Years ago I watched a Mel Gibson movie entitled Ransom. The story centers around a very wealthy airline owner who’s son gets kidnapped. It shows all of the emotions the parents went through as they bargained with the kidnappers only to find out that one of the detectives was behind the whole kidnapping!! Wow, that was a twist I had not planned on, but it brought to mind a Biblical parallel in 1 Timothy 2:1-8. Paul is writing to Timothy, his son in the faith, and in this part of his letter he brings out three very important things that are all tied to the word “ransom.” In verses 1 – 4 Paul tells Timothy that we should pray with humble hearts for all men, including kings or those in authority. In making our requests for them we should pray for their salvation and believe that the “ransom” for their lives has been paid also. I know we don’t all agree with our leaders from time to time, especially now, but it doesn’t lessen our need to pray for their eyes to be opened to the gospel and for their lives to be changed. If they don’t know Christ then they are not accepting the ransom that was paid on the cross and they “just don’t know any better.” When we pray for them we should pray that Christ, our mediator, would be shared with them and that they would get to know of His incredible offer of real life. Just imagine what would happen if a leader truly came to know Christ, and the changes that would take place in their thinking and reasoning. It would be awesome to see God at work in their lives. As you can see we have our work cut out for us and that work should be done on our knees praying to the one who offers freedom for those who are kidnapped by the power of sin. In verses 6- 7 Paul talks about the testimony of Jesus Christ. You know, we don’t really mention the testimony of Jesus much, but it is vital for sharing our testimony. According to Paul the testimony of Jesus is powerful, and very timely. You may ask how? We are in a time in our nation where we need a powerful, pure testimony that will shine out through all of the haze that has accumulated through weak ideas and worldly pursuits. We have plenty of people talking, but the testimony is weakened because of the injection of “political correctness” into everything we say and do. The pure testimony we need is the one of Jesus Christ himself. We must hold onto the strong truth of the Word about who Jesus is and what He did. We must point to our ransom, Jesus Christ. You see, we have diminished the worth of what He did on the cross by not telling it with true conviction and belief. We have allowed it to become a back story instead of the headline, and our testimony has suffered because of our lack of telling it again and again. Paul says in verse 7, “I was appointed a preacher and an apostle as a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.” In other words, he was to take this testimonial from Christ to a group of people that most of us fall into, Gentiles. He didn’t take this lightly and knew that on his own he would fail, but with Christ’ testimony he would succeed. The last thing Paul addressed was the attitude of those who are ransomed. In the movie, Ransom, the look on the boys parent’s face when they saw their son was priceless. They thought they had lost him and for a while lost hope, but their joy came back when they saw their son was free!!! We too are free. What is your attitude of gratitude toward God when you realize that through the ransom being paid you are free forever? I bet it is not near celebrative enough….Why is that? We forget! Pure and simple, our memories fade. You may ask, “Why can’t I seem to keep my faith strong and my attitude of praise ever growing. It could be you really don’t know Christ. You just said a prayer one time and there was no repentance, no life change, no Holy Spirit, and you are a Christian by name, but there is no Spirit in you. Bummer. You aren’t alone. Many church members are in this condition of not really knowing Christ, but their name is on a church roll. All of that will remain on earth when the Lord comes again and they will not be heaven bound. Or it could be you know Christ, but you haven’t been seeking Him and His righteousness and nothing has been added to your life. You are a spiritual baby. It’s time to grow up. Paul wrote to Timothy to remind him of what should happen in his life because of his ransom being paid. He knew Timothy was the real deal and that this letter would be received as good instruction to “help” him. Paul’s last bit of advice on the subject in verse 9 called all men to quit fighting and start focusing on Christ by lifting up holy hands to Him. Don’t focus on the world. Focus on Christ. You can do that through prayer, Bible Study, surrendering to serve the Lord in a ministry, or whatever. Seeking is a neat thing. When you do it you immediately find that God is right there with all the answers. There is the other parallel to the movie Ransom and that is the cop who was behind the whole kidnapping thing from the beginning. We have one who is trying to divert our eyes from the truth by going around behind the scenes to keep us kidnapped by lifestyle choices. It’s time to quit living by the perspective of satan and allow God’s truth to be our focus in every situation. We must quit letting the world tell the story we know by heart. It’s ours to tell, so we must tell it right, and tell it with the conviction of Christ.
Keep in mind. When we live life by God’s perspective, the results will always be God’s results, not ours. It’s time to get on our knees and stand up changed. Rejoice!! The ransom is paid, so quit acting like you are still kidnapped. Walk like you are free!! Because you are!!!
The Pilgrimage continues…..