Transformed – teen devotion – November 8, 2020

For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.
Romans 13:4

Government over me

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had no government? Then we wouldn’t have to argue so much about politics! Then we wouldn’t have to worry so much about following so many rules! Then we could drive as fast as we wanted on the freeway (at least legally this time)!

Not so fast on your wishful thinking! Though it might sound good on paper if we didn’t have government interfering with our personal business, in real life it would turn out to be one chaotic mess! If there was no local government, who would prevent anyone from committing a crime—be it small or large? If there was no state or federal government, who would protect us? If there was no government, who would keep the peace? The list could go on for all the problems that would quickly arise without government.

Surely, this last year we have seen again that no government is perfect. That means sinful people in government can sometimes abuse their power and citizens will not always feel safe or even be safe. But just because there has been political and civil unrest, protests, riots, and lots of fighting (verbally and physically), that doesn’t mean that government is useless.

As Christians, we recalled last week that God is in ultimate control and he has established all authorities in all places. This week we can pause to remember that God uses the government—yes even ours—as his servant for our good.

In the apostle Paul’s time, the Romans had all kinds of evils in their government—abuses of power, persecution of Christians, laws that permit great wickedness, and even an emperor who claimed to be a god himself. Yet at the same time, that government was used by God for Paul’s good. Paul traveled on Roman roads to preach the gospel. He relied on his Roman citizenship to protect him against unfair punishments and imprisonments. He benefited from Romans soldiers who protected him from persecutors, and he even appealed to the highest Roman court for a fair trial. Those are just a few blessings Paul experienced from God’s servant, the Roman government.

So also today, whether we are in love with our government, our president, current political trends or not, God will still use our government to serve us. From roads to civil services to government programs that we benefit from to college financial aid to laws that protect and keep order to the military that defends us and so much more, thank God for the many ways he uses government for his purposes to serve you!

Prayer: Dear Lord, though our government is flawed as is every other device of sinful humans, we thank you for using our government to serve us as you see fit. Bless our land and our people for Jesus’ sake. Amen.


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