Video Transcript: What's Right with the Government

continue focusing on God's word in the book of Romans. And we're going to look at the first  part of Romans chapter 13. And see how that addresses the question what's right with the  government. We are probably a little better at explaining what is wrong with the government  and identifying things that we don't much like about it. And our humorous and our jokesters  have plenty to say about that. No man's life, liberty or property are safe while the legislature  is in session, said Mark Twain. What's the difference between baseball and politics? In  baseball, you're out if you're caught stealing, don't steal, don't lie and don't cheat. The  government hates competition. So one of the things that we criticize about government is the dishonesty and the corruption that seems to run through a great deal of government. Another is government inefficiency. There's an old saying don't beat a dead horse. Don't try to get  something going to has no chance. When you discover you're riding a dead horse, some  jokester has said the best strategy is to dismount. However, we in government often try other strategies. These include change riders, buy a stronger whip. Say things like this is the way  we've always ridden this horse. appoint a committee to study the horse. Compare the state of dead horses in today's environment, pass legislation declaring this horse is not dead. provide  additional funding to increase the horse's performance. Blame the horse's parents say this  horse was procured with aliveness as an independent variable. appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the farm where the horse was born, or promote the horse to a supervisory  position. Well sometimes government inefficiency is the focus not just of the jokesters, but  even of the political jokesters. Ronald Reagan said, the nine most terrifying words in the  English language are I'm from the government, and I'm here to help you. President Reagan  said government's view of the economy can be summarized in a few short phrases, if it  moves tax it, if it keeps moving, regulate it, if it stops moving subsidize it. Well, we have a  wide variety of people who can tell us what's wrong with the government Will Rogers, old time comedian says I don't make jokes, I just watch the government and report the facts. And  someone else has said I don't approve of political jokes, I've seen too many of them getting  elected. So we have this whole strain that runs pretty strongly through a lot of us and through our culture that government is something we're not all that fond of. And our jokes reflect that. And in a sense, it's good that we can joke about government, sometimes you'd rather laugh  than cry. But also, it means that maybe you're not taking government with quite utmost  seriousness yet. All too often throughout history, government has almost been worshipped  and taken as this super serious, fabulous entity that could do no wrong. And that's what the  kings and others would insist on. And so there's a bit of perspective when you can laugh  about government a little bit or poke a little fun of it and poke a little fun of it without having  the thought that I might be arrested by tomorrow, if I do crack a joke about the government.  So it's okay at times to note what's wrong with the government and, and to maybe even mock the government just a little bit. But Romans 13 takes a different approach, and reminds us  again, what is right with the government and what is important about government. Everyone  must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which  God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently,  he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those  who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right.  But for those who do wrong, do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you? For He is God's servant to do you good. But if you do  wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of  wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the  authorities not only because of possible punishment, but also because of conscience. This is  also why you pay taxes for the authorities are God's servants who give their full time to  governing. Give everyone what you owe him. If you owe taxes, pay taxes if revenue then  revenue, if respect, then respect, if honor, then honor. So what's right with the government?  Well, two big things. It's been established by God. And it is God's servant. Three times the  apostle emphasizes, maybe because it's a little hard to swallow the first and the second time,  government is established by God. It's established by God, God has instituted it. And then he  goes on to say three times. Government is God's servant, God's servant, God's servant. And  once again, maybe he says it three times, because it's hard for it to sink in. And when you 

hear the apostle tell us, and of course, God is speaking through the apostle, when we hear  that government is established by God, and God's servant, maybe we're tempted to say,  which government is he talking about? established by God? How did the authorities get in  power? Well, in elections, they seem to say a lot of bad things about the people they are  running against, in the appointment of people to the Supreme Court, it seems to be a real  food fight, where you say all kinds of terrible things to prevent somebody from getting in, that you don't like, sometimes government comes to power through all sorts of dirty tricks  established by God, really, and God's servant. The government pays for abortions. In many  circumstances for the deaths of many little babies. The government subsidizes wars in spots  where nobody seems to pose a direct threat to us, the government is often corrupt, and the  government sometimes lets bad people off the hook. Someone has said that a jury is 12.  People chosen to decide who has the best lawyer. That's sometimes how justice seems to go.  And so again, when when we hear that the government is established by God, and is God's  servant, we might think, Well, boy, that seems to be written in a context where government  must have been a lot different than it is now. Yeah, it was different. It was worse by a lot. Back when Paul was writing the emperor was a man named Caligula. We'll just suffice it to say that  a while back, a porn magazine made a movie about Caligula and nobody could portray  anything worse than what Caligula was actually, like. His successor was a man named Nero.  Ever heard of him, the guy who made Christians torches in his gardens, and burned Rome.  That's, those are the guys who were actually the Emperors when the Apostle was writing  these words. And yet, Paul could say that the authorities are established by God, and their  role is to be God's servant back then. They didn't just have abortion, it was legal to expose  little babies to kill born babies and get rid of them, if you wanted to. They didn't just subsidize some undesirable things that government actually paid for the gladiator games where people  killed each other for people's entertainment. The Roman Empire was constantly involved in  wars of aggression, and of conquest. And so this is not a noble, pure, fabulous, pristine  government that the apostle is writing about when he says it's established by God, and that it is God's servant. And yet, even a government like that has a role. And sometimes people will  say of their particular situation or system well, we got to have change, it couldn't get any  worse. It couldn't. Have you tried living in Somalia, for instance? Have you tried living in an  area where there is no functioning government at all? Even the United States has found in its  foreign involvement. Saddam Hussein was a very bad dictator did things get a lot better when he was overthrown? Iraq became a bloodbath after that. Muammar Qaddafi was a terrible  man. And Libya became worse after he was toppled with some interference and help from us  because then it turned into a situation of total chaos. That doesn't mean you're always back  dictator sometimes to keep your nose out of it. That's my own personal opinion on some  governance issues that maybe you shouldn't try to run every country in the world when you  have enough trouble running your own but but be that as it may, I'm just giving those as  examples as two of the worst rulers where the situation was actually worse when they were  gone. Because you know what, one of the important things about the government is that God  established it, and that it's God's servant, another is that it's there. That doesn't sound like  much, but it's there. And apart from somebody maintaining order, and apart from somebody  restraining the worst of evil doing, things get really, really bad in a hurry. The Roman Empire  was not paradise. If you lived in what were sometimes called the barbarian territories, outside Roman control, that wasn't exactly paradise, either. So when we're thinking about  government, it may be hard to swallow. But the Apostle wants his, his readers, his Christian  readers, to know that God has a purpose for government. Because you see, Christians have a  new king. Christians are ruled by King Jesus, and he is a higher authority than any other ruler  or king or government. And some Christians at the time may have been tempted to say  government has no role anymore, we've got Jesus. And we are not paying any attention to  what any government says anymore. They were correct to the degree that when government  and Jesus have different orders, you follow Jesus orders, not the government's. But some of  those people who might have thought that we were wrong, if they thought that because Jesus reigns now, there is no further purpose for human government on Earth, what's right with the  government? Well, God has put it there. And it is God's servant. And even when it's not a very

good government, very often, it's still better than no government. The Apostle says that  what's right about it is that the government is established by God, and that it has purposes,  one of the purposes is promoting good, for rulers hold no terror for those who do, right. But  for those who do wrong, you want to be free from the fear of the one in authority, then do  what's right, and he will commend you, for He is God's servant, to do you good. Now, again,  this is, in a sense, an ideal picture of what government is appointed to be, and meant to be.  And to the degree that it carries that out, then it's being useful and good government. And so  government is there to encourage behavior, that, that helps the society in orderly way, not  stealing from others, not murdering, and destroying the lives of others. And the kinds of good  things that help people to flourish. Government is to be involved in promoting what's good.  And most of the time, even with a fairly iffy government. If you're not doing anything real  rotten, you're not going to get into really big trouble now an exception of course, was the  Christians of that time. We'll say a little bit more about that in a moment. But the Apostle  wants us to know that God has a purpose for government. And the fact that you come under  the rule of King Jesus does not mean that you ditch all respect for government, or for the  purposes that God has in mind for it. Another role of government isn't just promoting good.  But if you do wrong, be afraid for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant  an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. The government bears the sword.  And so if an enemy nation is to invade, the government has the authority to wield fatal deadly power against an attacking nation. The government also has the power to wield the sword  against those of its own number, who are murderers. That's not always the most popular  position nowadays, but the government does have the power of the death penalty. Once  again, it can use that power wrongly. Sometimes the people with the best lawyers get  sentenced very differently than those who don't have the great lawyers. Sometimes people of one ethnic background or nationality are more likely to receive the death penalty than those  who are of a different nationality. And so, when government uses the power of the sword in  capital punishment in the death penalty, for people who have committed murder, it's very  important that it do so fairly, and that it do so with a great degree of certainty that this person is in fact responsible, but be that as it may, it's clear from this passage as well as from others  in the Bible that government authorities have deadly power, and that deadly power even is  wielded for a purpose. And these verses, let me remind you again Come right after what we  just looked at, in a recent message. You know, if you're a great mathematician, you know that  13 comes after 12. And Romans 13 begins by talking about God's wrath well how did 12 end?  It ended by saying, don't take matters into your own hands. Don't seek revenge my friends,  but leave room for God's wrath, as it's written it is mine to avenge. I will repay said the Lord.  Then it says, you know, you treat your enemy well. And right after it says that, it says there is  an agent of wrath. And by the way, you're not it. Okay? God is the one who brings the final  wrath at the Last Judgement. But God also has an instrument of wrath. And that instrument is  what we're talking about right now. The government. In general, it's say, it's not safe for  people to take revenge into their own hands, because they always go way farther than they  should. Levi and Simeon wipe out a whole clan because of something that happened to their  sister, Lamech in the Bible kills a young man for wounding. And we know that the payback  always seems to be bigger than the original offense. And that's why somebody who's a little  more neutral has to be the one who deals out the justice and deals out the punishment. But  that's also a reason why you don't have to take it all into your own hands all the time,  because God has appointed some people to give at least a form of justice in this life. Now,  sometimes, it just happens that the situation is so bad that you can't count on government to  do that. I'll give a example from the old west from where I grew up. In Montana, a little over  100 years ago, it was called the wild west for a reason. And there were huge gold rushes. at a  place called Bannock. And Virginia City, there was a big gold rush and a man named Henry  Plummer was the sheriff. According to accounts, Henry Plummer was not only to share us with his deputies, but he and his deputies went around robbing people and killing them. In fact,  about 102 deaths were attributed to the sheriff and his deputies. So the Montana Vigilance  Committee was formed. And they hanged the sheriff and his deputies. That's not very  respectful of government. But when the sheriff and his deputies are going around, murdering 

everyone and taking their gold, then some other people took matters into their own hands.  And then when they did, they also ended up hanging several people that they just didn't want around anymore. And it wasn't exactly wondrous justice at all times. But that was, that's the  situation where there is utterly horrible government or no government at all. And so this this,  overall, this calling to punish evil is given by God to government, and not to us, as individuals, because we're always going to go too far, sometimes government gets carried away. But  individuals seeking individual revenge, are always going to get carried away too far. So what's right with the government it's established by God as His servant to promote good and punish  evil. That's what it's there for. By the way, when this kind of direction is given, you might say,  Boy, that's giving us some really tough advice. It's hard to submit to government, it's hard to  recognize the government is put in place by God and is God's servant. Well, think about it  from the other angle for a moment. If you are the Caesar, the emperor, you say I am divine. I  am a God, the representative of the gods on Earth. And somebody says, You're a servant. And you're supposed to be doing things for the good of the people who are under you don't they  exist for you? To enrich you and to puff you up? You see, this isn't just a message that says  you peons submit. It's saying you grand Poobahs are servants. And you need to serve. So  government is established by God as His servant to promote good and punish evil. And that  gives government accountability. It maintains order and stability. And let me just say it  prevents hell on earth because total chaos, total anarchy is absolute disaster. Sometimes you  get a glimpse of that. In portions of our cities where there are lots of shootings every day and  where there's almost no law and order we we hear some bad stories about police brutality.  And police brutality is a terrible thing that needs to be corrected. What happens at the other  end of the extreme when there are no police? Well, we have found out we've got a couple of  cities where there was widely publicized police brutality, inexcusable. But in the course of all  that, the police in some of those areas have pulled back. And the shootings, and the crime is  much worse, a couple of years later, because the police aren't doing the job the same way  that they used to. So to maintain order. And stability is very important. And, again, if you're  expecting too much from government, if you're saying, Oh, if only we could get the right  people, we would have paradise. That's what Karl Marx said, if you take my political system,  and you have a communist government, you are going to have a worker's paradise. The  quickest way to hell on earth is to think a government is going to give you heaven on earth.  Because you give that government absolute power, you give it the adoration and trust that  belongs only to God, and only God can bring heaven on earth. Government has a lot more  modest aim and purpose, to prevent hell on earth, to keep things from just totally  deteriorating, and getting awful. And it can try to make things a little bit better incrementally.  But the more you understand this, the Wiser you will be as a citizen, don't expect too much  from government, but expect something and don't seek that it's going to make everything  perfectly well and say to yourself, oh, we must every in America, everybody always wins an  election by promising change. And they always talk about what a mess we're in now. But if  you elected me, wouldn't it be fabulous? And it couldn't get worse? Yes, it could. So you  always have to weigh what are the potential benefits of change, versus the potential  downfalls because if you live in a system that's already pretty good, pretty good. It's about as  much as you're going to get out of a government and out of a system. That doesn't mean you  don't try to make little changes. But heaven on earth, that's expecting that from your  government is the is the shortcut to hell on earth. Peter says, the same thing as Paul on this  score, as the writers of the Bible are united on this point too submit yourselves, for the Lord's  sake, every authority instituted among men, whether the king as the supreme authority, or  the governors who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and commend those who  do right sounds like almost the same person writing. But Paul and Peter do have the same  person behind them, guiding their writing. And so when it comes to government officials,  when it comes to soldiers when it comes to police, and those who have this kind of authority,  a Christian is to respect and honor the authority that God has put in place. And having said all that, Christians are responsible to resist evil rulers Join the Resistance. Well, that's in the Bible too. Oh king, we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up. That's what those three young man Shadrach, Meshach. and Abednego had to say to the mighty 

king Nebuchadnezzar, when he set up his 90 foot idol that everybody was supposed to bow  down to, they said, King, it's not going to happen. And he couldn't appeal and say, Oh, but  you are to submit to the authorities that God has put in charge. Well, the overall motto of  every Christian is we must obey God rather than men. That's what Peter and John said, when  they were commanded not to preach of Jesus Christ anymore. When you get a government  that says, You must not proselytize their word for trying to persuade other people to become  Christians. And you must not do this and that in relation to God, then it is the Christians  obligation to say we must obey God rather than men. And there's in a sense, you have to view the government, I don't know, listening in stereo or looking at things in stereo, at any rate,  you got to have a couple of different perspectives. One is that government is established by  God to serve people. And another is that very often the governments of this world are the arm of the beast, the arm of the dragon. In Revelation 13, it says The dragon gave the beast, his  power, and his throne, and great authority. The dragon in this case is Satan himself. And, and  the Beast represents political power, political power, oppressing God's people. And it says,  The Beast gets his power, the government gets its power from Satan himself. That's enough  to give you a headache. The powers that be the authorities are established by God. And the  beast gets his authority from Satan himself. So at any given moment, you cannot take a neat  little formula and say, I am going to obey government because government is instituted by  God. There were kings in earlier centuries who spoke of the Divine Right of Kings and they  would appeal to this passage and the divine right of kings meant they could do whatever they wanted, because they answered only to God. And they were almost equivalent to God. Well,  there's more than one strand of the Bible, the strand of submission is one that we're looking  at very closely today. But we do even as we look at that portion of Romans have to keep in  mind that the Bible is a bigger book. And it will also tell you beware of the beast, beware of  that dragon lurking behind the beast, and what that power will do. And to just take form and  say the government is always the beast. Serving Satan, would be a mistake, to say that it's  always purely of God, the divine right of kings and of presidents and of rulers to do their  thing. You've always got the Henry Plummers out there who are murdering and marauding,  you've always got governments that are very dangerous. And so that the upshot is what the  apostle said, they were not going to defy the authorities on every point. But when the  authorities commanded something contrary to God's commands, then they were going to  obey God, and not the government and where the government's commands and laws were at  least compatible with God's will, then they would honor and follow what the government  taught. Oh, by the way, you're the government. We live in a society that does not have the  divine right of kings. We live in a society where we can't gripe all day about the government  because we is it we get to pick our rulers, we have a vote, we have a voice. And we usually  get the government we deserve or better than we deserve. I hate to break it to you. But all  those mean jokes we tell about government and all that stuff, we criticize about government,  who picked them? Well, we had a big voice in that. And so we need to understand that we are  the government every few years in our society where we get to vote, and we get to have a  voice in it. And so we should, rather than just gripe about government make what difference  that we can. As I've said before, we sometimes made government an idol and expect too  much from it, to give us heaven, on earth to give us paradise. And the sooner you stop  counting on government to fix everything, the less mad you'll be about it. If the economy is  entirely controlled by the government, then you're going to panic and get mad every time  something goes wrong with the economy and want to elect somebody to fix it. Now  government can mess up the economy a little bit. But economy has its own momentum, and  way of doing things that no one person dictates. Sometimes the challenges in your life have  almost nothing to do with government policy. If you're bickering and fighting with your  spouse, the government isn't going to fix that. If you're having challenges in your own family,  you can't count on the government to just ride in and make it all better. Government has  some influence, it has some power, I'm not trying to make light of the influence it does have.  But all too often, we think that if we just got the right person elected, all would be well, and if  we don't I'm moving to Canada, where they have a pure and good government at all times,  except when they don't. You know, Winston Churchill said that democracy is the worst form of 

government that has ever been tried, except for all the others. So, again, just don't make it an idol. Don't expect too much. And then you're not going to be quite as disappointed expect a  basic minimum. Sometimes you got to remind government that it answers to God, that it is a  servant of God. But also, as citizens think of your responsibilities, not just your rights, that's  the kind of people we kind of become, we have a right to this, we have a right to that we have a right to everything else. The apostle Paul says, If you don't want to work, you don't even  have the right to eat. Your rights are pretty limited if you won't take any responsibility at all.  So don't just say, oh, I should have this right, that right? And that right. And all of it should be  provided directly by government funding and by a government doing all sorts of things for  me. What are my responsibilities, to do what's right in my own life to bless and to help  others? We the People have to use our influence in government and then also realize that  government's not going to do it all that we answer to God as well. Well, what about that whole relationship between faith and politics? Well, I don't think that the government should be  spreading the gospel. That's not its appointed purpose. Nero was not an excellent missionary.  Not too many rulers and politicians have been since either real faith spreads by Christians  truth and love not by political force. There have been times where Christians thought that the  faith itself could be spread at the point of a sword. And you shall be baptized and become a  Christian or I will slit your throat. Those are very genuine converts, aren't they? When you say I will kill you if you do not convert. That's not how the faith spreads. And so to count on  government to force people to become believers is a failure. And some say both. We do,  however, want the government to enforce the 10 commandments? Do you? Do you want the  United States government to execute those who do not serve? The one living and true God?  Do you want the United States government to execute people for blasphemy? The next time  you see OMG? Do you think that person should be executed for using God's name carelessly?  Do you feel that people ought to be punished for coveting? Do you want laws that people  must not be allowed to work on Sunday? For instance? Sometimes laws like that might help a  society. But how when you say government should enforce the 10 commandments? Do you  know the 10 commandments? That's maybe another interesting question. I've seen many  people say they want the commandments enforced, but what are they just about the only  ones that are enforced in our society, to at least some degree is Thou shalt not kill, and thou  shalt not steal, all the rest the government has pretty much stayed out of enforcing. And is  that good is it bad, I'm not going to weigh exactly what government ought to do or not to do  for one reason, I'm not in government, but for another, we just have to realize that the  transformation of people's character comes about through the gospel of Jesus Christ, and  through the teaching of the scriptures of those who are going to submit to Jesus Christ. And  for us to try to impose what the Bible teaches about proper conduct on people who do not  believe in Jesus Christ and do not have the Holy Spirit within them, is to invite great  resistance from them. If you wish to impose what a person ought to behave like and use  government force to do that, in an unconverted person, that won't work out so well. So we  need to just keep in mind, wherever we draw the line of what government should or should  not enforce. Government defends rights, but it doesn't make us right with God, and especially with the coming of Jesus Christ, and with the abolition of the people of God being exactly  Israel. And then the others were just people without God working among them. Today, the  people of God is an international group of people spread all around the world, the church of  the Lord Jesus Christ, and no given human government is the instrument of God on earth to  spread the Gospel. And no human government is tasked with that. And so faith and politics,  some division of church and state, is very important. Now, when the state sets upon itself to  enforce an entirely different religion, namely, the religion of secularism, the religion of  unbelief, the religion, that something comes from nothing, that there is no Creator, the idea  that the opposite of biblical morality must now be enforced on everybody, you will make that  cake for a gay wedding or else you will pretend that men or women and women are men or  else, you know, when the government is commanding, downright falsehood, it was then the  government obviously, has gone too far. But but a minimal government, a government that  doesn't try to do too much, is probably a in light of what the Bible says the most that we  ought to expect from government. Back in the day, of course, God warned that if government 

got big and you got yourself a king, they're going to hike taxes all the way up to 10%. Yikes!  How many of you would like to give only 10% of your income to the government today, that  would seem a vast tax reduction. So again, faith and politics, I'm not going to solve all that in  a few minutes here. But we need to keep in mind the kinds of things the Bible reveals about  what is in the realm of God's calling for the church. And we need to make a point of living by  the commandments ourselves, not only but spreading the gospel, and not counting on the  authorities to take care of that for us. And so what's the overall response? Therefore, it's  necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment, if you don't  submit, you'll probably get arrested and jailed or worse. So submit because of possible  punishment, but also because of conscience. And here the apostle is saying because of your  conscience, because you know God put it in place. It's not just that you're scared of what  government might do to you if you don't obey. But because you know, it's right, to honor  government that God has put in place. So this is also I pay taxes for the authorities are God's  servants who give their full time to govern and give everyone what you owe. And if you owe  taxes, pay taxes if revenue than revenue, if respect then respect, if honor, then honor. So first of all, just submit to the governing authorities obey the law, unless a law clashes with God's  law. Next, actively influence the government. If there's things that you don't like and you  believe are downright wrong about the way the government is doing its business. Get  involved, you have a voice, some of you may have a calling to go into politics, some are  involved in local governance, others might shoot for politics at a different level. But all of us  have a vote. And so to actively influence government, sometimes to demonstrate for things  that you think are really important to be instituted, or to be ended. You can make your voice  known through voting and through voicing it in demonstrations and joining others, paying the  taxes Yo, that's not the most popular command in the Bible, but it is a command in the Bible.  So don't cheat, don't cut corners, honestly report your income and pay your taxes. I read a  story of the shareholders meeting at a big company. And the company chairman began with a long speech about what's wrong with the government and all how government was making  things very difficult in the business environment and went on and on and on. And a female  shareholder stood up and said, Well, I actually like living in this country. I'm happy that we  have so many opportunities and privileges in this country, in this country. I don't mind paying  taxes, would you please tell us how the company is doing? Because, again, to pay taxes isn't  always the funnest thing. But Paul says there are authorities who give their full time to  governing and somebody's got to pay for it. So we may disagree about what level of taxation  or how much of the economy ought to go towards governance. But there's no doubt that if  you owe taxes pay them, and as I said, respect and honor, we have our jokes about  government and a little of that's okay. But at the end of the day to have an attitude of total  disrespect, and of despising government as a whole. And of looking down on and criticizing  the particular people who are involved in government can be a very negative thing. So honor  people who serve, don't just gripe about them. It's not easy to be a policeman. It's not easy to be a politician, there are a lot of different interests, a lot of different needs. And to know how  to balance those and meet various needs with limited resources is a very hard job. And no  matter what choice you make, somebody will not be very happy with it. And people in that  kind of position, need respect. And they need prayer. Paul wrote, I urge then first of all that  requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness, and holiness. You pray  for the government. And even that is something different from what many of the time  thought, you pray to government, because government is the supreme power. Remember the  decree at the time of the Persians in the time of Daniel, he got thrown to the lions, because  he was going to pray to somebody besides the government. So praying for the government is  recognizing there's a higher power higher than the government that can provide wisdom and  direction for those who are in positions of power. And so each of us once we're submitting to  the authorities that God has established, should keep on praying, that they'll be doing God's  will. And if they don't, that God will correct them. And if they don't, that God will remove  them, but pray for those who are in authority. Let's do that right now. Dear Lord, we thank you that you are king, that You reign supreme overall. And we pray, Father, that we may also 

always have an attitude of reverence and adoration towards you. And we pray too Lord that  we may learn to respect those whom you've put in authority in human governments. Father,  we ask that you will help us to have your wisdom to discern when we need to obey God rather than men, but also Lord when we need to happily and gladly obey those whom you've put in a position over us. We pray, Father that you will bless the president of our country, the  Congress and those who serve in it. the Supreme Court and those who are justices. We pray,  Father, that you will bless those who serve in the military and, and wield awesome power. We  pray that you will guide those who are in positions of police authority, and who need to  enforce laws. Give them Lord wisdom and restraint and courage. We pray, Father, for those  who serve in the governance of our state, we pray for those who are local trustees and  mayors. We ask that they may have wisdom from you for each day, that they'll have  endurance that they will understand that they are put there by you for a purpose, and help  them Lord to serve those purposes. And then Lord, help us too in our own lives to go beyond  just the purposes of government or relying on it help us as church, to proclaim the gospel, to  rejoice in the power of God. By our changed lives Lord may we bring hope and refreshment to  others around us so that the government can perform its duties in just a limited scope, but  through the love and transforming power of Christ in many millions of believers that we may  truly make this a better place to live. We pray, Lord for great revival, that the Holy Spirit may  fill and transform more and more hearts that your church will be all that the church is meant  to be, that we as believers may be on fire for you that our lives may be holy and loving, and a blessing to those who know us. And so Father, we pray that we'll have your understanding  your proper conduct towards the government you've put in place, we pray too Lord for those  who suffer under heavy oppression. And we ask Father that You Will Help The Persecuted to  have relief. And meanwhile Lord to have courage that even in such circumstances, they may  live for you with courage and boldness, and that they may shine with the light of Jesus Christ.  We pray in His name, amen.

Last modified: Monday, January 17, 2022, 9:56 AM