Monday August 9, 2021
Lord, help me to pause, help me to focus, help me to receive your word in a way that makes an impact on my day. Amen
Submission to Governing Authorities
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
A Break in the Logic
Romans Chapters 13, 14, and 15 are not easy, fluffy, bible chapters. They are specific. They are challenging. They hit us in the “humble yourself, obey all authority, and pay your taxes” bread basket!
Science leans on logic to build arguments. A researcher shows how they reached a new idea by slowly building up on already proven logic. You build up a good argument based on what is known to be true.
Paul uses this technique (he is appealing to a bunch of Romans) well. For me, the verses above follow good truth and logic; it’s just that they lead to a challenging place.
• God is an all powerful, loving God (everyone with me so far)
• God has his hands on our lives, giving us what we need (everyone still nodding)
• So submit to your leaders and pay all the taxes you are asked to pay (shoot… anyone still here?)
“Submit”, “honor”, and “pay” are not words we find easy. They highlight the foot washing Jesus… not the all powerful King Jesus. How come it is so easy to follow the big truths and so hard to execute some of the more specific biblical truths?
Lord, be with my next steps, be in my next thoughts, be in my every breath as I live your word into the world. Amen.
The First 15
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