Pray for our Nation
We are a nation full of people in pain. Some are angry, some confused, and others feel they have been misled or betrayed. As I’ve meditated on God’s Word for answers, Paul’s instructions to Timothy have leapt off the pages, giving precedent for what seems like unprecedented times. As you read these passages, consider inserting “myths/controversies” with “conspiracy theories,” and “riches/wealth/money/gain” with “political power” (which applies to Republican and Democrat) and see how relevant the Bible is for us today.
“…charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions (1 Tim. 1:3-7).
Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness (1 Tim. 4:7).
If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith (1 Tim. 6:3-12).
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” for by professing it some have swerved from the faith (1 Tim. 6:17-20).
Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will (2 Tim. 2:23-26).
The Bible can be our filter for discernment, which is a better source for us than social media, talk radio, or podcasts. He will guide us toward unity by exercising the fruit of the Spirit so the world will know we are Christians by our love.
Finally, Paul said that men and women should adorn themselves with modesty and self-control, praying without anger or quarreling (1 Tim. 2:8-9). What a contrast to the people storming the capitol in anger and pride on January 6. For this reason we are joining together in prayer on January 18 in celebration of Martin Luther King Day.