Transformed – teen devotion – October 22, 2023

One truth shared: God has established all government and calls on us to show honor and respect to the 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.
Romans 13:1

Do I Have to Respect the Government?

There is a lot of division in America over politics lately. Maybe you’ve noticed. There’s lots of shouting and fighting, and no one seems to be able to get along. Some of the leaders in politics don’t always seem to have the best interests of the people they serve in mind. It raises the question: do I have to respect the government in the country in which I live?

God speaks pretty strongly about this in Romans 13. He says everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, because the authorities that exist have been established by God.

You might argue, “But what if my government is really bad!?” I’d like to remind you of the government in place when Paul wrote these words. The Roman government was hunting Christians down in the street and putting them to death. Eventually they would execute Paul as well, and he still said people should submit to the government.

There is a limit, obviously. We must obey God rather than men. This means that if our government commands us to do something sinful, we would have to obey God rather than men at that point.

But God has established all governments for the good of his people to maintain peace and order. Even when a government appears to be evil, we can be confident that God is using their actions for the eternal good of those who love him.

Whether you’re a Democrat, a Republican, a Libertarian, or an Independent, you owe honor and respect to the government regardless of who is in power, because it has been instituted by God.

Pray for your political leaders whether you agree with all of their policies or not. Pray that God would be with them and use them to bring peace and prosperity to the land in which you live. Pray that they, too, would come to know the Savior who bled and died for them.

Finally, even when you have sharp disagreements with your government, take comfort in the fact that God is still the one in ultimate control. No government can do anything he doesn’t allow it to do, and he is working out everything in history according to his perfect plan.

Prayer: Father in heaven, be with the leaders in our government. Give them wisdom to make the best decisions for the people of this country. Let us treat them with honor and respect even when we disagree with them. If they don’t know you already, bring them to a knowledge of your Son. Amen.

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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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