Reach • Devotion #4: Got God?
Dr. Randy T. Johnson | Growth Pastor
George Washington made one of the most powerful statements I have ever heard, “It is impossible to govern the world without God and the Bible.” That does not sound like separation of church and state. The government may not need the church, but President Washington understood it needed God and His Word. Romans 13:1 tells us that government was established by God, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” The government is there to protect us; however, our salvation comes from God. Psalm 118:14 says, “The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.” We should not expect the government to be our strength or salvation.
The First Amendment reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” It was and is important to protect the church from the state. Our founding fathers knew they needed God and focused a lot of our laws and structure based on the Bible. There should be no strife between church and state.
1 Timothy 2:1-2 says, “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” We need to pray for those in authority. It is not about political party; it is about God and His Word. These verses use some very key words: peaceful, quiet, godliness, and holiness. Peace and quiet are tied to morality and character which is directed and orchestrated by the work of those in authority. The best way to support our authority is prayer. Prayer is so important the passage is almost redundant, “petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving.” We need to pray.
As a pastor, a very common phrase I hear is people at a funeral or going through a tragedy say, “I do not know how people who do not know God would get through this.” God brings peace and direction. We need God; a key way to know God is His Word. As President Washington said, we need God and His Word.
“I entreat you in the most earnest manner to believe in Jesus Christ, for there is no salvation in any other [Acts 4:12]. . . If you are not reconciled to God through Jesus Christ, if you are not clothed with the spotless robe of His righteousness, you must forever perish.” John Witherspoon, signer of the Declaration of Independence