Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Honoring Authority by Martin Wiles

I can’t imagine having lived under his reign of terror-wondering if or when I’d hear a knock on the door, be greeted by his pawns and carted off to prison or the gas chamber.

How world leaders allowed one country’s leader to commit such enormous atrocities before intervening is an anomaly. But it happened. Under Adolf Hitler’s state sponsored reign of terror, approximately six million European Jews were systematically slaughtered. When other people groups and political and religious opponents are included, the number rises to over eleven million and possibly seventeen.

Paul tells us to pray for those in authority regardless. I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness (I Timothy 2:1-2).

Hitler wasn’t even a thought when Paul lived but Nero was reality. A notorious Roman emperor, he used Christians as scapegoats for the great fire that destroyed much of Rome by denying them certain societal privileges, having them publicly butchered, covered in pitch, set afire and used for lights in his garden and by feeding them to animals.

Patriotism appears to be a dying art, yet believers should be the most honorable and patriotic citizens of any country. Obeying our leaders-unless they require disobedience to God, enables us to live peacefully in our respective cities, states, provinces and countries. Through voting and other forms of political involvement, we can install those in office who share our moral values, have integrity and desire God’s guidance. We should thank God for all leaders who uphold good and punish evil even if they aren’t his followers.

Regardless of whom our leaders are, we’re responsible for praying for their safety, the safety of their families, their good health, wisdom, that they’d listen as God speaks to their spirit and when necessary for them to enter a faith relationship with Christ.

Are you praying for those God has placed in authority over you? We don’t have to like them, but we should pray for them.

Prayer: Thank You merciful Father for competent leaders. Encourage us to do our part in praying that they follow Your direction.