Those in Charge
Reading: 1 Timothy 1-6
Yesterday, I had slipped and fell on the street. This was the second time in three weeks and it happened in almost the same spot both times. This time I smashed my head against a chunk of ice/snow/sand/salt, melded together and lying at the edge of the sidewalk. No great damage done, thank the Lord. A few scratches on my face, more abuse to already abused knees, and the right lens of my glasses will have to be replaced. But that beats a broken leg or hip or whatever else could have happened.
I sent an email to the city Public Works department to advise them that this particular section was extremely dangerous and perhaps needed a little more attention that what it seems to be getting.
It never occurred to me to pray for the salvation of the city engineer to whom my email was addressed.
So when I read these verses from Timothy this morning I was reminded that my duty as a believer goes beyond being a good citizen—or reporting slippery sidewalks!
“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercessions 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 the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 1-4, NIV).
We love to critique the performance of our civic authorities. We might even occasionally pray that they be just in their dealings, be given wisdom when they make decisions on our behalf. But how often do we pray for their salvation? The authorities over us will only be just and wise if they are surrendered to the One who IS just and wise. They will only preserve our freedom to follow Christ if they too are following Him.
As citizens of an earthly kingdom we have a duty to practice good citizenship. As citizens of a heavenly kingdom, we have a responsibility to be concerned as much for the souls of our elected officials as we are for potholes, taxes, slippery sidewalks and garbage disposal.
When was the last time you prayed for the salvation of the authorities over you? When was the last time you told some public official that you were praying for him?