The division, criticism and vile abuse I’ve seen around social media lately has been nothing short of disturbing. The target of this abuse, more often than not, the government, leaders, and those in authority.
Sadly, “Christians” have often been at the center of the conversations, slinging verbal mud at their elected officials and leaders as quickly as they can make it. Those that are called to be peacemakers, creating division, declaring war with their words. Those that are called to pray, simply criticizing and slandering with very little evidence of praying.
Why do we do this? How do we justify our actions?
More often than not, we lift up high, “our rights”.
I’m sorry friend, dead people don’t have rights. The only people that can hold to their rights are people still breathing this worlds air, a Christian is dead, dead to self and alive to Christ. If you call yourself a Christian, your rights died with you at your salvation. You are now no longer a slave to sin but to God. He owns you. He didn’t save you so you could stay the old you, He saved you so that you could be brand new, no longer alive to your old ways, but alive in Him.
You got an upgrade from “rights”, you got righteousness, you got Christ.
It’s time for us to get off our high horses and get on our faces and pray. Trade your rights for your responsibilities as an ambassador of Christ. Love your neighbour, pray for those who persecute you, and for God’s sake, pray for your government.
“But I don’t like my government!?” you may say. That’s ok, the Bible you took your salvation message from never asks you to like them. It asks you to pray for them.
Paul, who was under the Roman Emperor Nero, who literally used Christians as human torches at his parties (yes he burnt them alive), instructs us “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” (1 Timothy 2). The Apostle Peter, even more explicitly tells us to “honor the Emperor” (1 Peter 2:17) This is the very same Emperor who’s wave of persecution resulted in Peters death, the aforementioned flame loving, Emperor Nero.
Now if these two founders of our faith can ask us to pray for our leaders and honor them, surely we can and should. Our leaders are asking us to wear a mask, their leaders were publicly executing them, and still (like Jesus) they were praying for them!
It amazes me that we who call ourselves Christians can pick and choose our Scriptures based on what works for us.
Salvation from hell- “Yes please, I’ll take it!”
Pray for my government? Honor them? “No thanks.”
Friends we don’t do what the Bible says because we want to, or because it’s nice or it feels good, we do it because we owe our lives to Jesus. We do it because following Jesus means… following Jesus, and He literally gave His life for us. His example was laying down His rights to His throne (for a time) so that He could bring you home.
I urge you, pray for your elected officials, be they President Trump, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Premier Daniel Andrews of anyone else, not because you did or didn’t vote for them, but because Jesus loves them and His Bible asks you to pray for them.
These people are sons, Fathers, brothers, and most importantly, Gods precious creation, made in His very image. They are worth Christ’s blood just as much as you are.
Don’t live off trends or temptations, live off every word that comes from God. It’s only by them that you can even claim the title Christian. This gospel isn’t a lukewarm “pick and chose gospel”. Jump in, or jump out. The world needs our obedience, not our opinions.
Now let’s get to it. Take some time to pray for your leaders today.
PS- I didn’t write this blog to entertain. I wrote it to wake us up. It’s time to tame our tongues and our thumbs and at the core of it, heal our hearts, because our comments only reflect our hearts contents. I love you. I wouldn’t write this if I didn’t. I’m calling us higher. Let’s pray.
PPS- I also didn’t write this to condemn. There is no condemnation for this one Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). If you feel convicted, repent and pour it out to Jesus. He will give you a new heart. He’s a good God. Pray to Him, trust Him, He loves you.
3 thoughts on ““Pray for Nero”- Ancient Wisdom for Present Day Christians”
Well said Andrew and a timely reminder to us all.
Very good cuz;)
Timely and true,. Thanks for being there in your social media platform that will be a blessing to the kingdom;)
Blessings to you!
Sent from my iPhone
Absolutely, Andrew. Before Covid, I was quick to criticise and even denigrate those politicians who I don’t agree with and whose policies are anathema to the Gospel, but God has been doing a work in my heart, and convicted me about that attitude, and reminded me of the imperative to pray for our leaders (without qualification). Our battle is not against flesh and blood, so to battle in the flesh is to lose. To battle from the place of our position in Christ with the spiritual weapons Holy Spirit has furnished us with will have much greater effect.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,”
II Corinthians 10:3-5 NKJV Also see this in The Passion Translation.
So we battle against the ideologies and lies, not against the people who promote them. We are to love them with the love of Christ and pray for them – as you have said, Andrew.