The prayers of pastors, are heard at least every four years in Washington D.C., and this was true again this year when Bishop Wayne T. Jackson prayed for President Donald Trump: We ask that you give him the wisdom of Solomon, the vision of Joseph and the meekness of Christ . . . Solomon kept peace among many nations, Joseph dreamt better for the people, and Christ who accepted us all.
Jackson was obeying the mandate of I Timothy 2:1-2: I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.
Regardless of our political views and how we voted, Donald J. Trump is now the president of the United States; and, whether we like him or detest him, it is our duty to pray for him.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord ~Psalm 33:12
In Colossians 3:11, Paul used just 6 words to convey a massive amount of truth: “Christ is all and in all.” When I read this succinct statement about the indescribable Christ, I remembered a brief description of the Bible.
The Bible in 50 Words, uses statements consisting of 2 words to describe the 66 books of the Bible:
Along this same theme of profound brevity, I suggest there is one verse in the New Testament that summarizes the life of Christ better than any other:
Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh,vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory. ~I Timothy 3:16
I will close with this question: What are the 50 words that define you?
I was flipping through the pages of the Psalms late yesterday afternoon, and 5 words from Psalm 34 caught my attention: “Seek peace and pursue it.” When I examined the words of this verse, I came away with the idea that it is a faith and works verse.
The faith part is found in the word “seek.” The original meaning of the word has the idea of seeking within the context of worship, or praying for peace.
The works part of the verse is even more interesting. The word “pursue” should be understood within the scope of intense persecution. You should pursue peace with same energy and intensity of a zealous persecutor.
There is considerable harmony between the uses of pursue in the Old Testament, and the way Paul uses it in the New Testament:
- In Romans 14:19, Paul encouraged the Christians at Rome to “Pursue what makes for peace and for building up one another.”
- I Thessalonians 5:15: “See to it that no one repays evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good for one another and for all.”
- I Timothy 6:11: “Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness.”
It has been said that whatever catches your attention, catches you. I trust you’ll turn your attention to the business of “seeking peace and pursuing it.” Peter confirms the importance of this endeavor:
Whoever desires to love life and see good days let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. ~I Peter 3:10-12
Before I go to the office of a morning, I usually stop at the donut shop for a cup of coffee. Some mornings I yield to temptation and eat a donut. I guess this makes me somewhat of an expert on these high cholesterol, artery-clogging treats.
Donuts reveal a little bit about your perspective on life. Do you focus on what you have or on what you do not have? Here’s a little rhyme to explain:
As you go through life, make this your goal:
Keep your eye on the doughnut and not on the hole.
Some people focus so much on what they think they are missing, they miss out on the joys of life. Because they are always wanting more, they know nothing of contentment.
Paul spoke to Timothy about this when he said: Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out (I Timothy 6:6-7).”
A common companion of contentment is gratefulness, and great fullness is what Paul wanted Timothy to experience. Because he was grateful, Paul had a great fullness that helped him to face the trials of life:
“I have learned to be content, whatever the circumstances may be. I know now how to live when things are difficult and I know how to live when things are prosperous. In general and in particular I have learned the secret of facing either poverty or plenty. I am ready for anything through the strength of the one who lives within me (Philippians 4”10-13).”
It was Charles Dickens who said: “Reflect upon your present blessings — of which every man has many — not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”
If you just focus on your misfortunes, you will miss the fortune you have in your family, your friends, and in your Savior. Think about them, express your gratefulness and great fullness can be yours to enjoy.