Render As Appropriate

Render As Appropriate By Kirk Hunt

 

And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?

They said to Him, “Caesar’s.”

And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.

Matthew 22: 20–21 NKJV

 

Jesus, the all-powerful King of all kings, did not move to overthrow the Roman Empire.  In fact, the Disciples themselves seem to have been bewildered (Acts 1:6) by Jesus’ “failure” to seize political power.  Instead, through His example and instructions, Jesus commands them and us to render good citizenship and make disciples.

 

The Romans were polytheistic pagans.  The Caesars spent lavishly on the human blood sport of the gladiator games.  Still, Jesus did not seek to directly overthrow the Romans.  Being a good citizen does not mean you condone or (choose to) participate in everything the government does. 

 

Jesus, Peter, John and Paul lived, worked and evangelized under the Roman Caesars.  There were occasional inconveniences (imprisonment, beatings, beheading or crucifixion).  Ultimately the Kingdom of Heaven was established in the earth. 

 

Christians today have the same instructions (Matthew 28: 19–20) as Christians then; make disciples, everywhere.  You may have to render some good citizenship to your “Caesar” but your King (Jesus) still commands. 

 

The Roman Empire eventually ended, but not because Christians worked against their government.  Despite being thrown to the (literal) lions, Christians worked to turn pagans into Christians.  It took blood sweat and tears, but enemies became Gospel brothers and sisters.  Should we not do the same?

 

Think:        Scripture commands me to make disciples and be a good citizen of my government.

 

Pray:           “Lord, help me to be a good citizen, first of Your Kingdom, then of my earthly government.”

 

Copyright © August 2016, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is brought to you courtesy of CadreMen Press.  You can purchase a copy of Blessed and Blessing: Devotionals For Gospel Champions from your favorite bookseller or directly from CadreMen Press.

Read

Loving Under Authority

Loving Under Authority By Kirk Hunt

 

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.  Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.

Romans 13:1–2 NKJV
Please also read Romans 13:1–14

 

The Apostle Paul commanded Christians living in Rome to obey the rule and authority of the Roman Caesars.  These same Roman leaders would eventually behead the Apostle.  Paul’s words, and example, remain a commandment for Christians today.  Our dual citizenship in God’s Kingdom, and a secular government, leads to complexities we answer through His love and grace.

 

Christians are good citizens of God and heaven, first and foremost.  When push comes to shove, His grace and love should flow out of us to the men and women who persecute us.  Especially when they respond with dogs and firehoses.  

 

Paul was beheaded for preaching the Gospel.  Traditionally, all of the Apostles, save John, were martyred for preaching Jesus.  The Apostles loved Jesus, and their pagan persecutors, more than themselves.  Instead of a clenched fist they used their loving hearts to turn the authorities to Jesus.

 

Through prayer and living as authentic Christians, the Apostles turned pagan Rome into a Christian nation.  No nation, or group, is so far gone that it cannot be brought, or returned, to Christ.  Are you willing to live, love and potentially die as a citizen of heaven?

 

Think:                I am first and foremost a loving citizen of heaven.  Regardless of the cost.

 

Pray:                   “Lord, help me to live out my life as a testimony of Your love.”

 

Copyright © June 2016, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is a ministry of https://devotionals.cadremenpress.com.

Read