The Second Greatest Commandment
Loving the Unlovely – Part VI
Scripture Reading: Luke 15:1-7 (NLT)
Key Verses: Luke 15:1-2 (NLT) Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that He was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them!
Let’s finish studying the truths taught in 1 Timothy 2:1-4 by looking at the last two verses:
This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. (1 Timothy 2:3-4)
If you are a true believer, then I know you, like me, spend a lot of time thinking about pleasing God.
We usually feel like we do not please God when we see ourselves fail Him so often. We focus so intently on our own behavior that we seldom think about other people.
Yet, Jesus told us to love God with our entire beings and love our neighbors as ourselves. He also told us that these two commands are equal in importance. This then should remind us to focus not only on our own walk with God but also to focus on the spiritual health of those around us.
The first act of love that we can do for those around us is to pray for them, asking God to be merciful and to continue His Kindness toward them.
We have noted in earlier devotionals that it is God’s kindness that can bring people to repentance and acceptance of Jesus as their savior.
Look at the first phrase of 1 Timothy 2:3:
this is good and pleases God our Savior…
We should be very careful judging what we consider “good” in God’s eyes. This verse tells us that God considers our prayers for people and the leaders of nations as “good” in His eyes. Taking time to pray for people, especially the leaders of our world, is one of the greatest forms of loving them.
The Apostle Peter wrote:
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8).
This verse refers to God’s greatest value which is for us to love people through our prayers for those that are lost and those that lead us. Could it be that this kind of love covers over many mistakes and failures?
No matter the full meaning of this verse, it is clear that God is pleased with us when we pray for the leaders and the people of their nations.
Finally, do not overlook the 1 Timothy 2:4:
God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.
There are believers that think that there are some people chosen by God and some left out of that selection. I cannot see any support for that belief in the Bible. God wants to save everyone! Jesus said:
“And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to Myself.” (John 12:32).
Father, thank You for loving everyone and wanting to save everyone. Please remind me often to pray for the leaders of our world and lost people of our world. In Jesus’s Name, amen.