A Passage and a Prayer – 6/23/17

“Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.”  1 Peter 2:13-14, 17
Even if you have lived for many decades, it is probably hard to remember a time when the political system seemed in such turmoil. Our political parties are constantly attacking each other and even members of the same party cannot seem to agree on much. We have a President who has staunch supporters as well as opponents who challenge every word he speaks, or tweets.
So where does all of this leave today’s Christian? Is it best just to ignore it all and hide under a rock? Should we pick our side and demonize the opposition? Why not? Everyone else seems to be doing it.
God’s word to us as recorded by Peter is important for us to consider today though it may be very hard for many to accept. God not only calls us to be subject to authority but to go beyond that and give honor all who are in leadership, or as Peter writes, the emperor. While we may disagree with certain government policies and even find the leadership to be very disagreeable, as long as their action does not cause us to act against God’s clear commands, He directs us to obey and give honor.
Our natural spirit and the culture in which we live may well push us in another direction. We may want to join those who slander our leaders and institutions. But God calls us to a different way to live. He calls us to “Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.” Only by His Spirit and with a heart that is filled by Him can we overcome the poison that surrounds us, and honor God as we honor those who are in authority.
Dear Father, by the life and death of Your only Son, Jesus Christ, You showed us what it means to be subject to authority and give honor in all circumstances. This is not easy for us. Grant us an extra measure of Your grace today that we live out Your command. May it be so for Jesus’ sake. Amen.