Today’s Daily Bible Reading is from Romans 13:1-7. In this Scripture, the Apostle Paul writes to the people about the importance of being in subjection to those who are in authority over us. He reminds us that all those who are in power are ordained by God. That may be hard for some of us to believe.
Not everybody who God allows to be in power is to bless us. Sometimes God puts people in a position of authority over us to judge us.
If you go back and read chapter twelve, you will see that this message comes right after Paul reminds the people that they are to live at peace with everybody, if at all possible. He reminds them that they were not to seek vengeance because that was left up to the Lord to repay.
When we resist the powers that be, we resist the ordinance of God. Those who go against those in authority will find themselves in trouble.
Those who are in authority in government are not there to punish those who do good, but are there to enforce the laws of the land and dole out punishment to those who disobey the laws.
We don’t have to be afraid of those who are in power over us as long as we do what is right. However, if we disobey the laws of the land then we are subject to the wrath that they have the power to execute.
Those who are in authority are ministers of God, so we are subject to them. We are to pay tribute to them and honor them because of their position, even if we don’t agree with everything they say or do.
Remember, Paul and the people of his day were under the rule of the Roman Empire. It was not a democratic government and was not friendly to Christians, but Paul still recognized its authority.
Jesus, during His reign here on earth, suffered under the authority of Pontius Pilate, who was one of the worst rulers of their day. Paul was persecuted under the direction of Nero, who was the worst Roman emperor who ever ruled. But, they both recognized the authority of the government and were subject to them.
Some of the Christians during Paul’s day questioned whether they should be subject to the government rule or only be subject to God. Paul lets them know that they were not only subject to the laws of God, but also to the laws of the land.
As long as those in authority over us do not demand we do something that is against the laws of God, we are to be in subjection to them. As believers, we should be some of the best law-abiding citizens a country could have. We should be honest, pay our dues, and honor those in positions of authority.
Most of all, we should lift our political leaders up to God in prayer. We should ask Him to help them make good decisions for the people. We should ask Him to lead, guide, and direct them in their positions of authority.
Daily Bible Reading:
1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
Things to think about:
- Why does Paul say we are to be subject to those who rule over us?
- Who should fear those in authority in the government?
- As Christians how should we respond to those who are in authority?
- What can we do to support those who are in government positions?
Prayer of the Day:
Dear Heavenly Father,
We thank You for this Scripture where Paul reminds us of our position as Christians toward those in authority over us. Help us to be respectful, to obey the laws of the land, and be good examples of exemplary citizens. Help us to honor You in all that we do. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
This is an excerpt from Christians Response to Government.
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by Deborah H. Bateman
Christians Response to Government is a Daily Bible Reading Study by Deborah H. Bateman. It is Book 32 in the Daily Bible Reading Series. Deborah wrote this book in response to the events surrounding the 2016 United States Presidential election. This book was born as she searched her own heart to try to determine how to respond in this election. She searched the Scriptures to see what God had to say about what our response as Christians should be to government and decided to share what she discovered with you. Hopefully this book enlightens you and helps you to know how to respond in a godly way to the powers that be. Remember to check out the other books in the Daily Bible Reading Series by Deborah H. Bateman.
Christians Response to Government contains ten Daily Bible Reading Lessons. Each lesson contains a brief commentary by the author, the Daily Bible Reading Scriptures, a few questions for contemplation and discussion, which the author calls “Things to think about,” and a Prayer of the Day.
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