Love and Respect
Daily Bible Reading: Day 295
I have come to that part of Romans where the rubber meets the road, not only in my daily reading, but also in the sermons being preached among the believers at our little church. On Sunday we heard a wonderful charge to not think more highly of ourselves than we ought as we allow God to mold us into individuals made in the image of Christ; who truly showed us what that means as he humbled Himself even to death on a cross. Being like Christ starts with humility. (Romans 12:3) It is good to have that in mind as Paul continues to tell us what it looks like to walk as we should while on this earth.
The first thing addressed today in these verses from Chapter 13 is how we are to view those in authority.
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities.
For there is no authority except from God,
and those that exist have been instituted by God.
Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed,
and those who resist will incur judgment. -Romans 13:1-2, ESV
And dare we think that this does not apply to us today--our leaders in government are so corrupt, they are not men of God, whatever we think we can say of them--remember, Paul was writing to Christians living in Rome, not some happy Christian nation somewhere with a perfect government. I do not think we can let ourselves off the hook here. We may think that our elected officials are in office because of we the voters, but ultimately God is the One who placed them there and He tells us we are to submit to their authority. That to resist them is to resist God. We may not agree with our president, our senator, our governor, our mayor, and even at times our pastor, but we need to recognize that the power they have was given them by God, yes even the bad leaders out there (again, remember Paul was directing this to Christians living in Rome at the time--talk about corruption and evil...) There is nothing here that says I do not need to submit to them when I do not like their policies and practices. How does it bring glory to God when I constantly speak ill of the president? A shepherd named David comes to mind who would not lift his hand against the king who was trying to kill him, even when opportunity seemed to fall in his lap to do so. Daniel also comes to mind-sometimes God appointed kings to power to bring about His judgement on Israel. Oh, this christian life is not an easy one is it?
Therefore one must be in subjection,
not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience..
For because of this you also pay taxes,
for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing.
Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed,
revenue to whom revenue is owed,
respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. -Romans 13:5-7
Now that we have wrapped our minds around respecting those in authority Paul moves us on to loving one another. There were those who were saying at the time Paul wrote this letter that you could be saved by grace and continue to sin-grace freed you to live however you wanted. It is time for we too "to wake from sleep for salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed."
Owe no one anything, except to love each other,
for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments,
“You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,”
and any other commandment, are summed up in this word:
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep.
For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.
The night is far gone; the day is at hand.
So then let us cast off fhe works of darkness and put on the armor of light.
Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness,
not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
-Romans 13:8-14, ESV
I do not know about you, but that gives me plenty to pray about this morning as I continue to ask God to mold me into the image of His Son. It gives me plenty to work on as I go about my day. May these words from God dwell richly in our hearts.
Grace, Peace, and Mercy,
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I am a woman with a Mary heart and these are my musings as I read and study God's Word
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