I found this wonderful artist’s conception of a wearied and worn Apostle Paul writing in a Roman prison. As I viewed it, I was reminded of a time years ago that I was blessed with a group of Christian friends, while visiting Rome, to descend into that large hole in the ground known as the Mamertine Prison, where Paul was purported to write much of the New Testament.
I’ll never forget that day, as there were only 6 of us and the crowds were small, and so for a few minutes, we were alone there in that tiny cavity underground. We read from one of Paul’s epistles in the dim light, and as we prayed, the Holy Spirit came down in a powerful and very real fashion. He bore witness of His presence that day. None of us will ever forget what happened. I marveled to realize it was the selfsame Spirit that had anointed Paul there in that darkened place to give us much of the Word of the Lord.
Unfortunately, many Christians today want the blessings of the Word but want to ignore the commands of the Word.
Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” God said in Isaiah 1:19, “ If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good of the land.” Samuel told King Saul, “Obedience is better than sacrifice.” The Apostle John reminds us, “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments” I John 2:3
So in this confusing and wicked time in our world when there is a dearth of trust and confidence in leadership among earthly leaders, what is the Christian with strong moral values and a strong moral compass to do?The answer is very simple really…we are to be obedient to the word of God and focus on the life and teachings of Jesus. God is the architect of history. All things were made by the Word of His power. His greatest servants were born and served him in adversity and in times of dubious earthly leadership. Here’s what Paul commands us to do in such a time. He wrote this to Timothy when such despots as Nero and others like him ruled the earth.
“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior. Who will have all me to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” I Timothy 2:1-4
Real Christianity…may we practice it.
Dr. David M. Griffis