Transformed by a Miracle of Grace

Yesterday in our PrayerMinder, we were led to pray for our leaders. Pastor Mark—in his video—asked us to think of the politician we don’t like (whoever he or she may be, and on whichever side of the line they are), and begin to pray for them. I was thinking about this as I was reading an old devotional this morning, which opened by speaking about the redemption of Saul of Tarsus. 

It is very important for us to consider that prior to his conversion, the early church was probably praying to God regarding Saul of Tarsus. But they were probably praying for God’s wrath and Saul’s destruction, as he was making havoc of the church through persecution. But God’s intent was not Saul’s destruction, but his salvation.

Years after his conversion, when he would come to be known as Paul the Apostle, he would write:
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviorwho desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
– 1 Timothy 2:1-4

In times like these, especially during an election season, it is easy for us to become irritated, upset, frustrated, and angry about politics. But might I encourage (and exhort) you to—first of all—pray for the salvation of our leaders. God desires their salvation. And if they were transformed (as was Saul of Tarsus) by the grace and power of God, their worldview and politics would change too. 

Episode 67 – July 12th Sermon Q&A

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Questions & Timestamps:

  1. @ 25:57 – What are the three heavens?
  2. @ 29:16 – Regarding suicide. I have heard some people say people who commit suicide will get to heaven but they will lose their rewards. Is this true?
  3. @ 35:01 – In a resent message you said that God sometimes says “no” to our prayers. How do we know when God is saying “No?” And how do we know we should stop persisting in prayer if the best prayers are persistent prayers?
  4. @ 40:48 – We don’t hear much about Simon of Cyrene who helped Jesus carry the Cross. Was he black? What else do we know about him?
  5. @ 43:57 – What do you think about pastors supporting Black Lives Matter?

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