Everyone wants to live a successful, satisfied, and secure life…but what if yours is anything but. Maybe you’re unhappy in your workplace with a overbearing Boss and back-stabbing co-workers? Have you ever considered praying for them? I Timothy 2:1-2 tells us to pray for all of those in authority over us that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. Your intercessory prayers can change the atmosphere at work, and they can change people’s attitudes…yours included. Are you unhappy in your marriage or with family relationships? Would you be willing to start praying on behalf of those who are causing you pain right now? For again, your prayers can change situations, family dynamics, and bring peace into those difficult relationships. Because anytime we start praying for someone, our perspective changes about them…for we take on God’s view, not ours.
The early Church was forced to disperse after the stoning of Stephen, “for on that day a great persecution broke out against the Church at Jerusalem.” (Acts 8:1) Because they no longer had the support and encouragement of the Body of Believers around them they could of given up, gone into hiding, and denied their faith…but they didn’t. For it tells us in this verse that wherever they went they declared the Word of the Lord to those around them. They refused to allow persecution to silence them, and instead became Itinerant Evangelists sharing the Good News of Jesus.
The Writer of this proverb was pretty blunt…if you’re opposed to God’s correction in your life, you’re dumb! We know that God disciplines those He loves (Proverbs 3:12), but until we can realize it’s for our benefit not detriment…we’ll continue to rebel against His correction. Proverbs 9:9 says, ” Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.” Greater wisdom and understanding can only be found in the “education” of God’s discipline.
In another Chapter of the Gospels, Jesus appointed seventy-two others and sent them out two by two ahead of Him to every town and place He was about to go. (Luke 10:1) But why did Jesus send them out in pairs? There are several places in the Old Testament that speak to the need for at least two witnesses with mutually confirming stories in order for a man to be put to death. (Deuteronomy 17:6 & Deuteronomy 19:5) So the first reason was accountability and responsibility. The second reason was protection. In Billy Graham’s autobiography, “Just As I Am”, he talks about the Modesto Manifesto, or the Billy Graham Rule…and I quote, ” We all knew of evangelists who had fallen into immorality while separated from their families by travel. We pledged among ourselves to avoid any situation that would have even the appearance of compromise or suspicion. From that day on, I didn’t travel, meet, or eat alone with a woman other than my wife. We determined that the Apostle Paul’s mandate to the young Pastor Timothy would be ours as well.” (II Timothy 1:22) Dr. Graham determined to always have a chaperone with him, not just for propriety but for his moral protection… and history goes on to show us a world changing ministry that was at all times above reproach.
Elsewhere in Isaiah we find, “For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:13) God will never call you without first making a way. He will never choose you for a specific work without equipping you with everything you need prior. Finally, God will always take into consideration and use your strengths…your gifts, talents, passions, and heart. In other words, God uses the very best of who you are to further His Kingdom. So never shy away from what God is calling you to do…for in His eyes, you are the very best person for the job!
It was not unusual for God to speak to Old Testament prophets such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, or Ezekiel… by beginning His warning with, ” Stand up and speak to the people.” That’s what the job of the watchmen was all about…to keep guard and then to lift their voices when danger approached. Fast forward to today. As a follower of Christ, do you realize you too are a watchman to this broken world? The Lord has called you to stand up and speak to the lost, warning them of the impending danger if they continue to ignore Jesus Christ and the gift of salvation.