Open Heavens Daily Devotional – SUFFERING AS A CRIMINAL? (Friday 10th August 2018)
Memorise: But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. 1 Peter 4:15
Read: Romans 13:1-8
1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
8 Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
“Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” John 14:30
This declaration made by our Lord Jesus Christ shortly before going to the cross is very profound and significant to what He came to do for humanity. Prior to making this statement, in John 8:46 He also threw this challenge to the religious leaders of His time:
“Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?”
Without these credentials, our Saviour would not have been qualified to redeem us. Glory be to God, we have a Redeemer who is without sin.
The early disciples were first called “Christians” in Antioch because they lived like Christ after being taught His ways (Acts 11:26). This is what the Lord expects from us today. As seen in today’s memory verse, it should not even be mentioned amongst us that one of us is suffering as a result of criminal acts. This is very important for us to note because some Christians think that they were born-again into lawlessness. This is a wrong idea of our liberty in Christ. The Bible says Christians should be law-abiding. It is an aberration when Christians are accused of tax evasion. Our Lord Jesus Christ gave us a perfect example in this regard when He paid His due taxes (Matthew 17:24-27). We should therefore learn from the Master. How would it have been if Jesus was genuinely found guilty of the offences cooked up against Him (Luke 23:4)? He would have been disqualified from carrying out the work of redemption, and we would still be in our sins today.
In today’s Bible reading, we are admonished by Paul to obey higher powers. His understanding of God was so profound that he knew that no person could come into power without God assenting to it. If God installs a government for reasons best known to Him, disobeying such a government in civil matters would amount to disobeying God. As a matter of fact, our leaders are described as ministers of God ordained for own for good. For us to live peaceably in this world, let us therefore heed this warning in Romans 13:4-5:
“…But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not for wrath, but also for conscience sake.”
Father, please give me the wisdom to give what belongs to Caesar to Caesar, and help me not to withhold what belongs to You from You, in Jesus’ Name.
Bible in one year
Sing hymn 4
AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE