Archive for February 2nd, 2011

1 Timothy 2

1 Timothy 2 begins with Paul’s urging that we pray.  He says “I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people”.  There are multiple parts to effective prayer and Paul calls out many of them here in this verse.  The Navigators have an illustration called the Prayer Hand which lists five different areas of effective prayer:

–       Adoration

–       Confession

–       Thanksgiving

–       Supplication

–       Intercession

Paul includes three of them in his words here, but other areas of scripture call out the rest.  The reality is that prayer is not about you or me – it is all about God.  We spend most all of our time on the “S” part of prayer – supplication – which means listing our requests before God.  We tend to spend little or no time on the other areas.  Adoration is acknowledging God for who He is and spending time just adoring Him as our Creator and King.  Confession is a very important part of prayer – where we come to the throne and admit our sin and areas we miss the mark – seeking God’s forgiveness.  Thanksgiving is when we remember just how blessed we are and call out God’s goodness to us.  And intercession is standing in the gap for others and lifting them and their concerns to God.  I still vividly remember a sermon where the illustration was a thimble for our adoration and a bushel basket for our supplication or requests.  That is backward to how we ought to pray.  It is all about God and His greatness – not our needs.  It is getting our lives lined up with His will – not trying to convince Him to do things our way.  Lots more we could discuss here – but prayer is a vital spiritual discipline and we need to spend time on it daily!

Paul goes on to tell us a truth that we all need to understand – He “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth”.  The gospel is not targeted to a few.  God wants every person on the planet to come to know Him. Not all will, and He already knows that, even to the point of knowing who will and won’t because He is God, but His desire is for all to come to know Him.  And that is our charge – to share the truth of the gospel to everyone in our patch.  It is not for us to make a determination on who should become a Christ Follower and who shouldn’t.  Our charge is to go and tell the gospel of Jesus to all.

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”.  Here is the truth of the gospel in a sentence.  There is one God – and He sits in heaven in control of the universe He created.  Man has a problem – called sin – which separates us from God and is why we need a mediator – because we are in deep trouble.  Jesus is our only mediator – He gave Himself to ransom our lives from the eternal future of hell – He paid the price and stands in the gap of sin between us and a holy God.  The only question is whether we will allow Him to be our Savior.  He doesn’t force that upon us – a mediator offers a solution but does not force it on either party.  God has accepted Jesus as the payment for the penalty of our sin.  We are sitting on the other side of that table and have to make a decision.  Will we receive the mediation that has been offered – to allow Jesus to pay the price which requires us to come to a personal and saving faith relationship with Him?  Or are we going to insist we just plow on with our own intentions and deal with the price of sin on our own.  Take the deal my friends.  There is no other option.  Jesus paid the price – God has graciously offered to accept His blood for your sin – there is no plan B!

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