13 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a coverup for evil, but living as servants of God. 17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. – 1 Peter 2:13-17
I know what y’all are thinking… here comes the political post. Just relax, the Barnabas Man is still about and will always be about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. The Spirit this morning gave me this verse and I’m just going to send out the gentle reminder on what the Father expects.
You see yesterday, i had the opportunity to place our name on a parcel of land, We literally will be “owning” this lot and the home that will be there. To make this move i used money from a career that i have invested in. That career provides the MONEY that goes into my personal checking account in which at the end of each year… i pay taxes on the the government. Additionally, yesterday my friend contacted me who works for the government, said “hello, hey, How’s your mama?” and so on.. Driving home from the event i passed a fire station, and a police car checking traffic flow on a local street. In the evening i walked outside past our sidewalk with my dog and picked up her daily present she blesses us with and disposed of it in a waste management dumpster aside my house.
It’s so simple right? To wake up each day and end up back in bed at night… i mean, there is really no eminent danger creeping at my feet in any given moment. We’re blessed. It may not be the exact way you envisioned blessing but regardless of social status, physique, income, relational status, race, color, or creed, if you are reading this blog on some type of screen, i am telling you…. you are blessed.
Now, when Peter wrote this message.. the country, state, or let’s just say “government” was not quite as clean and giving as the good ole U S of A. Yeah, they had a few different systems in place… you know… crucifixions… mass tax enforcement… sodomy… slavery… gladiators… (not the American Gladiators TV SHOW… remember that?)
Yes, the governing forces and institutions were a bit more… how do we say.. tough?
Peter told us to HONOR them. We are commanded to PRAY for them. We are to LOVE them. In the last 4-5 years of Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, or wherever, i have read more posts from Christian men complaining, bitching, and arguing over the presidents, the republicans, the democrats, the state, the bathrooms, the war.. you name it. I’m just going to send this out here today in effort to remind us all that we are COMPLETELY STINKING SELFISHLY BLESSED in this country with our resources, time, personal space, and government… AS IS… no questions asked..
Yes, there are things that are irritating, and yes not every law and employee is living the best possible faith story but really? Can I get a Amen on the fact that they wake up everyday and don’t try to crucify us? Here’s the deal.. I was massive failure in life, I have been through substance addictions, homelessness, divorce, debauchery, child abusive, mental disorders, financial brokenness, career failure, relationship failures… you name it! For a long season of time i allowed those CIRCUMSTANCES to define how i felt and acted and mentally and spiritually i sunk lower and lower and lower into the belief that those things were who i was. NOT TRUE. LIE. FALSE INFORMATION.
I’m a child of the living GOD. I’m a soldier to the KINGDOM of CHRIST. I’m heir to the THRONE of the HOLY ONE. TRUTH…
How about this morning, we all go to our knees and pray this one…
“Father, forgive me for not actively trying to improve our land. Forgive me for misrepresenting my faith via poor words and lack of encouragement for our government, city officials, president, and so on.. God we pray that YOU will be our governing authority AND that you will inspire those in charge of our nations AND the nations of others. Lord, please infiltrate the papers and pens of the municipalities and teach me to support and encourage them. Father, thank you for bringing us into the world at THIS time and allowing us to sense YOUR CALL for our ability to improve our community with our faith and actions. Do not allow us to participate in slander or malice or deceitful words in ANY WAY God. Be present over our minds and words and show our neighbors and authorities YOUR LOVE through OUR LIVES.