Honor the Ones God Has Put in Authority [Romans 13]
1Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. 2Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. 3For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; 4for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. 5Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience' sake. 6For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. 7Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor. 8Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.
This passage is part of a section that is describing what it looks like to live in covenant with the God of all righteousness. It involves our response to those God has put in authority over us. It is a reminder that God appoints our leaders and that they are actually His servants.
It is a good reminder for me this morning. I must admit that it is hard for me to watch the news and still honor my leaders. I acknowledge my lack of honor to those where honor is due because of their position. The bottom line is I don't have God's love for those who look like they are making foolish mistakes. Lord, I see now that You are calling me to honor and love. You alone are able to cause me to believe that You are at work and You know what You are doing when You appointed my governing leaders. I need Your transforming grace (power) to change my mind and to love my rulers today. I praise You that "there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God." I praise You that they are"servants of God" and that You honor them as such.