Thursday, December 11, 2014

P1 God-empowered living - 1 Timothy 2:1-2

1 Timothy 2:8 "Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension."

A couple of days ago we considered what it means to unleash God's power through prayer (link: This author felt it necessary to dig further into 1 Timothy 2:1-8 and to take this post of a couple of days ago and use it as a springboard into discovering the need for God-saturated living. 

As was mentioned in that older post, prayer could be conceived of as rolling out the red carpet for God to come into and do His work. Prayer invites God to work where He wants and how He wants. When Paul writes what he does to Timothy, his chief concern is how one ought to conduct themselves in the household of the living God - the church. (1 Timothy 3:15) We must not think of Paul's 1st Epistle to Timothy as being concerned about behavior, but rather transformed, redeemed lives living out God's purposes together by His power for the glory of Jesus Christ. As the opening verse of today's post urges, men everywhere ought to be lifting up "holy hands" without wrath and dissension. The God-empowered life will have things right in both the vertical direction (God-and-me; God-and-us) and the horizontal direction (you and me direction). 

Point of Application
The point of application for today's post will be: God-empowered living, built upon prayer, is the primary call of the Christian. In the thoughts below we will flesh out from 1 Timothy 2:3-8 what is meant by God-empowered living, and why in its connection to prayer, it stands as the primary call of the Christian. Notice that the call to be God-empowered is a call to...

Biblically defining God-empowered living. 1 Timothy 2:1-2
1 Timothy 2:2 says these words - "for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity." As God's people regularly pray for those in authority, the communities in which they live and the surrounding culture, God's favor works on their behalf. Proverbs 16:7 reminds us: "When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord,
He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him." Certainly King Jehosaphat, one of the godliest kings to ever reign in Old Testament Jerusalem, embodied this passage as seen in 2 Chronicles 17:10 "
Now the dread of the Lord was on all the kingdoms of the lands which were around Judah, so that they did not make war against Jehoshaphat." Or how about the early church in the New Testament in Acts 2:46-47 "Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved."  

Certainly plugging into God's power is done so through prayer. Undoubtedly Christians must put prayers to the feet, intercessions to the hands and entreaties to the plans and purposes of the mind. Yet what Paul is equally affirming in these verses is that feet, hands, plans and purposes need to be practically lived out in light of prayer - i.e "putting feet to our prayers". 
The underlined words above in 1 Timothy 2:3,  "tranquil" and "quiet", speak of a soul that is at rest as a result of improvement of outside circumstances (i.e the word tranquil) and the inward conditions of the heart. (1 Peter 3:4). 

Is God-empowered living going to lead to a life of ease and comfort? Not in the sense of the so-called "American Dream". The type of life which is spoken of here is a life that rests in the fact that God is in control. God-empowered living is a call to live the type of life that is being encouraged as a result of God's power unleashed through the connection of prayer - i.e "life in all godliness and dignity." 

Remember: God-empowered living, built upon prayer, is the primary call of the Christian. This necessarily begins with the foundation of the Christian's call as being empowered by God in their life. 

More tomorrow....

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