Opening Questions and Prayer
What are some reasons people get so passionate about politics?
What do you do when someone disagrees with you politically?
How does the world respond to someone who disagrees with them politically?
Ask the Lord for wisdom as you delve into a topic that has many hot buttons. Pray that He would help you see the political scene as He does and that you would respond biblically to politics.
Read Galatians 5:14 & 2 Timothy 2:15 NLT
Galatians 5:14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
2 Timothy 2:15 Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.
What do these verses tell us about how we should treat others?
What might be some reasons followers of Jesus might feel ashamed?
What instructions does Paul give Timothy about how to live?
How can you make sure you are correctly explaining the word of truth?
Read Isaiah 9:6-7 & Job 12:23-25
Isaiah 9: 6 For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!
Job 12: 23 He builds up nations, and he destroys them. He expands nations, and he abandons them.
24 He strips kings of understanding and leaves them wandering in a pathless wasteland. 25 They grope in the darkness without a light. He makes them stagger like drunkards.
What does this say about who is ultimately in control in this world?
How does the government rest on Jesus’ shoulders?
Why do people put so much trust in the government?
How do people forget that God is ultimately in charge?
What’s one thing you can do this week to remind yourself that God is in control even in our government?
Read 1 Peter 2:13-17
13 For the Lord’s sake, submit to all human authority—whether the king as head of state, 14 or the officials he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish those who do wrong and to honor those who do right.
15 It is God’s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you. 16 For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. 17 Respect everyone, and love the family of believers. Fear God, and respect the king.
What was Peter telling his readers to do in respect to the leadership of their nation?
How does this apply to us today?
What are some ways people show respect to government authorities?
What are some ways people show disrespect?
When we submit to human authority, how does that help us show God’s love to others?
Think back to your conversations and social media posts over the past year, were they respectful or disrespectful (no matter which political side you lean towards)?
Is there anyone you may have upset, or who upset you, during this political turmoil our country is facing?
What can you do this week to offer or ask for forgiveness?
Read Ecclesiastes 5:8-9
8 Don’t be surprised if you see a poor person being oppressed by the powerful and if justice is being miscarried throughout the land. For every official is under orders from higher up, and matters of justice get lost in red tape and bureaucracy. 9 Even the king milks the land for his own profit!
What is Solomon saying about how government leaders behave?
Even if those in power are corrupt, immoral, or make unwise choices, how are we to behave towards them?
How does what Jesus says in Luke 20:25 “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God,” help give us proper perspective?
How do you continue to honor God even when you don’t agree with what the government is doing?
Read Romans 13:1-7
1 Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. 2 So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. 3 For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. 4 The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. 5 So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience.
6 Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid. They are serving God in what they do. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority.
What was the political climate like towards Christians in Rome when Paul wrote this letter?
How can you give respect and honor to those in authority even if you don’t agree with them?
What is difficult about living these verses out?
What should we do if the government asks us to do something that goes against God’s authority in our lives?
How could we do that while still being respectful?
Read 1 Timothy 2:1-4
1 I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 2 Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.
How is Paul directing Timothy to live his life?
Do the things Paul talks about describe how you live and act?
Does your prayer life towards the former and current president sound like the things Paul tells Timothy to pray for?
If not, how can you start praying differently for them?
What is one thing you can do this week to honor those in authority, especially in the government?
1 Timothy 2:1-2
1 I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 2 Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.
Closing thoughts and prayers
When it comes to politics, this is a hot button not just in the general public, but among followers of Christ. Every election, there are posts about how you can’t be a follower of Jesus and vote for a certain candidate. What’s ironic, is that those posts are posted by followers of Jesus on both sides of the political spectrum. But God’s word isn’t telling us that we have to agree with those in authority, he tells us we are to submit to them because ultimately He put them in that position. More important than submitting to those in authority is submitting to the Lord Jesus Christ in every aspect of our lives. When we do that we start to gain perspective on how to live no matter who is president.
Pray for our government leaders, by name. Pray that God would help them, intercede on their behalf, and thank God for them. Pray that they would come to know Jesus if they don’t and that they would be saved and understand the truth. Then pray for them everyday this week.