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. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7 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 13:1-7)
We have all read the scripture telling us to honor our father and mother so that our days will be long, but we really don’t hear a whole lot about how we should treat other authority figures in our life. The reasoning for this is certainly not because Scripture is silent on the matter; reading Romans 13:1-7 actually seems to make things very clear for us.
With us having just ended an extenuous political election season, it is no secret that we all have our opinions about who the candidates were and who is now the next President of the United States. Although we focus less on him now, we also probably have our opinions about our current President. What’s interesting though is that Paul said, “there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” How interesting is it that even if the President, or any authority figure, does things we don’t like or agree with, or the next President isn’t who we wanted, that no matter how bad they may seem to us that they have been instituted by God! Many of us get very upset and anxious over politics and who is elected to what position, but there is peace in knowing that no matter what happens there is no authority except from God. What hope this gives!
Paul doesn’t only speak about who places authority in their positions, but how we are to treat them and respond to them. He makes it clear that whoever resists authorities have ultimately resisted what God has appointed; meaning, when we aren’t respecting the decisions of those who have power, we are rejecting and saying ‘No’ to God. This will put us in a very dangerous position and can bring the wrath of God on our lives. Paul says that doing so will incur judgement upon ourselves. It is to our advantage that we listen and subject ourselves to those in authority. Paul says, “rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but bad.” With God, if we do right in the eyes of Him, then what do we fear? Nothing! Likewise, if we do right in the eyes of those who are over us, then what do we fear? Nothing!
Paul closes out his statements on authority in verse 7, “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.” If you owe the government taxes, pay them the taxes that are owed. If you owe someone money, pay them their rightful amount. But now look where Paul goes; see him take this even further. Give respect to those whom respect is owed and honor to whom honor is owed. Truthfully, I do not know of anyone who is now owed respect and honor for at least something they have done in their lifetime. How much more true this should be for those in authority. Not just elected officials, but anyone who has a position of power, all of which are instituted by God, deserved to be respected for the position they have been granted as well as honor.
Does this mean you agree with everything they do, say, and believe? Absolutely not! We all can’t possibly agree with one another on all matters of life! But that doesn’t mean they should be treated poorly. In fact, anything less than honor and respect is rejecting what God has instituted.
What should we do if we sincerely have a problem with an authority figure in our life?
1 Timothy 2:1-2
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.
No matter what, we must petition God for them, pray for them, intercede on their behalf, and just as importantly, give thanksgiving for them! Yes, be thankful that God has placed them in the position they are, that you get to serve under them, and that you have the wonderful opportunity of lifting them up before God in your prayers, petitions, and intercessions! Perhaps if we took time to stop talking bad about our leaders and praying for them, we would see authentic change. If we saw our leaders not as people who have power over us or as just someone else we cannot agree with, and instead as people that have been specifically designated by God for us to pray, intercede, and give thanks for, we would have a completely different view of authority!
So, let us not become weary or tired in the political season we are in or any time where we are dealing with authority figures, but instead let us see it all as the greatest opportunity ever given to man- praying to the God of the Universe. Let us see this as a time to give thanks for the wonderful day we have been given and that we have been given leaders who have indeed been instituted by God!
The great Mark Twain penned the words, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why."
It's probable that we spend such a good portion of our lives trying to discover what on Earth we are here for simply because we don't take the time to understand who we really are. Allow me to dive in a little deeper.
If you know anything about me whatsoever, you probably know that I'm a huge fan of Pastor Judah Smith. I find myself reading his books, watching his sermon videos, and checking his social media posts often. Make no mistake, I don't secretly wish I were him or desire to be like him. It's simply his personality, style, and overall love for people that causes me to try and get every last piece of wisdom and knowledge that I can from him. I pray for the day that I'm able to sit down with him and just talk about life and ministry.
It would be wonderful to begin this blog by saying that I am in a great place in life and that I have no issues whatsoever to complain about. I would wish to point you to my Instagram feed and Twitter timeline in hopes of showing you all of the miraculous events that are filling my life. I regress.
If I were to be completely honest, I'm in a very dry place at the moment. Not because I have walked out on God or haven't been performing my "Top 10 Duties of All Good Christians" (whatever the heck that is), but because that's just simply where I'm at. A dry place. I can't really explain it, but here I am. I've found myself struggling to sit down and write, which is one of my favorite things to do. Writing is where I find joy and contentment. Yet, I'm struggling. There is a reason my last blog post was over a month ago and the one before was a month before that. The same pattern holds true for each of the three blog posts before that one. Not a whole lot of writing for someone who supposedly loves to write, is it?
first, but because everyone knows there's a special bragging right that comes with being the line leader. If you weren't lucky enough to be the line leader for that day, then the teacher would let you get in line and Follow The Leader. Perhaps this is bringing back memories for you. Even in Elementary School there was a great need for leadership. Without leadership, everything falls apart. If you still don't believe me, just remember what happened the second your teacher stepped out into the hallway to talk to another teacher. Complete chaos.
Homosexuality has taken center stage in our nation, churches, and homes. Everyone knows or cares deeply for someone who experiences same-sex attraction, sexual confusion, or practices homosexuality. While the entire world talks about homosexuality, the subject remains taboo in many churches. The fear of being labeled as hateful, a bigot, or ignorant has kept many Christians out of the conversation. The church remains silent, leaving many people who love God confused about what the Bible really says about sexuality. It's time that we take a serious dive into educating ourselves on what scripture and psychology say about homosexuality, as well as how the church should respond to it. I hope that you are able to keep an open mind about this difficult subject. Please know that I have re-read over this one blog more than any other I've ever written just so I can be sure I have not left any room for speculation or mis-understanding. As Christians, if we are going to be effective, we must refuse to be ignorant on subjects that have such a gripping effect on society. To be taboo is to be irrelevant. I pray this helps someone.
Can I just be blunt? We are selfish. The purpose of a selfie isn't for anyone's gain but your own.