Everyone must submit to the governing authorities. For no authority exists except by God, and the authorities that do exist have been established by God. Therefore the one who rebels against the authority is opposing God’s institution, and those who oppose will bring judgment on themselves. . . Therefore it is necessary to submit, not only because of wrath, but also because of conscience. (Romans 13:1,2,5)
First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all those who are in authority, in order that we might live a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and dignity. (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
The President of the United States delivered his State of The Union speech last night. Did you watch it? I’m sure that some of you may have watched it because you voted for him and like his policies, and some of you may have deliberately turned it off in total disgust because you have no respect for this President and his policies. I am not going to use this devotion to point out my opinions on this President or any other President who governed before him because that is not my main concern, but God’s Word does have some very pointed words about our government, where its authority comes from and how we as Christians are to view our government .
Scripture urges one consistent attitude toward all those in positions of authority. Whether or not we like them or agree with their policies, we must treat them as we would treat any other servant of God. The apostle Paul says very clearly that, “the authorities that do exist have been established by God.” Some rulers may or may not believe that they are God’s servant. The Emperor in Rome, at the time Paul wrote this letter, certainly did not believe in God nor see any value in those who did. Yet a ruler’s unbelief does not diminish or negate God’s promise to use human authority to serve his divine purposes.
We see that on Mt. Calvary, where the governing authorities, to whom Paul urges Christians to “submit,” killed Jesus. They killed him because they hated him and his message. Yet God used their hatred for the Son of God to serve his divine purpose of saving the world and forgiving our sins. It is the clearest example we have that human authorities are limited in what they can accomplish. God’s good plan and purposes will always prevail.
So instead of hating our government officials and fighting with others about our government, God give us a different path to follow. He urges us to do something completely different than the world would expect, “I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions and thanksgiving be made for all people, for kings and all those in authority.” When we subject ourselves to the governing authorities and are active in helping to improve our system of government, when we treat our leaders with respect and encourage others to do the same, when we pray for our leaders — we honor God by obeying his Word and place our confidence in his loving purposes through Christ. And God tells us that we get the added bonus that when our government is going well, “we may live a quiet and peaceful life.” Thank you Lord for those whom you have set up to rule over us.
— Pastor Gartner
Dear Lord, thank you for establishing our governing authorities, and for promising to use them as your servants for our good. Be gracious to them as they carry out difficult tasks. Lead us to honor you by honoring them. Amen.
Women of Faith and LWMS
Tuesday February 12 at 1:00 pm all the ladies of the congregation are invited to a Bible Study and an update of the work of the LWMS. Please come and join us for an hour or so of Christiian growth and fellowship..
Baptism of Linkin Steven Fox
Last Sunday Linkin Steve Fox was baptized into God's family as his sins were washed away and saving faith was planted in his heart. He is the son of Bryan and Amie Fox. We pray that God would keep him safe against the attacks of the devil and this sinful world.
New Member Potluck
Sunday February 10 after second service we will have our New Member Welcome Potluck. You are all invited to join us as we wlecome our new members who have joined St. John this past year. Please bring a dish to pass and join us for food and fellowship. The new members are Brent Gonnering, Dawn Herzig, Amanda (Boucher) Beyer and Scott and Darla Presteen and their children Mary, and twin sons Timothy and Michael.
Sunday February 10 Pastor Frey will be picking up where he left off on the new study of Genesis 1-11. Every one is invited to join us as we see God's glory and grace as he created the world and then gave us the beginnings of his plan of salvation through the first people in the Bible.
The Monday/Tuesday Class on "The Narrow Lutheran Middle" will meet for one more week and will finish up on February 11 and 12. Pastor Gartner will be starting a new class on Monday/Tuesday February 18 and 19 as we ask the question, "What Must I Do To Be Saved -- A Study of God's Gospel and the Words The Holy Spirit Uses To Proclaim It." We will be looking at the many beautiful words that God uses in the Bible to describe God's plan to save us.