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No King but Jesus!

Daily Reading: John 19

Scripture Focus: We have no king but Caesar. (John 19.15b)

Devotional Thought: What informs your politics? It is different for different groups, isn’t it? I watch with amusement as senators squirm in the nomination process for Supreme Court Justices. Those in favor of their perceived political views say, “She can’t tell you how she would rule on an issue ahead of time.” But, what happens with those same senators when the nominee's judicial philosophy doesn't match their political views? They want clear answers on how the judge would rule! On the other side of the aisle, of course, we have learned to expect just the opposite. “Litmus tests” are applied by which the nominee is evaluated and rejected or accepted. Single-issue interest groups say, in essence, “We have no king but… abortion! gay rights! women’s health! religious liberty! immigration! the 2nd Amendment!” If a politician does not agree with them, they are automatically rejected. In anger, they will crucify any opponent that threatens their tight grip on power.

Those leaders who condemned Jesus to die were no different from the politicians and interest groups of today. When they said, “We have no king but Caesar,” they were throwing away centuries of deeply held religious convictions, sacrificed on the altar of power. Those men did not want to lose their advantage. Because of that, they teamed up with the party in control and lost their chance to know the true Messiah.

As followers of Jesus, we must be careful not to substitute political power for spiritual purity, not to sacrifice our Christian ideals on the altars of today’s hot button issues. Who is your king?

Prayer: Jesus, you are Lord! Help us to remember that and to resist the urge to replace spiritual power with political power. We have no king but you, Jesus!

Psalm of the Day: 9 O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you. 10 My heart throbs; my strength fails me, and the light of my eyes--it also has gone from me. 11 My friends and companions stand aloof from my plague, and my nearest kin stand far off. 12 Those who seek my life lay their snares; those who seek my hurt speak of ruin and meditate treachery all day long. 13 But I am like a deaf man; I do not hear, like a mute man who does not open his mouth. 14 I have become like a man who does not hear, and in whose mouth are no rebukes. 15 But for you, O LORD, do I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer. 16 For I said, "Only let them not rejoice over me, who boast against me when my foot slips!" (Psalms 38:9-16)

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