1 Peter 2:13-17
“Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.”
We are all under authority at some point. I remember as a teenager I could hardly wait to be out from my parent’s authority and on my own. Only to find that there were all kinds of people who I was answering to and accountable to and under authority of. This passage reminds us that we are to “Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every institution,…” that are placed here in authority over us by God.
“Be subject for the Lord’s sake…” In view of my being a citizen of heaven, a representative of His Kingdom, an ambassador sent by God, we must live a life that obeys the laws of the land. I do not want to shame my ‘home country’ by my actions. Instead I want to shine like my ‘home country’ shines. I want to be a reflection of Who is actually ruling this earth.
We are to live free but not use our freedom to cover up evil. In today’s world we can get very frustrated at our government with all of the bickering back and forth. But we must never use the freedom that we have in Christ as a license to be disobedient. Emperor Nero ruled during the time of this writing. His evil crazy acts are legendary. No one in our government today is doing the things that Nero did and we are to “honor the emperor” – or in our case the elected officials that God has put in place to govern us. Let us be living servants of God demonstrating to the world that we answer to a higher authority and He has our back!
Prayer: Lord help me be obedient to you and the earthly authorities that I am temporarily under by Your command for Your sake. “For this is the will of God, that by doing good I will put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.” Father, help us use our freedom to live as Your servant, honoring those around us and loving our neighbor as ourselves. Help us to fear no one but You, my Lord. What peace and joy You bring us. No worries. You are on the throne and in charge of everything here on earth. Nothing will happen today that will surprise You. You have already provided everything we will need today. What a great King you are! Praise be to You! We bow and worship You, our Lord and King. Amen