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Darlene

Romans 13:6-7

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Heavenly Father,

 

It's been intensely busy in my life for a few months now and that contrasts with almost 3 years of pretty much being alone. I know that You were the one to give me that period of time of solitude with You, and I know that You are beginning to open the doors up and bring a variety of people and things into my life that makes me feel like there are not enough hours in a day to always address or accomplish. The reason I am even mentioning this Father is because yesterday and today, for the first time in a long time, I get a brief rest from the pressures and responsibilities You've brought into my life. I'm very grateful for this down time because come Monday morning, it heats back up again with a vengeance.

 

As I was writing the above Father, a thought crossed my mind in regard to a few people that You've brought into my life recently. They come from various walks of life, but the one common denominator I see in them is their need to know You as their Heavenly Father through the salvation of Your Son Jesus. I'm often conscious Father of how my words and actions are so critical because it's important to represent my relationship with You in a way that honors and glorifies You. Aside from that though, the work that is needed in these peoples hearts and mine is not my work, but Yours. When I look at these people and their obstinance against You, my heart falls because I have no idea how to say or do the "one thing" that would open their eyes and hearts to Who You really are, but it's not my work...of course there's nothing I can say or do that would convince anyone that there is nothing more meaningful in ones life outside a personal and intimate relationship with You. But You are God and so I ask that You would pour out Your Holy Spirit over my home, my land, my life, to guide each step I take, each word I say. And I ask Father that You would also pour out Your Spirit over these 3 people...moving in their hearts as only Your Spirit can do, opening their eyes to see Your truth, and bringing them to a saving knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

Bless this study today...help me, and us, understand what You're saying in Your Word here and how it applies specifically to our lives. May Your peace flow over each of our lives throughout this day.

 

I love You Father God.

 

In Jesus Name I pray,

 

 

6. For this cause ye pay tribute also; for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very matter.

 

7. Render to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute [is due]; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

 

The rvbv writes: "Here the apostle uses the word from which we get "liturgy" (leitourgoi) in describing these "authorities." God uses the same word in Hebrews 1:14 regarding the angels, calling them "ministering spirits"; and also concerning the "ministering" of the Old Testament priests (Heb. 10:11). In these days of restlessness toward restraint, and flouting of authority, we need to meditate much on the fact that the constituted authorities are 'liturgists' of God: not indeed at all in spiritual things, but none the less God's own ministers in governmental things. It is on this account that those governed pay tribute; for these ministers of government must be supported.

 

Verse 7: Here "tribute" (taxes) comes first. How great the temptation to avoid rendering this that is due! Next, "custom"; "tribute" (phoros) is generally a tax paid by subjects to a ruling nation (Luke 20:22); while custom (telos) is a tax on us, or duty on our goods, by our own nation. Alas how we loathe having the customs officers "go through" our effects!

 

But let us remember that even customs are "dues," by God's appointment. Fear to whom fear - "Fear" does not here designate terror, but (which removes terror) a conscientious regard for and awe of men in whose hands God has placed governmental authority, - whether police, magistrates, judges, governors, presidents, or kings. (This ideal of the apostle neither confounds church and state, nor places them in antagonism, but properly coordinates them in Christian ethics. Romanism subordinates state to church; Erastianism (as today Facism and Communism), subordinates the church to the state, usually confounding them; Puritanism also confounded them, but with more of an acknowledged theocratic principle." (Schaff and Riddle).

 

We may add that the Reformation did not fully escape, in this respect, from Romanism and Judaism. Calvin established a theocratic state at Geneva, holding fast to civil powers in religious things, which led to the burning of Servetus. While Zwingli, in Switzerland, took the sword, and perished by it. We may further add that in our own day the perpetual meddling with governmental affairs carried on at various government centres by the church lobbies (I write in America) reveals that ignorance of the Church's heavenly calling, and that vain hope to "mend" this present world, which so darkens the counsels of government itself, and increases daily that deep-seated resentment by the powers that be against those who claim spiritual directive authority over governemtn. The upshot has always been and will always be disastrous; for the State finally rises up and wades to independence of "religious" interference through rivers of blood!).

 

Honor to whom honor - Honor is our attitude of reverence for the persons of those who have authority over us; as also toward those who stand in any place of earthly dignity. As Peter says so beautifully, "Honor all men [for they are made in the image of God]. Love the brotherhood [of saints]. Fear God [with whom you have constantly to do]. Honor the king" [whom you may never see, but whom you hold in due regard in your heart] (I Pet. 2:17). Not only law-officers, but those men to whom God has committed wealth, or outstanding ability; or who have risen honorably among their fellows, should receive the honor due them. Let Christians be first to give "honor to whom honor is due." Leave to the base the despising of others."

 

Heavenly Father,

 

In all honesty, the past few verses have caused me concern at times because I'm not quite sure where Your boundries are in them. So I ask Father that You would somehow clarify and place Your peace in my heart.

 

In Jesus Name I pray,

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or who have risen honorably among their fellows,

 

 

One of our current cynical outlooks is that we can' tell who has risen HONORABLY among us.....

 

I agree, Darlene.......this is difficult and in the tiny bits of our individual lives, HE may call one of us to do something and another to do what seems contradictory. God has no contradicions to His nature, of course. But it sure is a challenge to figure all this out....even tho we're trusting that there IS Purpose and sense in all this.

 

When Herod was going to kill this newborn 'King of the Jews', Papa Joseph certainly did not hand Him over. God instructed Joseph to get his family out of the country. Know why those wise men brought such expensive gifts? Finance the trip and the exile.

 

Daniel and friends.....Daniel continued to pray to God - and NOT to King Neb as was slyly decreed. [Commiting a forbidden action] Three friends obviously were NOT gonna bow down to that same King Neb's statue. [Refusal to do a required action] In their cases, God intervened in an obvious way. 1) stopped the mouths of the lions for Daniel and 2) allowed only the ropes binding the other three to be burned in a heat that killed those throwing them in. Not always gonna be the case. Many who have defied TPTB due to godly conscience have died and/or been tortured. Several of the apostles being some of the first.

 

 

Even if....IF we are in the Last Days, we cannot defy ungodly government simply to be in defiance. We [i believe] should not ridicule ungodly govt. simply to be setting ourselves up as being more....right?....knowing?....wise?..... :shakinghead: Ridicule is not justified. Disagreement, of course! But giving honor at least to the office the person holds. We are to pray for those in authority over us.........THAT I do! I believe we need to walk carefully along this narrow path.

 

 

MtRider [......thinking for sure I need to be keeping the big ME outta the reasons for ever *thinking* of defiance! ]

 

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