|Norman Rockwell's Thanksgiving Painting for the Saturday Evening Post|
The Prayers and Lord’s Prayer p. 44
The Collect for Peace p. 45
The Benediction p. 45
The Hymn #558 All Praise to Thee - Gounod
- Cancer treatment - Randy Anderson.
- Wonderful news - C. has been diagnosed and is home. She will have additional help.
- Pastor and Mrs. Jim Shrader.
- Pastor K and Doc Lito Cruz - dealing with diabetes.
- Our military and police.
- Our media ministries - Alec Satin and Norma Boeckler.
- President Trump and those who defend the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.
KJV 1 Timothy 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. 7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity. 8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
KJV Luke 17:11 And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: 13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. 14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. 15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. 17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? 18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. 19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
Background for the Pastoral Epistles
Professor Lenski has an excellent and detailed introduction to the Pastoral Epistles (1 and 2 Timothy, Titus) in his commentaries. He offers an explanation for two imprisonments. He won his case and was released from prison. As Lenski says, the turmoil about the burning of Rome was ahead, and there was no real charge against Paul. That allowed him to go to Spain. However, once Nero could blame the fires of Rome on the Christians (because he wanted to clear some land), the Christian Faith became criminal. Paul had a different experience the second time, and he was executed.
The setting for the Pastoral Epistles is not much different from today's world. There is an ominous threat to freedom in general, a clear campaign against the Christian Faith.
KJV 1 Timothy 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
The parallels are many - between these letters, the initial defeat of garrison troops by the Zealots, and the march of Imperial Rome to surround, starve, and enslave the residents. The persecution of Christians there had already taken place, so they were out along the roads and shiplanes establishing new congregations.
America has had many attacks inside and outside our borders. We have many political leaders no better than Nero, and perhaps far worse, because America's mistakes influence the entire world.
Paul, with considerable insights and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, wrote to the congregations - First of all - his emphasis -
- Giving thanks
be made for all men, for kings and all in authority.
The Christians were not Zealots. They were quietistic, peaceable and not looking for trouble and rebellion. God had more power over their conditions than the sword did. Their prayers would be answered in time as the Empire became Christian.
We have a lot of influence through prayer and through being peaceful while teaching others. When people speak up for the truth, others are encouraged to do the same thing.
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
God's aim is not winning in the sense of government, but gathering souls through the power of the Gospel. The Zealots showed how they could draw a powerful army with slaves to encircle their city, starve their own people, and bring the city down - a bad price to pay for defeating the garrison in a short battle. Garrisons were there to prevent revolution, not to engage in one.
The benefits of the Gospel are impossible to measure. They multiply in every direction. The Gospel had a major part to play in our country's founding and its leaders. They were filled with the wisdom of the Bible and God commanding what was good for them (natural law). This was God's will in establishing America and preserving it.
5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
This is a beautiful confession of faith, probably one known and taught among the congregations. This teaches the Two Natures of God - going back to Genesis 3:15 - (paraphrased address to Satan)
You will injure His foot, but He will crush your head;
and Exodus 2 -
The Angel of the Lord said - I AM. Tell them I AM sent you. John 8 - Before Abraham was, I AM.
7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity. 8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
Paul led the way, through the Spirit, in establishing and building up the Kingdom of Christ, which replaced the Empire of Rome. He emphasized his title because, as Herman Melville said, "The pulpit leads the world."
"What could be more full of meaning?- for the pulpit is ever this earth’s foremost part; all the rest comes in its rear; the pulpit leads the world. From thence it is the storm of God’s quick wrath is first descried, and the bow must bear the earliest brunt. From thence it is the God of breezes fair or foul is first invoked for favorable winds. Yes, the world’s a ship on its passage out, and not a voyage complete; and the pulpit is its prow."
Moby Dick, Chapter 8.
There are many kinds of important work, and the Gospel is most important in teaching its entire meaning and purpose through Christ our Lord.