Friday, November 17, 2023
As followers of Jesus, we are caught in the shearing forces of two kingdoms: the Kingdom of this world and the Kingdom of our Lord and His Christ, the Messiah and Son of God.  We can be faced with many perplexing decisions and dilemmas caught between these two worlds. We want to be good citizens — something we saw emphasized in our previous days' verses — and we want to honor God most of all. What principles should we use? Did Jesus give us any guidance or help us sort out our proper actions?
Jesus' actions in this high-stress question being used to try and trap the Lord into saying illegal or dishonorable about Rome are helpful. While they do not give us specific courses of action to follow in every situation, the Lord does give us a clear principle to go with the principles we have seen in our previous days' thoughts. We are to love God with all we are, have, think, and do.  This is most important command we must obey. We are also to love our neighbors and not harm them in what we do as we try to do what is in their best interest and not our own. . We should honor our government and do what is required of us as long as it doesn't violate what God has asked us to do and be — to "give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar" as Jesus expressed it. When we cannot honor the demands of our government and still honor God, we can lean on the Holy Spirit to give us what we need to say and do.  If we suffer, we must ensure that we suffer for doing what is right, good, and honorable before God.  We want to be honorable because we love those who consider us enemies  and long to be able to share our hope with those who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. . Our knowledge of the Scriptures and the leading of the Holy Spirit should help us as we seek to navigate these difficult decisions on what to do and say, trusting that even if we suffer, we suffer for doing what is right as God works in all things for our ultimate deliverance. 
Father God, I need courage and wisdom from the Holy Spirit. I have prayed for wisdom to decide how I will act in the moments of my trials and the attacks against me. I am aware. However, that wisdom alone is not enough. I need courage. Dear God, I am asking for the following words to be true of me — words that Paul shared when he was imprisoned for his faith:
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. *
God grant that I will demonstrate the presence of the Holy Spirit in me with power, love, and self-discipline, especially when under attack and trial. I ask this in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.
Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.
'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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