Bible Reading Day 227
Day 227: August 15 (Romans 13)
Paul’s practical instruction continues in Chapter 13. He tells us how to relate to authorities (verses 1-7), and how to relate to one another (verses 8-14). In both arenas, our model is Jesus.
Jesus submitted to authority, while having all authority. He never sought to overthrow or pull down the religious or civil authorities, instead He spoke truth which often brought Him into conflict with the ungodly aspects of those authorities. It is a fine line to maintain, but Jesus is our example. We can do the same. If taxes are due, we have a duty to pay those taxes. If God has allowed someone to come into a place of authority (whether police officer, or government official, or teacher, or boss), then you and I owe it to God to respect that position, without compromising truth.
And continuing on the theme of owing, we each have a debt to one another, to love as Jesus loves. And we are not to owe anything more. All other debts (whether forgiveness, or loans, or promises of some kind) are best repaid. Debts of any kind can hinder relationships. These debts are often unseen and unrecognized. In any area where I have come short of God’s standards (and Paul mentions a few in verses 12 & 13), I create a debt to those who benefit from my godliness – family, friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, and those around me who do not yet know God but should see His love in my behavior. Time is short for all these relationships, and God’s plan is that love will triumph over bad things.
In the recent Global Leadership Summit, Dr. Henry Cloud made a powerful point: the answer to bad is not good. Sin came into the world and mankind has been trying to overcome bad with good ever since. The answer to bad is love. Jesus showed us the way, we follow, and the world is changed.
How can you give more room for love in your life today? Jesus is ready for debts to be paid and love to be freely given.
Have a great day!