The ABC’s of Wisdom: Building Character with Solomon - Patriotism

PATRIOTISM

 

Fear the Lord and the King

 

Fear the Lord and the king, my son, and do not join with the rebellious.

Proverbs 24:21

 

It is often said that God only established three institutions-the home, the church, and the state. In so doing, He gave us explicit instructions on how all three were to operate. Most Christians know a great deal about what God has to say about the home and church. We know much less about what God says about the state and how we should relate to it. For instance, what does it mean to be a Christian living under a pagan government? Is vi­olent revolution ever justified? Is it wrong to pay taxes to an unjust government? What about picketing abortion clinics? Under what circumstances should Christians dis­obey the law? What about the separation of church and state? Should Christians serve in the armed forces? How do you respond when those over you are corrupt?

These are all important questions, and none of them admits to a simple answer. Romans 13:1 tells us that “everyone must submit himself to the governing authori­ties, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been estab­lished by God.” The word authority is very broad. It means “right” or “privilege.” An authority is anyone who has the right to do something. If your job gives you the right to make certain decisions, when you are on the job, you are an “authority.” Seen in another light, an authority is anyone who has the right to make decisions that directly affect your life.

Then there is an explicit directive. “Submit to the governing authorities.” No ifs, ands, or buts. Just the word submit. Let me a share a simple definition that may help you. Submission is believing that God is able to accom­plish His will in my life through the people He has placed in authority over me. That’s a crucial definition because it fo­cuses the attention on God, not on the person over you. We all have to contend at times with unsaved husbands, mean-spirited parents, cranky bosses, and teachers who can’t wait for the end of the semester. Sometimes we’ll work for people we can’t stand. Or live with people who treat us cruelly. Or suffer under a government that con­sistently promotes evil.

What do you do, then? Actually, you have many op­tions. The most important thing is the attitude of your heart. You must submit to the one in authority, in the sense that you must believe God has put that person in your life for a purpose and that God’s will is somehow be­ing done through that person, even if you don’t see it and don’t understand it.

This, by the way, is the basis for treating our leaders with respect. Christians ought to lead the way in showing honor to human authorities because we understand they are appointed by God. Whom God has appointed, I must not treat lightly.

If we believe what the Bible says, it will make us bet­ter Christians and ultimately better citizens. We may disagree, but we won’t resort to violence and we won’t join the ranks of the rebellious.

 

Heavenly Father, since I am a citizen of two realms, help me to represent You well by showing proper honor to those in authority over me. Amen.

 

In what areas of life are you in authority and in what areas are you under authority? What does it mean for you to show honor to those who are over you? When is it a struggle for you?

 

Want instant access to all 100 daily devotionals? The ABC’s of Wisdom: Building Character with Solomon is available in ebook format for the Kindle, Nook, or Ipad. Purchase your copy here! 

Latest blog posts

Good Words for Today: October 23
Wednesday, October 23

Continue

Anchor
The Anchor Project
Explaining the Gospel in “Walmart English”

Anchor is a “gospel book” that explains the Good News in a simple and persuasive manner. Read the latest on “The Anchor Project” and how you can be support our work.

Read More
China
Keep Believing China
Partnering with Chinese pastors and churches

We want to join together with pastors and Christian workers to equip the church in China, broadcasting translated sermons, providing ministry resources for Christians and pastors in China.

Read More

Email
Weekly sermon email
Subscribe for free

Subscribe to the weekly sermon from Keep Believing Ministries. Sign up for our emails and use it to grow in your faith as well as to encourage others.

Continue

audio
KBM Podcasts
Weekly audio sermons

Welcome to Keep Believing Ministries’ audio/podcast library. Listen to or download a digital audio version of one of these messages or receive them via our podcast and feed.

Read More

Ebook: Lord of Glory

The Bible contains many names of Christ. His names tell us who he is. His names tell us why he came. His names tell us how he can help us. His names tell us why we worship him. In this devotional series you'll learn of these varied and meaning behind the names, titles and descriptions of Christ.

“Equipping and encouraging people to keep believing in Jesus”

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”