Thursday, March 3, 2016

How Then, Shall We Act?

It's a rough world out there. And right now, in America, it's even more rough as we are in an election year. Nothing stirs up our passions, anger, frustration and opinions like politics! Whew, it can get down right ugly. So, how are we supposed to act as believers in a world like this? Let's take a look at what the Ultimate Authority has to say on the subject...

If you look at the stories of the great leaders of the Bible - Joseph, Nehemiah, Esther, Daniel, will find that every single one of them respected and submitted to the authority that was above them. Because of their submission and humble attitude, they found favor in the sight of not only the kings and leaders, but in the sight of God and all without compromising their values and morals. 

All this does not mean that we are to disobey God in situations where the law of man may conflict with the law of God (Acts 4:18-20; 5:40) but we are told to continue to respect authority—even when those in positions of authority have abused their offices (or we think they likely will).  If we want to be heard, if we want to make our points clear, we must be humble and submissive. The fact is, God can use us in the midst of even the most corrupt leadership! He did it time and time again in the Bible. So, what do we do?
Micah 6:8 says "The Lord has told you what is good, and this is what He requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. 
Are we showing mercy to those we oppose? Are we being loving in our approach? Gentle? Humble? Patient? Maybe instead of putting people down and being angry and slanderous, we can show mercy and faith in our God and pray for them? We cannot forget who our battle is really against (Ephesians 6) here. It's not other people, it's not leadership - it's the enemy of our souls. And he's awfully bitter, incredibly angry and is the king of slander.

It all boils down to this: God wants us to be respectful and submissive for His sake, not for ours or even theirs (1 Peter 2:13). Perhaps this is one of those times when we can come together, in agreement, and begin to do what is right, love mercy and walk humbly with our God - the Ultimate Authority. We can't do that when we are walking in anger, fear or bitterness. 
Here's how we can do it:

SUBMIT:  Romans 13:1-2 Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted and will be punished. 

DO NOT SLANDER OR QUARREL:  Titus 3:1-2 Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good. They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone.

RESPECT: 1 Peter 2:13-14 For the Lord's sake, respect all human authority - whether the king as head of state, or the officers he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish those who do wrong and to honor those who do right.

PRAY & LIVE PEACEFULLY:  1 Timothy 2:1-3 I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.
Oh, and please - VOTE!

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