothy 2:9.
We are all to present the truth to everyone in a way that people will be willing to accept it. We are to pray, lifting up hands without wrath and dissension, and we are to present ourselves in a Godly way to those we witness to. Everything we do, every word we speak, and every attitude we have should be good and acceptable to God. When this is the case, many wonderful things can take place in the lives of those we are sharing with.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.