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The Respect of Authority (Hebrews 13:17)

Introductory Thoughts

Bible-believing Christians in their desire for independence have sometimes been characterized as rebels disapproving of most authority. This characterization should not be the case and our lives should reflect just the opposite mind-set and approach. Those who know the Lord should be the first to obey, submit to (Hebrews 13:17), and pray for (1 Timothy 2:1-2) those in authority. Those who walk in the flesh are the ones who“despise government” and “are not afraid to speak evil of dignities” (2 Peter 2:10; Jude 1:8). There are times when man’s authority comes into direct conflict with God’s authority. In these cases, men must choose to obey God (Acts 5:29).  Yet, there are plenty of other times when the people of God need to learn a greater respect for authority.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): The Bible is clear that we should respect those in authority (Ecclesiastes 10:20a; Titus 3:1-2; 1 Peter 2:13-17). Paul quoted Exodus 22:28 when he was before the high priest (Acts 23:1-5). What are some ways you can respect authority?
  • (For everyone): Read Romans 13:1. Who establishes the powers that be? What is your level of respect for those who are in positions of authority in your life?
  • Do you find it easy to speak evil of those who are in authority in your life (a parent, husband, pastor, boss, political leader)? What does this suggest about the condition of your heart?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask the Lord to give you a godly and genuine respect for authority.
  • Thank God for those in your life who are in authority over you.