A few weeks ago, the main verse of our devotional was 1 Timothy 2:1-2 which says I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
When I read that last phase “live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness,” I could feel my spirit groan and my heart long for peace and quiet in all godliness and holiness. When looking for words to describe this year both globally and personally “peace and quiet” are not the first two words that leap to mind.
2020 has been a year of fear, chaos, disruption, and loss. The rhetoric of the day regardless of what side you are on, is cutting and harsh. The lack of compassion and grace in our conversations online, on TV and in person is wearing down our hearts. We are all hungry for love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. It’s why when someone does something kind for someone else the video goes viral.
With the level of critical and judgmental words being spoken, I thought about sending out the devotional called “A Fast Of Words.” You can click here to read it. But just trying not to say things that are judgmental and critical didn’t feel like enough. 1 Timothy 2:1-2 kept coming to mind. Typically, this verse is used to encourage us to pray for those in authority. I have to admit that I even jump over a phrase in the middle of the verse and focus on praying “for kings and all those in authority.” Before that it says that we are to give prayers, intercession, and also thanksgiving. Not just for all leaders, but all people.
Thanksgiving for all people.
Thanksgiving is actively choosing to call forth what is good. It is blessing those around you instead of cursing. It is an act of worship. It is a way to express to someone that are they are loved, valued, and seen by God.
What would it be like if we all chose to focus on “thanksgiving for all people”? All of us are hungry for a good word. Words of blessing are like raindrops hitting dry cracked soil. At first it may not feel like much, but just a few words of thankfulness and blessing can make an impact on those around you.
I am inviting you to take a challenge with me. For the next 21 days would you join me in practicing “thanksgiving for all people”? Each day we will look for a way to call forth what is good and bless those around us. We will be the vessel through which God’s love can flow to the world. There are many ways you can bless others: a kind word to the weary cashier at the supermarket, a note left in your mailbox for your postal carrier, an email or message to a friend online. God is infinitely creative. Ask Him to show you ways to express thanksgiving for all people.
As a part of this challenge, I will be posting a short blessing statement on Facebook and Instagram (@thefathersbiz) each day for the next 21 days that you can share with others.
By this everyone will know that you are My disciples,
if you love one another.
©2020 Elizabeth Gunter