Authority

Authority

On a recent trip to Culvers for lunch, my wife and I noticed two new stop signs placed in a very difficult intersection. We also noticed three cars entering that intersection and going through the stop signs without even slowing down. The fourth person stopped where there was no stop sign and waved me through even though she had the right of way and I was stopped at a stop sign. I shook my head and waved her through. Those who have the authority to do so placed those stop signs for safety reasons and therefore those signs have their authority, and have become law. Did the three not see the signs or just decided to go through like they always had? Did the lady think she knew what was the best way to negotiate that intersection and make her own law that was now binding on everyone in that intersection? Not following the law made things very confusing and dangerous.

Who was the authority in your home when you were growing up? Who is the authority in your home today? Whose authority do you submit to in your life today? Is it your boss at work, or maybe your teacher in school? How about your parents, spouse, brother, sister, or one of your friends? Whose authority should you submit to? Should you yield to anyone? These are all important questions to answer in building relationships with God and with people in your life. The English definition of authority given to us in Webster’s Dictionary is: (1) the power to control, command, or determine. (2) A power or right delegated or given. The definition of the word used for authority in the Bible is: Power, right, strength, or token of control. The English definition does fit with the Bible definition in that authority is the power to control or the power given. In today’s world it seems that most people want to do “their own thing” and do not want to submit to any authority at all. We certainly do understand that it is not practical to have everyone do what they want and still have law, order, and safety. In fact, if everyone did only what they wanted we would have a world filled with total chaos. So, what is the good middle ground?

You know what authority is and hopefully you know that it is proper to submit to the authority of the Creator of the universe. You are commanded to submit to God’s authority. In Matthew 28:18, Jesus tells us that all authority both in heaven and on earth has been given to Him. He has all authority then in religious matters, matters of moral issues, and in every other area of your life. When you read the words of the New Testament, you are reading the words of Jesus. He has set an objective standard on how you are to live. He gives you priorities to live by. He tells you to love God first and foremost with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength. You are to love the people that you contact every day, as you love yourself. He tells you to submit to the authority He has allowed the civil government to have, as long as it does not conflict with His laws. He tells children to submit to their parents in the Lord. You are told how to become a child of God. You are also told how you are to Worship God, and conduct yourself in the church. Jesus is the Head of His body the church. He tells you to submit to the elder’s authority in the congregation you are in. You are submitting to His authority when you follow the pattern He has set in the New Testament. Your life is always better when you do things the right way. The right way is doing things God’s way. When you submit your whole life to God’s authority, you can know that you will have a richer life here on earth and also the hope of a great reward in the next. May we all strive to submit our life to God by living in compliance to His Words.

Bible references:

Please read: Matthew 22:37-40, John 4:23-24, 12:48-50, 17:8,14,18, Acts 20:28, Ephesians 1:22-23, Hebrews 13:7, I Timothy 3:15, I Peter 2:13-25

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