Today in church, I heard a very motivational message walking us through Romans 13. Don shared how these verses impacted him and changed his perspective on his own purpose. “ For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.” Don is a police officer and Marine, a position of authority. He is called into this role to do GOOD.
And for us, if we have done nothing wrong, we have nothing to fear from authority, or at least SHOULD have nothing to fear. We live in a broken world. There are prejudices and actions that can easily skew our thoughts. Scripture talks of this as well. Romans 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
We are called to Grace, to Mercy, to Compassion. We are called to submit to authority. It is very interesting that the word “submit” was used instead of “obey.” We can peacefully demonstrate, pray, strive to do what is right, even if it is “against written law.” For example, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did what was right in the eyes of God despite the view of the majority in America. I applaud him for standing firm, yet peaceful, in the search for harmony and acceptance.
So what does any of this have to do with my chosen title here? God calls us to Peace. He calls us to be holy, as He is holy. We are called, despite our imperfections. We are called, despite our sins. We are called, despite our lack of qualifications to be children of God. He alone can qualify us to rise up to our call, because He alone died on the cross to pay for our sins. God qualifies us to be called…His children…His prophets…His people. He qualifies us to go and make disciples of all nations. May we rise to His call, accept the qualification He has given us. May we learn from Biblical heroes like the mother of Moses, like Daniel, like David, like Paul, and ultimately like Jesus.