Tag Archives: follow the rules

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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Sabbath Controversies

At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the sabbath; his disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. 2When the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the sabbath.” 3He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4He entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him or his companions to eat, but only for the priests. 5Or have you not read in the law that on the sabbath the priests in the temple break the sabbath and yet are guiltless? 6I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. 7But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. 8For the Son of Man is lord of the sabbath.” 9He left that place and entered their synagogue; 10a man was there with a withered hand, and they asked him, “Is it lawful to cure on the sabbath?” so that they might accuse him. 11He said to them, “Suppose one of you has only one sheep and it falls into a pit on the sabbath; will you not lay hold of it and lift it out? 12How much more valuable is a human being than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the sabbath.” 13Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and it was restored, as sound as the other. 14But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him. (Matthew 12:1-14, NRSV)

Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath?

It is lawful to do good at all times because the sum of the Law and the Prophets is to love God and love neighbors.

And God desires us to be merciful to others rather than get our religiousity correct. We are to love the world and show God’s light and love to everyone and we do that by loving them where they are and letting God work in and through our lives so that everyone sees God’s love in their life.

So do you keep the rules or let love rule?


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If you put these instructions before the brothers and sisters, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound teaching that you have followed. Have nothing to do with profane myths and old wives’ tales. Train yourself in godliness, for, while physical training is of some value, godliness is valuable in every way, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and struggle, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. These are the things you must insist on and teach. Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I arrive, give attention to the public reading of scripture, to exhorting, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you through prophecy with the laying on of hands by the council of elders. Put these things into practice, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress. Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; continue in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Timothy 4:6-16, NRSV)

It is good for us to be physically fit, and to train, but the advice given to Timothy applies to all of us, we must also train yourself in godliness.

Train yourself.

What happens when you train yourself physically? Ask any physical trainer or someone who has worked with a trained professional to train physically. If you do not know what you are doing you can injure yourself, and possibly kill yourself. If you are out of shape and trying to get fit you need to get the advice of a doctor and a physical trainer to get you started correctly.

But the advice to Timothy on godliness training is to train himself. Is this safe?

When we read the bible and train ourselves in godliness, we base all we read and know on what we have been taught or brought up in. This is not bad, but it is also not good. There is a reason we gather as a community, so we are not lone wolves. We need community, and where 2 or 3 of us are gathered there is Jesus, so to do it on our own could cause injuries to ourselves and to others.

Godliness is conforming to the wishes of God. By being one who upholds the law and always does what is in the rules, is that what God wants? Look at the life of Jesus and what He did and what His disciples did. They did not keep the law, they used the law to the benefit of the kingdom, and when it needed to be bent, it was bent.

We are to be followers of what God is calling us and leading us to do, not a specific reading of His word, that is what we have always been taught. We need to work together and become more like Jesus.


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