Key Verse: Romans 13:8
Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.
Not only does Paul not advocate the overthrow of the government, he actually tells us to be good subjects. Caesar, the Emperor, was the focus of the official “religion.” Social concerns, such as human rights, were unheard of. Paul was following the Lord Jesus, who said when asked about paying taxes, “Render, therefore, to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s…” (Matthew 22:21a). The state and man’s religion have gone hand-in-hand throughout most of human history. Imposing buildings, such as the one pictured above, have been created to impress the people with the authority of the state and the state religion. Those early believers in Jesus were meeting in their homes, not in magnificent temples. Paul taught that their power was in “love,” not in revolution or in political activism. Loving is not optional for the follower of Christ. It is a debt that we must pay. No wonder thousands of Jews, Greeks, and Romans believed in Jesus as Saviour and Lord. Amen!
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord Jesus, please remind me daily of my debt of love. It’s payback time. You have loved me and I need to love You and others in return. Please show me the practical ways to express love today. I pray this, dear Jesus, expecting Your Holy Spirit to motivate me. Amen!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
I have a grandson-in-law who is a police officer. I pray for his safety each morning. He is responsible for three of my great-grandchildren. The other day, he and his partner made a major drug bust. We could agree that he was acting, as Paul wrote, “as God’s minister to you for good” (Romans 13:4a).
I received an e-mail recently which is a positive example of one way to influence government decisions. It was from Pastor Wally Magdangal, who was reflecting on our past involvement with him. It was in 1992, just days before Christmas, that I received a fax from Amnesty International that Pastor Magdangal was about to be executed by the Saudi authorities for the crime of baptizing Muslims into the Christian faith. While we were live on air with 100 Huntley Street across the continent, I was able to reach, by telephone, the Saudi Ambassador at his embassy in Ottawa. I read the fax on national television and, of course, he denied that his country would do any such thing. Thank God, the pastor was released on Christmas Eve and was on a flight back to his home in the Philippines Christmas Day. Here’s a quote from Wally’s e-mail. “You appealed for my life and freedom back in December of 1992. I am alive today and serving THE LORD JESUS CHRIST because of Christians like you who prayed for me and advocated for my release from the death sentence in Saudi Arabia.” All who gave financially to pay for the TV airtime, and even the long-distance phone call, have a part in Wally’s release. Most days my “do what is good” is a little, unnoticed thing; but God takes notice, and that’s what counts.
Yours for loving one another,