Daily Devotional 7-9-19

Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.

Mark 12:17

There is no conflict of duties between the spiritual life and one’s earthly responsibilities. The more truly we love God, the more sincerely will we seek the good of mankind. We express our faith in God by our love for our fellow men (1 John 3:23). The Christian should be an example in his community of devotion to everything that is good and for the well-being of his neighbors. But this does not involve a recognition of the present world order as the fulfillment of the divine ideal. So long as earth’s rightful ruler, the Lord Jesus Christ, is rejected there will never be perfect government in this scene. Nevertheless, “the authorities that exist are appointed by God” (Romans 13:1), in the sense that they exist only by His permissive will, hence the importance of subjection to the existing authority in any given country.

If human edicts be positively opposed to the expressed will of God, the Christian is to obey God rather than man (Acts 4:19). Where conditions are such that he can with good conscience cooperate with the government, he is to do so. Any other course would be contrary to the spirit of Him who said, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

Children of a free-born race,

Happy in your dwelling-place,

As your blessings ye retrace,

Think from whence they flow.

Think of that creative Hand,

Author of the sea and land,

By whose power the nations stand,

In their weal or woe.

 H. A. Ironside, The Continual Burnt Offering: Daily Meditations on the Word of God (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1994), 195.