Thanksgiving Day

Joel 2:21-27  •  Psalm 126  •  1 Timothy 2:1-7  •  Matthew 6:25-33

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.For,

There is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone.

This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time. And I have been chosen as a preacher and apostle to teach the Gentiles this message about faith and truth. I’m not exaggerating—just telling the truth.

1 Timothy 2:1-7 New Living Translation (NLT)

It is thanksgiving day here in the United States.  Paul writes to Timothy these words

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people.  Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.

– 1 Timothy 2:1

This is a great reminder to pray for the people that God puts in your way.  Paul doesn’t tell us to pray just for those we like – it tells us to pray for all people – people that God places in your way. Pam and I have really tried to live this way – especially in our roles as transportation specialists.  It’s so easy to make judgments about people.  Instead, we are encouraged to pray for them – to ask God to help them – to give thanks for them.  

In that way we live peaceful and quite lives marked by godliness and dignity.  Not only are we to pray for those God places in our path, but we are to pray for those in authority over us – whether we agree with them or not.  I know – that can be hard to do, but the way Paul writes, believers do not have an option not to pray for those in authority over them.  

Why should we pray and give thanks for people that God places in our lives?  Because God desires that all people come to the saving knowledge of Jesus.  God wants everyone to understand the truth of Jesus.  Only Jesus can reconcile God and humanity.  As we have been looking over the last few weeks, Jesus is the Great High Priest who mediates between God and humanity.  Jesus is the one who purchased freedom through us.  This is the message that we are called to preach — whether we have been called to preach as a vocational ministry or if we are a lay-person. Everyone – who is in Christ Jesus – has been called to preach the message of the Gospel.  

Today, let’s pray for those who God places in our path.  Let’s also thank God for Jesus Christ – who paid the penalty for our sin on the cross – who rose again – so that we might have new life in God.  

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