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July 13 – Governing authorities instituted by God

“Be subject for the Lord to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme or to governors as sent by Him.” – 1 Peter 2:13 

Scripture reading: 1 Peter 2:9-17 & Romans 13:1-7

Peter continues the discussion on conducting ourselves so others would see our good deeds and glorify God. He now tells us that good deeds include being subject to all human institutions, even wicked emperors. Every human institution, Christian or not, has been instituted by God. We are called to believe that God uses all things for our good. Therefore, Peter tells us we need to submit to all rulers, even to the wicked emperors as in Peter’s time, trusting that God is using them to form and shape us as we subject ourselves to their authority as followers of Jesus Christ. In doing this, we will silence the ignorance of foolish people. When we subject ourselves to human institutions, even evil ones, and continue to show love to our neighbours, we will silence their false arguments against us. They will see the foolishness of their words and actions against us. It might not stop their wicked action, but it will show they are being foolish.

In the early church, as Christians surrendered themselves to unjust punishments, they showed love and concern for even their persecutors. The result was that many hearts were changed. This is why Peter tells them and us, who are free in Christ, not to use this freedom as a cover-up to rebel against those in authority. Instead we are to live as servants of God, seeking to honour God’s name and His Kingdom. We are to do this by honouring everyone, loving the brotherhood of Christians, fearing God and honouring those in authority.

Suggestion for prayer

That we would be subject to all human institutions for our Lord and Saviour’s sake.

Pastor Richard Bultje is a missionary and pastor of the River of Life church plant in Niagara Falls Ontario. It is a church plant under the oversight of the Wellandport United Reformed Church. Pastor Richard and his wife, Yukyung moved to Niagara Falls in November 2012 with their three children, Calvin, Isaiah and Gloria. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at  

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