Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Based Upon Romans 13
Click here to listen to the Thoughts in Worship archive: http://goo.gl/SlsVnS
You may recall Jesus saying that His people should render to Caesar that which is his, and to God, what belongs to Him. At the moment, the micro-application meant that whatever tribute, taxes, honor, or services were due to the civil authority, we must give it. However, we must not give that authority that which is due to God. For example, if a civil authority required you to give it the tithe you set aside to return to God, you must obey God, rather than that civil authority. Likewise if you were compelled to break the holy seventh day Sabbath.
Paul highlighted the reality Jesus expressed as He appeared before Pilate. He highlighted the fact that all powers on earth are given their authority by God, to protect justice, execute righteous judgement, and maintain order in society. Thus, inasmuch as we can do so conscientiously, that is, without violating the obedience to God edict, we must be submissive to all legitimate authority. They are servants of God to punish wickedness. Whoever resists is striving against God Himself. Therefore, we should only fear if we are doing wrong. I am well aware that authorities sometimes overstep their stewarded power and themselves do evil. Be assured that God sees and will also punish their wickedness if they do not repent.
Paul completes this thought by directing our attention to one of the chief commitments we must keep–to love our neighbors as ourselves. Can you imagine the peace and order that would exist in society today should everybody apply this principle to our lives? Unfortunately, this is not the case, but we can all be committees of one, who are living examples of God’s power to to live orderly while fighting for justice, until Jesus returns.