What About the Government?

Romans 13: 1: 13 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.

As I started studying for this weeks post, I was struck by the realization that I am a changed man. The irony is not in that I would write a study concerning God’s view of human governance; on the contrary, the irony is in that nowhere in this study will you find a leaning toward a particular political ideology, candidate, or party. not very long ago, I was what one would call a political animal. I ate, slept, and dreamed politics. Now, if I listen to the news for 30 minutes a day I must not have had anything else to do.

What does the bible say about politics, laws, paying taxes, and government in general? Should Christians Be actively involved in government? Should we run for office? What if the a law is passed we do not agree with? God has answered all of these questions in His word. Some of the answers are what we would expect and others are unsettling but they are all there.

Romans 13;1 can be broken down into three parts: 1. Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities; 2. For there is no authority except from God; 3. ….and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 

1.Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities.

This is no small statement The key word here is  subject. the Greek is Hupotasso speaking of absolute obedience to authority. If a person or governing body is put in power over us we MUST obey Uncomfortable yet?  It is fine to say yes. This is a truth that flies in the face of worldly convention. and, when we take into consideration that Paul’s letter to the Romans was written at the apex of Roman power and persecution of believers under Nero; the Gravity of the opening statement in chapter 13 hits with the force of a brick landing in a pond. the ripple sent forth to all of Christianity is immense. The short answer is, no matter the ideology, no matter how we feel about it, no matter if we agree or not we must obey.

there is one exception that God has built-in through His word. (This is for those of you who didn’t fess up about being uncomfortable).  When obedience to civil authority would require disobedience to God’s word, Christians obey the word of God. Exodus 1:17: 

17 But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive.

Pharaoh commanded that the midwives who delivered male Jewish children should kill them. The midwives knew this to be a violation of God’s law. So, fearing the judgment of God over that of man, they disobeyed. There are other scriptural references you can study to see a picture of what it means to fear God not man: Daniel 3:16-18, Acts 4:19.

2. For there is no authority except from God

God is the ruler of the universe. He is the Alpha and the Omega. Revelation 1:8: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.  God created it all He was here at the beginning and will be here after it’s all over. All authority is God’s and therefore His to give to whom He wishes.

The question comes up, does God appoint bad, inadequate rulers? He does allow it. There is always a reason and often we are not privy to it. Isaiah 55:8: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LordGod is in charge period. He is sovereign and as such we must trust in Him. I do not intend to apply that this is an easy task. On the contrary it is impossible! It is impossible when we are seated in our favorite chair, in the middle of the night as the pictures from the television set play off the walls emulating our growing rage at the state of the world. In the flesh it is impossible. Matthew 19:26: But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” So, God is in charge, He is on the throne; are we supposed to do nothing?

I Submit to you that America and the world need Godly men and women in positions of authority. If you are passionate about public service than heed the call and serve! Do it as unto the Lord!

3. And the authorities that exist are appointed by God

The final segment of this verse is summed up best by John Macarthur in the, Macarthur Bible Commentary, “Human government’s authority derives from and is defined by God. He instituted human governments to reward good and restrain sin in an evil, fallen world.”

So, pray earnestly for our leaders. As a friend put it the other night, “Don’t be afraid to pray the impossible prayer.” Our God is the God of second chances. Pray for our leaders, pray for our nation and the world. Search your heart pray for discernment. If God has called you to serve then do so for His glory.

Grace & Peace,


*If you would like to know more about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, email me at savedIIserve@gmail.com and let me know! I will be happy to lead you through what the bible says about salvation and accepting Jesus Christ as your savior.*


You Didn’t Build That

Proverbs 13:10: By pride comes nothing but strife, But with the well-advised is wisdom.

Life is predictable in so many ways. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. When we give flowers to our spouse, we look forward to their reaction and if we have been married for some time, we know what that reaction will be. The warm smile, the hug, the kiss, and the whispered thanks fill us with anticipation. Our satisfaction comes full circle when we receive the status quo response. How do we know the reaction? From experience. Experience with our spouse tells us exactly what to do: what kind of flowers to buy, how many, do we include chocolates etc….It strikes me that if we followed the scriptures the same way we worked for a positive reaction from our spouse there would be far fewer “face palm” moments. There would be fewer moments when only in the aftermath of an event do we realize that we could have gone around the brick wall we just hit rather than running headlong into it.

While there are many things that trip us up, pride is a sin that is so easy to be blindsided by. the bible contains 51 references to pride and, at first glance, none of them are positive. It is a safe bet that pride is a trap that we as believers need to watch for. God tells us in Proverbs 16:18: Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall. 

The book of Proverbs is interesting in that it was written by David’s son Solomon. Recently I attended a bible study on Proverbs. During the study, the teacher said that proverbs was a letter written by a father (Solomon) to his son. Proverbs then is a letter written by our Father (God) to us his children. The Proverbs are snippets of wisdom directly from God! In 31 Proverbs God warns against pride 6 times. It is safe to say that the sin of pride is on the Father’s radar screen.

The tricky thing about pride is it’s built-in. Pride sneaks up on us and before we know it, we have succumbed to its wiles. Our society is based on pride. How many times do we tell a friend or a loved one, “you should be proud of yourself.” I know I’m guilty of it. As I reflect on societal norms, it becomes apparent that society is geared toward building people up.

“Now wait a minute,” you might say, “that’s not so bad.” If we were talking about the human condition and that alone I might be tempted to agree with you. The issue is, we are not talking about things of this world. On the contrary, we are talking about spiritual things; things of the Lord. Looking at pride through God’s prism, we quickly see that He views pride differently.

Pride is associated with words like disaster, strife, fall, and destruction; hardly the outcomes anyone would wish to associate themselves with. If we take stock of our own lives, a practice that is biblically prudent, Proverbs 27:19: As in water face reflects face, So a man’s heart reveals the man. What do we find? Do we  find a heart that lives for God and is humble, or a heart that is prideful; believing that we are responsible for God’s giftings, mercy, grace in our lives? In the event that there is anyone out there who hasn’t figured it out yet, let me be the first to inform you, the great career you have – you didn’t build that! It belongs to the Lord. Your wife or husband, I’m sorry to tell you; they didn’t marry you because of your irresistibleness. No, they are a gift from God and should always be treated as such.

Pride is a sin because, at it core, it involves us taking our eyes off of Jesus and putting the attention on ourselves When we are prideful we are making ourselves god’s. Pride makes everything all about us; we become more and God becomes less. This is contratray to biblical teaching.

John 3:30: He must iincrease, but I must decrease.

The devil will use our own vanity to build us up. He will encourage us and then when the train wreck occurs and it will, he will say, “What kind of Christian are you? You are horrible?”

We should be proud – of Jesus! Proud that He thought enough of us to sacrifice it all: one time for all time! We must live for Him!

Hebrews 12:2: looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Grace & Peace,


*If you would like to know more about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, email me at savedIIserve@gmail.com and let me know! I will be happy to lead you through what the bible says about salvation and accepting Jesus Christ as your savior.*


This Wasn’t in the Brochure

Matthew 24:9: “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and sin and death.you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.

What a glorious time Easter is! We are reminded of the everlasting victory over sin and death. Followers of Jesus can say with confidence:

1 Corinthians 15:55: “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?”

It is glorious. But, as I looked around our sanctuary this weekend, I was struck by the realization that it was not “glorious” for everyone. I am speaking predominantly of believers here. Salvation and an eternity with the Father is guaranteed for those who believe in the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The issue is, believers still must live, work, and share the gospel in this broken, sinful and lost world. What are we to do when we don’t feel glorious? What happens when we are beat up and tried? Jesus has victory, He rose from the dead and ascended to heaven. We are still here and here – is really tough.

I think, in the wake of Resurrection Weekend 2015, about the families that lost loved ones in Kenya; their only crime – calling Jesus Lord. I think of pastor Saeed’s wife and precious children who endure another Easter without him. Why, because he sits in an Iranian prison; his crime – refusing to renounce his faith in Christ.

While those are highly visible, I also think of the believer who is unequally yoked and attended service without their spouse this Easter and the pastor, faced with dwindling attendance, who is discouraged because he has not performed a baptism in longer then he can remember. I also pray for those who are ridiculed and mocked at school or at the office for their faith. At times it feels like the Christian spends their life on earth swimming up-stream. If it feels like that for you today, you are right where God wants you.

I know, that wasn’t in the brochure right? When you accepted Jesus as master of your life; it was, well, glorious. Now, you’re tired. Jesus knew you would be. Jesus told the disciples the hard truth in Matthew 24:9. What that must have been like to hear? Here they are just before Passover and Jesus tells them, “Hey, the whole of humanity is going to hate you because of Me.”

This is one tough message to deliver and it is even more difficult to receive; particularly when you might be going through something even as you read this.

Rest assured, the voracity of God’s promises is proven out by our testimony. The promises of Jesus to be with us are not empty platitudes the can be counted on. Not because that promise appears 217 times in Gods word, although, that is proof enough. But, more importantly because that promise has been proved out in your own life. Think back to the last trial or difficulty you faced and how God delivered you from it. That is power, not your power but the power of God and the proof of his love for you.

The reason Christians wear a cross around their necks and not a crucifix is because the cross is empty! Jesus died one time for all time . He is risen and alive today. When the struggles of life arrived at our door step, we must keep our eyes on Jesus and trust in His will for our lives. This is difficult, sometimes beyond words. There are many times we go through a horrible trial and never understand why or what purpose that particular tragedy could have served. Take solace in the knowledge that God knows. 1 Corinthians 13:11:

 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

This is saying that when we come face to face with Jesus all our questions will be answered. The tapestry of our lives will make perfect sense. His divine will shall be revealed!

While we have that promise, its fulfilment is not immediate. Not to worry, Jesus made sure our immediate needs would be covered as well. He created the church as a place where believers could come for spiritual refreshment.

Matthew 18:20: For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

For those who caught the fact that Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered,” pat yourselves on the back! He did not say millions, or thousands, or even hundreds. He said two or three. We, the believers, are the church and anywhere we are gathered and speaking the things of God, “in His name” He is amongst us! I take such solace in that during difficult times.Everytime I do as I am commanded and share the gospel Jesus is with me.

Did you catch that? even if you are the only one in the group who is doing things as unto the Lord, Jesus is there. That means whether the people you are with know the Lord or not, they are in the presence of the master of all creation! Scripture tells us that the word of God never comes back void – never.

So, go forth knowing that no matter how tough it gets, God is with you.

Joshua: 1:9: Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Maranatha (Come quickly) Lord Jesus!

Grace & Peace:


*If you would like to know more about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, email me at savedIIserve@gmail.com and let me know! I will be happy to lead you through what the bible says about salvation and accepting Jesus Christ as your savior.*


Come and See

Matthew 28:5-6:

But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

My pastor always reminds us that when we read the bible we should put ourselves there. We should not simply read the accounts as we would a history lesson; but step into the shoes of people in the story. they were real after all; the bible is not a work of fiction. By stepping into the accounts we allow God to work in us and reveal His truth.

In reading the accounts of the resurrection, I at first shook my head at the lack of belief on the part of the disciples. After all, Jesus had told them himself that he was coming back. He spoke of destroying the temple and raising it up again in three days. John: 2:19:

Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”

Jesus predicted his death and resurrection three times in the book of Matthew. For your reference and study they are: Matthew 16:21, Matthew 17:22, and Matthew 20:17. So, the disciples had been told how this would all work out and yet; they did not believe, or trust, or what is it really? What is it? It is our humanity, our imperfection, our fear that causes us to doubt the word of God; that causes us not to trust His promises. After all it says in the bible that God helps those who help themselves right? That verse is  – where? I’ll give you a hint. That is not a verse but merely a sediment, something that many feel is implied by scripture. what is there is the promise of God’s love, victory over death and the grave, and Salvation for all who would believe. Psalm 23:1:

The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want.

Through the good times and the rough times, through all times; God is in charge. He has us covered. Do we trust in that promise? As Jesus told the disciples he also tells us. The striking thing is the bluntness of the statements. John 11:25:

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.

John 6;40:

And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

These are only two of the many references in scripture wherein Jesus instructs his disciples, and us, to believe in Him. Where does this easter morning find you? Are you coming out of darkness and despair like the disciples? Or are you in the midst of it?

I would venture to guess that everyone reading this is in the midst of something. No matter what it is, God is with you and on this Easter morning offers you the opportunity for recreation through a relationship with Jesus Christ. No matter if you are of much faith or little, no matter what shape this Easter morning finds you in, know that the tomb is empty! The tomb is empty because Jesus is the risen Christ!

For those that believe, Jesus invites you to take encouragement in His promises; they are true and steadfast. Come and see the empty tomb, meet Jesus in the garden along with Mary, and tell the world.

For those who are on the fence; those who were possibly sent this post by a friend or stumbled on this while searching; the promise of Easter is for you as well. Have you reached the end of your rope? Do you find yourself hollow and still yearning for more after the things of this world have been run dry? Jesus has conquered death you can begin to live an exciting new life centered on Jesus. All that is required is that you believe. Jesus asks you the question today. John:11:26:

And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

Accept the invitation of the angels. “Come, see where the Lord lay. He is not here.” He is risen indeed Alleluia!

Grace & Peace,



Without Good Friday

John 19:17-19: 

17 And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, 18 where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center.19 Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was:


When I was a boy, I hated Good Friday and I thought that was wrong for me to hate it and wrong in general. One year when I was 12 or 13 I finally asked my mother why we had to got to church and talk about death. Not only talk about it but read about it and listen to it. You see, one of our pastors had a flair for the dramatic. At the end of Good Friday service, he would read from the bible John 19:30:

So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

Then, over the PA system the sound of a heavy hammer striking a nail would be played. After three nail strikes there was a phrase, “Three nails three days,” and we would exit in darkness. I hated it! It made me angry and made me want to cry at the same time. So, I asked why. My mother’s answer was simple yet complex and I have never forgotten it. She said, “Without Good Friday there is no Easter.”

Good Friday should elicit emotion. it did on the day it happened. the emotions ran the spectrum from hatred, loathing, and bitterness to satisfaction, overwhelming sadness, and fear. In the center of this fire storm of emotions is Jesus; as it was then it is today. Jesus stirs the pot of human existence by asking the question, by addressing the elephant in the room: what are you going to do about Him?

Jesus was beaten beyond any recognizable form. the beating alone should have killed Him. Isaiah 52:14:

14 Just as many were astonished at you,
So His visage was marred more than any man,
And His form more than the sons of men;

it did not only because Jesus had a plan. A plan ordained by the Father. he told the disciples of this plan many times; most poignantly  in the garden when He was arrested. John 18:11:

So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?”

Jesus not only held Peter at bay but He also healed the man whose ear Peter had cut off. Jesus healed the man’s ear and then allowed Himself to be taken away and destroyed! In his book, He Chose the Nails, pastor Max Lucado reminds us that man did not put Jesus on the cross, Jesus did. He submitted Himself to the punishments of darkness , of separation from the Father so that we would no longer be separated from Him. Mark 15:34:

And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

I believe this was the moment when the sin, evil, and imperfection of the entire world was poured out on the sinless lamb of God and Jesus was separated from His father in Heaven for the first and only time. How painful that must have been! In that terrible pain, Jesus cried out.

in that moment, Jesus made Himself a bridge once and for all between sinful humanity and the perfect sovereign God who loves us. Without the sacrifice of Jesus on Good Friday, there can be no Easter. My mother was right.

What are you going to do about Him? What do you make of Jesus? there is no work for us to do; it has been done. three nails, three days!

Isaiah 53:9:

And they made His grave with the wicked— But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.

Grace & Peace,