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Loyal
Friday, November 3, 2017, 4:58 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Trust and Obey.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Romans 13 (NASB).

Established by God (vv. 1-7)

Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake.

For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

Good rulers or bad rulers, we still are in subjection to their authority. Honest and trustworthy, or scoundrels and despicable, we still have to obey them. God puts in authority over us bad kings and good kings, those who honor him as Almighty God, and those who despise and reject him as King of their lives. So, we don’t have to be in agreement with those in authority over us in order to obey them. They also don’t have to be fair or just for us to submit to their rule.

Now, are there exceptions to this? Yes, there are. Look at the examples of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the book of Daniel. They obeyed the authorities until the rulers told them they must disobey and reject God. And, this is where God draws the line in the sand, which means to go to a certain point, but no further. If a ruler requires we go against God and his Word, we don’t do it! Also, the disciples of the New Testament provided a wonderful example of this when they told the authorities, who were demanding they no longer speak in the name of Jesus, that they must obey God rather than man. God always trumps man in authority.

Although we are not to resist authority, in the sense of rejecting or not submitting to that authority, this is not to say that we cannot challenge that authority in a respectable manner and/or in a legal course if we believe the authority is unjust and/or that we are innocent of all charges brought against us. Paul gave us an example of this, as did Jesus. Paul, when he felt the authority was overstepping their bounds, and his life was at risk, appealed to Caesar, who was the emperor (king). Upon his initial arrest, and up to this point, and beyond, he gave several statements of defense in his own behalf where he challenged the legitimacy of his false arrest and the false charges brought against him.

Jesus, too, although he submitted to the authorities, with biblical exceptions, frequently challenged corrupt authority, specifically those who were also in positions of religious authority over the people.

So, we are to give to authority what is due them unless they require or they encourage that we disobey our Lord and his Word. Not only do we not submit, in those cases, but we are also permitted to challenge them. But, we should do so respectfully. And, not only that, but if a ruler claims faith in Jesus Christ, and is leading the people, through deception, to reject the teachings of scripture, because this ruler is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, we are allowed to expose the lies and deceptions in order to rescue the people from being deceived so they don’t fall away from their pure devotion to Christ.

Jesus and the apostles did this. They exposed the fruitless deeds of darkness and they warned the people against false teachers/leaders, and they, in contrast, told them the truth, so that their eyes would be opened, and so they would obey God instead of humans, who were leading them astray.

Love One Another (vv. 8-10)

Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

If we are to love one another, we need to know what this love is. The Greek word for love here is agapē, which means “to prefer, to love; for the believer, preferring to ‘live through Christ’ (1 Jn 4:9,10), i.e. embracing God's will (choosing His choices) and obeying them through His power… refers to what God prefers as He ‘is love’ (1 Jn 4:8,16)” (1).

So, if we are to agapē one another, this love will embrace God’s will, and will be in submission to God and his Word, and it will obey them, not go against them. So, don’t call it “love” when you cheat, lie, commit adultery, view pornography, or have romantic or sexual affairs with others to whom you are not married. Don’t tell people lies and then call it “being polite,” either. Don’t willfully gossip about people behind their backs, in order to try to make them look bad, and then act like you like them to their faces. Lies are never kind, no matter how you dress them up.

Love does no harm to a neighbor, a friend, an acquaintance, a family member, a spouse or a member of Christ’s body, his church. So, love does not sin against others, which is sinning against God. And, sinning means to go against God’s will, his directives, and his choices for our lives, i.e. what God prefers, i.e. what he deems as right (pure, moral, just, honest, decent).

Put on Christ (vv. 11-14)

Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.

These words are addressed to those who profess Jesus Christ as Lord and as Savior of their lives. We can be Christians and still be failing in some areas of our lives. We can be alert in some or many aspects, and still be asleep (not alert) in others, especially with regard to deceiving spirits and self-deception. So, we need to have our minds, hearts and spirits awakened to the truth so that we follow the truth and not after lies. And, all lies of the enemy are not all that obvious, but many are very subtle and carefully and skillfully blended in with truth to make them look like truth, which is why many people, even Christians, are being deceived.

One of the greatest deceptions within the church right now is to convince people that they can be saved from their sins and have the hope of eternal life with God in heaven by merely repeating words after someone in a prayer, or by merely acknowledging Christ’s existence and accepting his forgiveness of their sins. But, forgiveness is not automatic, otherwise everyone would be saved. It comes following being turned from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God (See: Ac. 26:16-18). It comes following turning from our sins (repentance) to follow our Lord in obedience.

Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. When we come to him in faith, we are crucified with him in death to sin, and we are resurrected with him to newness of life, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. The righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us who walk, not after the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For, if we walk (in lifestyle) according to the flesh (sin), we will die in our sins, not have the hope of eternal life with God in heaven. This is not to say that a Christian will never sin, but that sin should no longer be our master so that we obey its lustful desires. Rather, Christ Jesus should be the one we obey (See: 1 Pet. 2:24; Eph. 4:17-24; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Lu. 9:23-25).

Trust and Obey
John H. Sammis / Daniel B. Towner

When we walk with the Lord
in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will,
He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Not a shadow can rise,
not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear,
not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.

Not a burden we bear,
not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss,
not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.

But we never can prove
the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows,
for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.

Then in fellowship sweet
We will sit at His feet.
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way.
What He says we will do,
Where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

(1) Resource: biblehub.com
 
Loyal
We have to obey government leaders up to a point.

Sometimes we have to be Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego if it comes down to faith vs government leaders.

But when it comes to God we should ALWAYS obey. In fact if we don't obey...

Jas 4:17; Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

We procrastinate, rationalize, make excuses, we have a hundred reasons not to obey. I'll do it tomorrow or next week.
Now it may be that God specifically wants you to do something on a specific date and time. But for most things
He wants you do it when He tells you to do it. Not next month or next year.

"Trust and Obey" is one of my favorite old Hymns by the way.
 
Loyal
We have to obey government leaders up to a point.

Sometimes we have to be Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego if it comes down to faith vs government leaders.

But when it comes to God we should ALWAYS obey. In fact if we don't obey...

Jas 4:17; Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

We procrastinate, rationalize, make excuses, we have a hundred reasons not to obey. I'll do it tomorrow or next week.
Now it may be that God specifically wants you to do something on a specific date and time. But for most things
He wants you do it when He tells you to do it. Not next month or next year.

"Trust and Obey" is one of my favorite old Hymns by the way.
Thanks, B-A-C. I appreciate your input. Yes, "when to obey" God is absolutely ALWAYS!

I am very fond of that hymn, too, but I have many favorites. My mother and father were singers, and my mother played the piano, so I grew up singing the hymns out of the hymn book, not just in church, but at home nearly every day. I even did this with my friends in the neighborhood when I was a kid. We got out the hymns and sat on the front porch swing and we sang. Now, if that does not date me, I don't know what does. That was in the late 50's and early 60's. My 4 kids grew up on them, too. 3 of them sing and play musical instruments, and 2 of those help lead worship in their churches (or did). One of them is a music teacher. Our other child is not musical, but I love to hear him sing. He is a deacon in his church.
 
Active
Shadrach mesach and abednego obeyed God rather than man.
Sometimes we do need to make a choice and this will test our faith.
Jesus also obeyed His Father rather than the pharisees and chief priests of the time who taught the commandments of men instead of God.

In many cases though even evil rulers God can use them for His purposes eg pharoah...the israelites would not have gotten out if Egypt if God hadnt hardened the pharoahs heart. Remember then He sent the ten plagues. So if a ruler is unfair or unjust remember God is above the rulers and vengeance is His.

He even turned some rulers around like King nebuchadnezzar, used him to bring to teach the house of judah.


Btw not all of us were brought up in church. Obedience is sometimes foreign for people. The world teaches rebellion as a good thing...look at rock music. Many people grow up hearing this everyday and learn in order to get their own way they need to rebel. But that is earthly, demonic wisdom. When people actually bring rock music into the church thats where I can get confused! It should never be..the music to worship God ought to be heavenly and glorifying Him not the band or the musicians.

My dad played recorded rock n roll music from the fifties and sixties everyday and my ears got a sound bashing from america popular music. My mum is not musical. A hymn was never heard in my house growing up, unless it was Elvis singing it.

So on becoming a christian the music being different you soon learn what it means to obey and how that glorfies God rather than whining about lost love as so many popular songs seem to be about lol.
 
Loyal
Shadrach mesach and abednego obeyed God rather than man.
Sometimes we do need to make a choice and this will test our faith.
Jesus also obeyed His Father rather than the pharisees and chief priests of the time who taught the commandments of men instead of God.

In many cases though even evil rulers God can use them for His purposes eg pharoah...the israelites would not have gotten out if Egypt if God hadnt hardened the pharoahs heart. Remember then He sent the ten plagues. So if a ruler is unfair or unjust remember God is above the rulers and vengeance is His.

He even turned some rulers around like King nebuchadnezzar, used him to bring to teach the house of judah.
Thank you, Lanolin, for sharing these additional thoughts on this subject.
 
Loyal
Btw not all of us were brought up in church. Obedience is sometimes foreign for people. The world teaches rebellion as a good thing...look at rock music. Many people grow up hearing this everyday and learn in order to get their own way they need to rebel. But that is earthly, demonic wisdom. When people actually bring rock music into the church thats where I can get confused! It should never be..the music to worship God ought to be heavenly and glorifying Him not the band or the musicians.

My dad played recorded rock n roll music from the fifties and sixties everyday and my ears got a sound bashing from america popular music. My mum is not musical. A hymn was never heard in my house growing up, unless it was Elvis singing it.

So on becoming a christian the music being different you soon learn what it means to obey and how that glorfies God rather than whining about lost love as so many popular songs seem to be about lol.
Lanolin,

Being brought up in the church, or even having parents who sang or who played the piano, and being brought up singing the hymns does not necessarily mean that godly obedience was either taught or modeled to me. My father was an abuser of the worst kind. We all were deathly afraid of him. Fighting and yelling and meanness and violence, and more, were part of what I experienced in my every day life. I cried a lot! I hurt badly all the time. I felt very unloved. But, I knew God loved me. My mother was abused, too, very badly. But, she did nothing to protect us or to stop the abuse. We were supposed to obey our father. Our father taught legalism - you don't smoke, play cards, dance, go to movies, etc. We had to stay dressed up every Sunday. We were not allowed to play on Sundays. If we put another item on top of a Bible, he railed against it. We were at church every time the doors were open. We sat in the back, as a family. My dad was probably the first person out the door once the sermon was over.

If my dad didn't like something I did, not that it was wrong, but he just didn't like it, then "wham" across the head. My head got hit a lot. Or, I was knocked off a table or other horrible stuff. Or I was yelled at or told how stupid I was or that I would never amount to anything, or the like. So, what I was taught in my home was that Christianity was a bunch of man-made rules that had nothing to do with godliness or holiness, and that as long as you followed those legalistic rules, that you could live like hell and abuse others or whatever. And, what I learned is that I did not want to be like that. I wanted a real relationship with Jesus Christ that wasn't hypocritical, but that was genuine. I didn't want to pray canned prayers that meant nothing. I wanted to pray from my heart. I didn't want to preach one thing but live another. And, through this I grew passionate about having a relationship with my Lord, with my heavenly Father and his Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, that wasn't fake, or that wasn't just going through the motions of religious performance, but I wanted what was real, alive, and sincere, and that was lived out in my life, not perfectly, but consistently.

But, it didn't end there. Other people in my life continued this kind of abuse, but thank the Lord, there were godly influences along the way, too. There were a few people who genuinely loved me and who treated me kindly, and who taught me the way of the Lord and godliness and holiness. But, I have had a lot of rejection, too, and have been mistreated by others just because I wasn't like them, or because I believed differently from them, or because of my seriousness about God and my relationship with Jesus Christ. And, it doesn't get any easier with time or with age. It still hurts to be rejected for who I am in Jesus. It still hurts to be mistreated just because I stand on the Word of the Lord and I teach what is truth, to the best of my understanding. And, it can get very lonely at times, too. But, I have an anchor for my soul in Jesus Christ, my Lord. He is my refuge and my strength. And, he gives me all I need to live for him and to persevere each day and to keep on keeping on in doing what he has called me to do.

So, just because I was brought up in the church or grew up singing the hymns does not mean I had an advantage over someone who did not. I learned obedience through the things I suffered, and it has been a lifetime of learning, too (nearly 68 years). But, I praise and thank my Lord for all that he has done in me and through me, for his glory, and especially for his wonderful, awesome grace to me, and for loving me always, especially when I felt no one else did. Sue
 
Active
Thanks for sharing sue.

When I think of how Jesus set me free I can only praise Him for showing me who God is. Growing up as a child most of us think our parents are like God i,e they call the shots, they make the rules and they can be abusive but knowing there is a Heavenly father above them who cares about our souls and loves us simply for being his creation...that was new for me, and learning His ways are above our ways..that's also a revelation.

For our earthly parents are human and in the flesh and they are not perfect either. And they had parents before that and lives that often children dont even know about.

I had a lot of fear in my childhood. i dont know why I was the one that was afflicted or cursed it didnt seem to affect my brothers and sister but I count it all joy cos it bought me closer to God. On delieverance one of the demons name was called terror. It got cast out praise the lord but it had entered when I was just a baby.

My mother didnt really want me, I had to deal with a lot of rejection as I was a sickly baby, had jaundice and cried a lot. When I was two she had twins brothers so I kind of got pushed aside. She also could not nurse me so was bottle fed. I grew up wanting to please her in everything but no matter what I did she found fault, I was not perfect or as good as my elder sister. It did reach a point I stopped trying. She basically didnt know what to do with me. Anyway not to blame my mother but she didnt really know how to be a mother. She did all the physical stuff as expected but her heart was not in it.

My dads mum apparently was a bit of a tyrant. He ran away from home! However all things considered he is a bit of an ahab to mums jezebel. Mum seems to call the shots.

It has taken me years to sort through that and to see my parents with Gods eyes and compassion. I suffered mentall illness that I got the blame for as if i deliberately went crazy. I dont know what it would have been like had i had come from a church background but I do believe faith can sustain you when young and godly people can make such a difference.

Mum is still very anti-christ and she will try and stop me from going to church by asking if I can go to the market with her or other things. She does not like that I spend time with God and does not really want to know Him. I guess its differnt for different people but church is still a blessing even if some people dont go for the right reasons. The only time mum and dad ever went to church together is when they got married...so well that must mean something. Its a very disconcerting thing to ponder why were you even born if your parents dont demonstrate love to you, or treat you as an outcast etc esp when you did your best to obey them and be a good child, model daughter, and do what they expect of you.

But knowing God changes all that. I guess its because you then know what true love is like. Was reading a biography recently on Stalins daughter. Can you imagine what its like to be a dictators daughter and not know that your mum actually commited suicide and your dad bumped off all your relatives, but to grow up in a priveliged bubble with a nanny who loved you. So thank God for that nanny.

This is why grandparents or aunties and uncles and extended family are so important, if our own parents fail we may have loving influences from them. And that is why church family is important too, cos brothers and sisters in christ can encourage one another esp big brother Jesus!! Its important to welcome those who may never have set foot in church before or dont even know how to pray and introduce them to the family of God. Also when we obey God blesses us abundantly. He loves to bless His children.
 
Loyal
@Lanolin - Thank you for sharing your story with me. When we go through tough experiences, as followers of Christ, it should serve to strengthen us in our faith all the more. I know it has for me.
 

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