TODAY'S WORD FOR Wednesday, September 12, 2018:
The power to determine and settle issues; the right to govern or control; rightful power; the freedom to act.
And Jesus came and spoke to them (the disciples) saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”
Let every soul be subject to the government authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
Have you noticed the lack of respect for authority today? This includes in our schools where many of the students have no respect for their teachers and even many students to their peers. Then look at the work place and the lack of respect workers have toward their bosses and vice-versa.
In the verse found in Romans (above) we see that the Apostle Paul gives us direction about the authority that our government leaders have over us. First of all, the scripture makes it clear that we are to respect our leaders. We are to be subject to civil authority. But there is a biblical exception --- when the laws of government conflict with the explicit commandments of God, then believers must say, as it is written in Acts 5:29, “We ought to obey God rather than man.”
As we know today in America, government laws and biblical laws do not mesh and often they contradict one another. We urge you to stand up for biblical principals in the evil world we live in and especially when they go against God’s laws and commandments.
Christians must stand for what is right in God’s sight and according to what the scriptures teach us. When those in authority require us to do anything that goes against God’s Word and His spiritual standards then we must as Christian’s rebel. When one goes against government leaders and follows the standards that God gives us, it comes with a price. In the Bible we find that those that believed in God often had to rebel against those in authority who were requiring them to break one or more of God’s commandments.
When this happened, they all knew there would be consequences. Daniel was thrown into a lion’s den. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were thrown into the fiery furnace and many of the apostles and Paul were persecuted and paid with their lives.
No ruler can claim divine rights. The existence, the authority, the position, and the offices of government all are ordained by God according to His purposes. There are three institutions ordained by God. They are the family, the church and the government. All three exist because God set them up as the means by which men are to relate to each other and to Him as our God. Without some structure of authority we would have chaos. God expects the leaders of these institutions to be honorable and just and to operate within His laws. Remember those in authority in all three institutions are ordained by God and are answerable to a higher authority than themselves. They must answer to God Himself and give an account to Him.
Secondly, the scripture teaches us about family authority. In Ephesians 5 and 6, we are instructed that children should obey and respect the authority of their parents. Parents must recognize the areas of authority each has in the family and be willing to submit to each other. There first priority must be to submit to the authority of God.
Jesus taught the disciples in Matthew 28: 18 (above) that “All authority was given to Jesus both in heaven and here on earth.” We know that we need to at all times, as believers, respect the authority of our Lord. In Matthew 7:29 we read that Jesus was teaching His disciples as one having authority, not as the scribes of the day taught.
When one is in a position of authority God expects that authority to be administered in humility and with respect. As believers our Lord expects us to go into all the world with authority and preach the gospel. This is our God ordained position of authority. In Titus 2:15 we are told to speak these things (the saving grace of our Lord), “exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you” -- because you are God’s spokesperson.
Paul knew from experience that when anyone speaks the TRUTH of the gospel they will be met with opposition and therefore he warns all of us as believers to not let ourselves become intimidated. If we find ourselves in a situation where we cannot obey God and man, then we must obey God and trust in His Word.
Our memory verse for this week is found in Psalm 119:11.
Your Word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.
Thank You for the authority that You give those that put their complete trust in You. Help me today to understand Your Word and the commandments in Your Word so that I might live my life in submission to Your authority. Help me to respect the leaders in our family, in our church and in our government. Give me the proper discernment between right and wrong. Bless my family today as we honor You in all that we do.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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