In living out Romans 12:1-2, two areas that can easily be abused are submission to authority and love. Authority is a reality of life and our sin nature tends to buck it. But Paul lays out some pretty clear commands in verses 1-7 regarding governing authorities.
First of all, no one is exempt: “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities…” secondly, God put ‘em in authority: “…for there is no authority except that which God has established.” Thirdly, you go against them, it’s like you’re up against God – which isn’t good: “he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.” Finally, these authorities are in place to protect & punish: “he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing.” As a result, we are to give everyone what we owe them!
Paul then uses this transition into the ONE THING we should owe each other: Love!~ Love is the motivation to being a faithful, transformed witness! And time is running out: “The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”
*So, when was the last time you got busted for something? A traffic ticket? Texting in class? Stealing? How did you respond? Justify your actions or accept the rebuke & change? Transformational living requires change – Lord help us!
*Each day we live is another day we are closer to being with Jesus, and one less day to be His witness. James says our life is like a “mist” – poof it’s gone! Kinda’ sobering huh?! So, what are you & I doing with our “mist”? Lord wake us up and help us to live verses 12-14!