His Desires now Our Desires

1 Timothy 2:1-4 ESV

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to be people of prayer. We are to be those who are in daily communion with the Lord, in prayer without ceasing. And this is not to say that we are constant in prayer in that we are always praying, but that we always have an open door of communication with our Lord and that we are continuous in prayer.

So, what is the goal of our prayers to be? They are not selfish in motivation, for sure. They are not just looking out for “number one.” They are looking out for the good of all people, as God defines “good,” i.e. for what is God’s best for them, for what is beneficial for them in a good way.

Either we are to pray that we would all lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way, and/or this is saying that this would be the result of our prayers. Either way, this is one of the intended results of our prayers. But peaceful never involves compromise with the world.

Peaceful is never absence of conflict (absence of differences of beliefs). We are not to become one with the world so that we are at peace with the world. But peaceful is definitely the opposite of rebellion, anarchy, and disobedience. We are to remain in submission to those in authority over us.

But submission to authority does have its exceptions, which are biblical exceptions. For we never submit to sinning against God, or to denying our Lord Jesus, or to compromising truth and righteousness in order to “make nice” with the people of the world.

For we are to live lives that are godly, too, and that are pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. So, we are to remain faithful to our Lord and committed to following him in obedience, no matter what happens in our nations and in the world.

And we are to be people who are committed, too, to seeing people come to genuine faith in Jesus Christ. So, this means we are committed to the truth, not out of some desire to win arguments with people, but to see people genuinely saved and in right standing with God.

And this is because we love God and because we love the people of this world and the people of our nations, and we want them to be delivered out of their bondage of sin and to walk in godliness and holiness by faith in Jesus Christ, and to have true hope of eternal life with God.

1 Timothy 2:5-6 ESV

“For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.”

The goal of our prayers and of our lives should be to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to God, to love other people with God’s love, and to see other people come to saving faith in Jesus Christ, their Lord.

For we are not here on this earth just for ourselves, to live for our own pleasure, and to do what we want. God created us all to worship him, and to glorify him with our lives. He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

And repentance involves dying with Christ to sin and living to Christ and to his righteousness. It involves us being turned from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God so that we can receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ (Ac 26:18).

For, Jesus Christ gave himself up for us on that cross that we might be crucified with him in death to sin, and that we might be resurrected with him to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Lu 9:23-26).

He ransomed us that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. He shed his blood for us to buy us back for God, too, that we might now honor God with our lives (2 Co 5:15; 1 Co 6:19-20).

1 Timothy 2:7 ESV

“For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.”

We are not all called to be preachers, but all who are true followers of Jesus Christ are given gifts of the Spirit to be used for the strengthening and encouragement of the body of Christ, and we are all called to proclaim the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light (Rom 12; 1 Co 12; Eph 4; 1 Pet 2:9).

We are all to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, both by how we live our lives and by the words that we speak to others. And we are the Lord’s witnesses, and we are to make disciples of Christ of people of all nations (Matt 5:13-16; Matt 28:18-20; Ac 1:8).

And we are all to be those who proclaim the truth of God’s word, the gospel of our salvation, the whole counsel of God, and who do not compromise the truth of God’s word so as not to offend other people or so that they will like us and not reject us.

So, not only should we be praying to God for the salvation of people’s souls, but we should be sharing Christ and his gospel with the people around us by our example, and then by our words. For this is the ultimate in love, to sacrifice our own reputations to see others delivered from their sin, and to see them have eternal life with God.

Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer

Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897

Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.

O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.

O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.

Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

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