Daily Easter Devotion Wednesday, May 1st

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 – Psalm 99; Jeremiah 32:36-44; Romans 13:1-14 and Luke 8:16-25

Romans 13:1-14 – Let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God. 2Therefore whoever resists authority resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. …. 7Pay to all what is due them — taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.

It’s interesting that this text falls on the day before May 2nd, The National Day of Prayer. In talking with a pastor about one of tomorrow’s worship services, he commented; “isn’t every day a day to pray for our nation, its leaders and yes, even the world.” I said, absolutely! It’s just that tomorrow we strive to bring many across the nation together to pray.

Here’s something I found on the historical context of Paul’s words to Christians in Rome.

“In reading Romans 13 it is important to keep the historical context in mind. The political situation in Rome was difficult to say the least. The Roman Emperor Claudius had earlier expelled the Jews because of a dispute involving a certain “Chrestus” (i.e., Christ), and though the Jews had returned, the political situation was still potentially volatile. Moreover, Paul may have also been concerned about the possible influence of a group of Jews known as Zealots, (or here) who held a  revolutionary attitude toward the government of Rome. Paul therefore will give practical instructions on how a believer should live under an unfriendly government.”

Here’s a link to where I found this information (http://preceptaustin.org/romans_13_word_studies.htm)

I don’t agree with all the decisions made in Washington DC or in Jefferson City or even the county or city. When I really disagree with decisions being made or possible bills being written I have an obligation to let my views be known. I don’t do this often, but as a citizen of the USA and a citizen of God’s holy kingdom I’m obligated to let them know what I believe and feel. Complaining to others does little good. Writing, emailing, calling is what is necessary. Yet, not matter how I feel about them as a person or elected official, I am called to respect them and the office they hold and I am called to pray for them.

So, in preparation for prayers that will be lifted up tomorrow for our nation and its leaders, think about your role as a citizen of the USA but also citizen of God’s kingdom. You may not like who is presently in office, yet they were elected by the people. Pray for them today, as well as tomorrow, asking God to guide you as a citizen of the USA (or your own country), as well as a citizen of God’s holy kingdom.

Take time today to make sure you know the names of all the elected officials for whom you should pray; from the President all the way to those elected as mayor of your city and its councilmen or women. Find out their names and pray for them.

My day tomorrow begins really early – leaving the house before 6 to make sure I get to Branson in time for the National Day of Prayer breakfast being held at the convention center. I’ve been asked to lead the gathering in prayers for our state, county and city officials. So, not sure I’ll get a daily devotion off before my day begins. Say a prayer today and tomorrow asking God to guide me as I ask the people to turn unto God in prayer for our governor and other local officials.

O God, you are truly the sovereign one and under you is to be all. May I honor you by holding in honor all elected officials. Guide me as I seek to communicate what I believe to be better ways for us as a nation, state, county or city. May you use me to be a part of the solution, instead of another problem along your ways. Amen.

Psalm 99 – 5   Extol the LORD our God;
worship at his footstool.
Holy is he! ….

9   Extol the LORD our God,
and worship at his holy mountain;
for the LORD our God is holy.

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