Today’s devotion is based on Romans 13:4-7. “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.”
Paul, in writing to the Christians in Rome, reminds them and us that the government is for our good. God instilled in his human creation the desire for order and peace. The government is meant to meet that desire and need. Because our desire for government is instilled in us by God, the government is thus from God.
This does not allow the government to abuse its power. It also does not mean that God demands our slavish submission to an oppressive government. God wants a fair and impartial judicial system. This means that we are not to sabotage it or exempt ourselves from obeying its laws. The question that remains is, “What if the government’s laws are unfair?” More on this tomorrow.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things seen and unseen, help me to see that the world and all that is in it is yours. Help me to see that you are active in the world through the institutions you have given us to bring order and peace to our lives. Help me to be thankful for all that you have given us. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.