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Tag Archives: do good

Do What is Good

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God. 2Therefore whoever resists authority resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Do you wish to have no fear of the authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive its approval; 4for it is God’s servant for your good. But if you do what is wrong, you should be afraid, for the authority does not bear the sword in vain! It is the servant of God to execute wrath on the wrongdoer.5Therefore one must be subject, not only because of wrath but also because of conscience. 6For the same reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, busy with this very thing. 7Pay to all what is due them—taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due. (Romans 13:1-7, NRSV)

So according to Paul here we are supposed to not fight against the rulers we are placed under because they were put there by God. No power can be a power without the authority of God.

So if we go against the government we should expect to be punished for that.

But we are ultimately only subject to God so when and if the government goes against God we should not follow the government?

We are to always do what is good and to show God’s love in everything we do.

Don’t grumble about being a good citizen. Live and show the love of God.

 

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love those who hate you

170219“But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you. “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:27-36, NRSV)

This has to be one of the hardest things to following Jesus.

Because this is what is supposed to set us as Christians apart from the rest of the world. Because as Jesus said everyone loves those who love them and lend to those who will repay and forgive those who ask.

But as Christians we have to love those who hate us, and forgive everyone and lend to all without expecting anything in return.

Because that is what God did for us.

Grace and mercy are gifts, freely given to us, so that we can give them to the world.

 

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gifts

chosenNow during those days, when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of food. And the twelve called together the whole community of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables. Therefore, friends, select from among yourselves seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this task, while we, for our part, will devote ourselves to prayer and to serving the word.” What they said pleased the whole community, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. They had these men stand before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. The word of God continued to spread; the number of the disciples increased greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith. (Acts 6:1-7, NRSV)

I always thought the apostles were a little full of themselves. They can not be bothered to serve people because they have to study the word of God and to make sure others hear the word. But remember that there was no written word in the apostles day, except for the epistles of Paul and the others writing letters. The apostles were transmitting the word of God, so it is a big deal.

But the 7 that were chosen are not less qualified than the apostles, they are just qualified differently!

You see we all have gifts to use in service to God, and you like Stephen, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus are chosen by God to serve and do good for His people!

 

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save or destroy

On another sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught, and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. The scribes and the Pharisees watched him to see whether he would cure on the sabbath, so that they might find an accusation against him. Even though he knew what they were thinking, he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Come and stand here.” He got up and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to destroy it?” After looking around at all of them, he said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was restored. But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus. (Luke 6:6-11, NRSV)

Jesus has a habit of healing on the sabbath and making the leaders of the synagogue upset…

You see the law of the sabbath is something the Pharisees keep and keep it because it is their life. They came from Egypt, where Israel was in slavery and the day of rest is something that is freeing for them. They keep it because it saves their lives!

But y not doing good and allowing for healing are they really saving their lives? You see we are all interconnected and when one of us is hurting, then the body is not well. Jesus knows this and so He moves to heal the body and allow the Pharisees to actually be free and use their day of rest.

So next time we hold to something that we have always done and do for a very good reason, and Jesus is asking us to think about it differently, we need to take a step back and look at it from His point of view and know that He will always save us!

 

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