I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time.
1 Timothy 2:1-6
A Better Place
“What can I do to make this world a better place?” A look at the sad, scary state of current events, both local and worldwide, can lead one to wonder, “Is there really anything I can do that will make a difference?”
Today the apostle Paul says to us, “Yes. Pray.” Paul urges us to pray for everyone—to pray for everyone who means anything at all to us, and for some who don’t mean anything to us. He urges us to pray for our spouses, our children, our family members, our friends, our neighbors, our countrymen, and for people around the world. Do you want to make things better? Pray.
Pray, Paul says, especially for all those in authority. Pray for your local authorities and your national authorities. And pray for kings and authorities around the world. It may not always be easy. Do you find it difficult to pray for the tyrants and despots of the world? Do you find it difficult to pray for the leaders you don’t agree with? Then remember, the Roman emperor when Paul wrote these words was Nero, a vicious and villainous man, a man who eliminated his opposition, a man who had his own mother and wife murdered, a man under whom the active persecution of the Christian church flourished.
Whether it is the authorities at home or abroad, Paul doesn’t say, “Ridicule them.” He doesn’t say, “Put them down.” He doesn’t say, “Make sure everyone knows their faults.” He doesn’t say, “Try to understand them.” He doesn’t say, “Explain them.” He doesn’t say, “Pity them.” He says, “Pray for them.” Pray for them so we can live peaceful and quiet lives.
When we live peaceful and quiet lives, we can live in all godliness and holiness. And then we can proclaim the real difference-maker, Jesus. God wants all people to be saved. That happens when people come to a knowledge of the truth. Not just any truth, but the truth that Jesus Christ is the mediator between God and man. The truth that Jesus Christ is the one who has established peace between God and man. The truth that Jesus Christ is the one who has opened the door to heaven. He did that by giving himself as a ransom, by taking our sins upon himself, by offering his body and blood for us on the cross.
Life with Jesus—that’s what truly makes this world a better place.
Lord God, guide and bless all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. Then guide and bless us as we proclaim Jesus, the difference-maker for this life and for eternity. Amen.
This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.