Friday, May 17, 2013

May 17, 2013 … Under Authority

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 137

Passage of the Day: Matthew 8: 5-10 [NLT]  
5 When Jesus arrived in Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with Him, 6“Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and racked with pain.” 7 Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.” 
8 Then the officer said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have You come into my home. Just say the word from where You are, and my servant will be healed! 9 I know, because I am under the authority of my superior officers and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this or that,’ they do it.” 
10 When Jesus heard this, He was amazed. Turning to the crowd, He said, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all the land of Israel!  
 Contextual Study for today’s passage: Matthew, Chapter 8 [NLT] … Go to this link … 

Reference Passage #1: Romans 13: 1-4 : [God establishes and institutes authority and governments for our protection ] …[NLT] …  
1 Obey the government, for God is the one who put it there. All governments have been placed in power by God. 2 So those who refuse to obey the laws of the land are refusing to obey God, and punishment will follow. 3 For the authorities do not frighten people who are doing right, but they frighten those who do wrong. So do what they say, and you will get along well. 4 The authorities are sent by God to help you.

My Journal for Today: Every day I get emails and web-links which exhort me to read articles or opinions which are inflamed against our President or railing against one government action or another. Often they bother me; and often that bothered state upsets me further because, when I do read some of these op-ed pieces or personal opinions expressed on Facebook or via email, I agree with them and find myself disrespecting the Office of the President or one of his appointees, rather than having disrespect for the man in that position of authority.

In other words, I’m disrespecting an office which was established by God and filled by His authority rather than taking into account, as we’re charged by God’s word in Romans 13 [see above] to recognize and obey our government officials – UNLESS they order us to do something which is directly in disobedience to God Himself in His written word.

That’s why the story of the Roman Centurion and his faith in Jesus becomes so revealing and personally convicting. This man was desperate; and he fully understood the concept of authority, exercising it everyday in his role as a Roman Centurion. In the highlight segment of Matthew 8, linked for your study, the centurion openly declares his understanding and willingness to surrender to Christ’s authority. He had come to Jesus because he had full faith in THE Authority under whom Jesus was able to operate. And Jesus was so impressed by the faith of the Centurion, He complied immediately and relented to the request of the Roman soldier, healing the man’s ailing slave.

Sometimes I wonder if I fully understand and have faith in the authority of our President, whom so often I find myself in political disagreement. Do I really understand that President Obama, no matter how much I disagree with his politics, is our President because he was allowed into office by none other than God?  Do I understand that the Office of President and our government has been established to watch over and protect me and my family? Now, does being in compliance with my government, as I’m instructed to be in Romans 13, mean that I’m to do unGodly or unbiblical things if so ordered by our President or under the laws of the land? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

But I do need to recognize that God put or allowed my President into office, and as long as I’m not being called to make unGodly choices, I must respect His office and comply with the laws of the land. I need to understand that all power comes from God and we all are to be compliance with that Power – in faith!

My Prayer for Today … Lord, help to realize and recognize from Whom all authority is derived. … Amen

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