Wednesday, August 15, 2018

"First Of All"

"First Of All"

    "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men, for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all" (I Timothy 2:1-6).

    The Apostle Paul begins his charge to his protege Timothy with the "first of all" exhortation to the "good and acceptable" calling to pray.  How could Paul begin with any other charge considering the overwhelming responsibility of life and ministry to which the Lord calls all His trusting children in Christ?

    "Who is sufficient for these things?… Our sufficiency is of God" (II Corinthians 2:16; 3:5).

    Only God can enable us to effectually exemplify and communicate the Lord Jesus Christ to needy human hearts.  He must work to prepare both the soil and the sower if spiritual seed is to be planted and ultimately yield a bountiful harvest of grace.  Prayer leads to the Lord's plowing of the field in preparation for planting.  It also results in our enabling to administer the seed of God's life and truth precisely where it will germinate, take root, and grow.  We have good seed, perfect seed in the living Word the Lord Jesus, and the written Word the Bible.  However, we must wisely and skillfully fulfill our calling to plant, water, nurture, and harvest.  Who indeed is sufficient for these things?  Only God, and the stewards who recognize that "neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth, but God that giveth the increase" (I Corinthians 3:7).

    Pray "first of all", Timothy, exhorts Paul.  Then go forth in the leading, enabling, and effectual ministry that seeks the working of God as the power of our labors.  Such a calling involves every believer as we work in the particular venue of the Lord's vineyard to which He calls us.  How could it be otherwise?  God alone knows human hearts.  God alone knows how to sow the seed of His Word in the precise manner that applies directly and personally to the soil we till.  And God alone can enable us to fulfill the role for which we cannot, in and of ourselves, perform.  Paul well knew this was the case with Timothy.  However, he also knew how true it was of himself.  Thus, he requested prayers for the help and hope only God can provide to both the sower and the field in which he labors…

"Pray always and with all supplication in the Spirit… that utterance may be given unto me that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the Gospel."
(Ephesians 6:18; 19)

Weekly Memory Verse
   Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of Me."
(John 5:39)

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