For the Lordâ€™s sake, respect all human authorityâ€”whether the king as head of state,14 or the officials he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish those who do wrong and to honor those who do right.
15 It is Godâ€™s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you. 16 For you are free, yet you are Godâ€™s slaves, so donâ€™t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. 17 Respect everyone, and love your Christian brothers and sisters. Fear God, and respect the king. Â Â Â 1 Peter 2:13-17 (NLT)
In the next 36 hours, we in the United States will hear a lot about freedom and liberty as we celebrate the 237th birthday of our nation. The words of Peter and the actions of Jesus may cause some discomfort to us, much like a small rock that has slipped inside of our shoe.
Jesus lived His time, not in criticizing the Roman authorities, but He advocated paying your taxes (Matthew 17:24-27) and rebuked His followers when they raised their weapons against the soldiers (John 18:10-11). Jesus kept His focus on the building of His Kingdom that was eternal and did not get distracted by the paganism and persecutions of this temporary kingdom He lived in.
We have much to celebrate about our country, the United States of America. In times of disasters and tragedies we reach out and across our usual boundaries to help and support each other.
Peter exhorts us, as disciples of Jesus Christ, to lead our lives honorably. No matter what policies may be enacted in our government, we are free in ways beyond man’s laws. This does not mean that we use that freedom as an excuse to be disobedient and evil against those with whom we disagree but instead we are to respect everyone. Yes, even those we do not agree with. Notice Peter says, â€œFear God and respect the president.â€ Do I conduct myself and speak openly and in my heart like I fear God? If I fear God, then I will also respect my president and those in authority.
Tomorrow will be a day of family, food, and fireworks. I hope it will also be a day for prayer. I will be praying blessings on President Obama, the Congress, the Supreme Court, and this country.
Thank You, LORD, that You placed me in this country. May Your freedom ring throughout the world to all of Your children. I lift up all the soldiers and their families today. Keep Your hand of protection and mercy on them. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
I’m Proud to be an American written and sung by Lee Greenwood
See you back here on Friday.