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About-Him.Com Devotional 01-09-2010

1Peter 2:13-17 - Submit to Every Ordinance of Man
1Peter2:13 ¶  Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;
14  Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.  

Yes, we are to obey all of the ordinances of civil government! From the king or president on down to the local city council. We don’t necessary have to agree, but our job is to obey, “For the Lord’s Sake.” Obviously, when the law of the land is in conflict with God’s law, we like the apostles of the early church, are bound to obey God rather than man (Acts 5:29).  

I was out driving yesterday, while thinking upon this very text. The man in front of me was  going under the speed limit, a bit slow for my liking. I speeded up and passed him and ended up going over the speed limit. Perhaps not enough to get a ticket, but presuming upon the tolerance of the law, none the less. Actually, I wasn’t presuming upon the good graces of the law, I was presuming upon the Lord Himself. Anyhow, it struck me that I can’t say one thing and do another.  

Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:24-26 that if we go to pray at the altar and remember that another a complaint against us, that we should go to him and settle it quickly. If not, the person might complain to a judge who would find us guilty of a law violation. Jesus said that if that happens, we wouldn’t leave without paying the utmost penalty.  

God has ordained governments on our behalf. The apostle Paul said that they are ministers of God and for that reason we should pay our taxes to them also. They are  a terror to evildoers and they do not  bear the sword in vain   There is no worse testimony than a Christian working under the table and cheating on his income taxes. (Ro. 13:1-7).  

Romans 13:6 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.  

God is a God of order (1Cor. 14:40) In the Parable of the Unjust Steward, the slothful steward was actually commended when he got his act together and began to deal prudently on behalf of his master’s accounts (Mt. 16:8-13). The point that Jesus makes is that if we aren’t orderly and precise in handling ordinary business transactions, how can we ever expect to be entrusted with the things of God.  

1Peter2:15  For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
16  As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.  

The Christians of that day had unjustly earned the reputation of being imprudent in obeying the law of the land and of being careless in business affairs.  Peter simply tells us that we can quiet unjust accusations when we go the extra mile in doing what is right and proper.  We must not forget that the church, is the salt of the earth. Salt preserves, but if it has lost it’s savour, it good for nothing more than to be walked on (Mt. 5:13). If we take a casual attitude to the law of the land, our salt is no longer effective.  

1Peter2:17  Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.  

We are to honor all men. Not just those of like mind or like faith, but all men. Jesus showed us honor in that while we were yet sinners, he died for us (Ro. 5:8). We also honor the brothers and sisters of the church. The psalmist said that it was good and pleasant when we dwell in unity. He liken it to a precious ointment and the dew of Hermon ( Ps. 133:1-3).  

Most of all, we are to fear God. There are two aspects of godly fear. One is respect and reference. If we do this we won’t have to fear the other, which is His wrath. As Romans 11:22 tells us, “Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God………  

Lastly, we are to honor the king, or as is the case for most of us, our president. Yes, President Obama.  Most of us disagree with a lot of his policies. None the less, he holds his office because God ordained it and he certainly needs our prayers.    
Somebody Has Said
Sometimes we don't need another chance to express how we feel or to ask someone to understand our situation. Sometimes we just need a firm kick in the pants. An unsmiling expectation that if we mean all these wonderful things we talk about and sing about, then lets see something to prove it. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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Don and Marie Spooner
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