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Good Morning Brothers…

Anybody out there who thinks hunting deer over bait is easy, has never hunted deer over bait. Now…I need to explain and qualify that statement because it is full of “assumptions” and “opinions.” First, if you are the straight laced meat hunter, who can’t wait to get out of the woods and will shoot the first deer you see…then baiting will make it easier to fill your freezer. I will concede the point under that argument, however, for just about everybody else…baiting causes our seasons to last longer, but doesn’t make our season any easier. If I was the only hunter in the state allowed to bait, then my hunt should become easier. Then again…mature deer aren’t stupid. They know a sudden dispenser of corn popping up in the middle of the woods, on a trail they have walked a million times, is not natural. Deer don’t raise they’re hooves to the heavens to thank the good Lord for providing them with something to eat…they start looking around for us…the guy with the weapon.

The debate about baiting has raged and will continue to rage. Great points can be made on both sides of the issue. Caucuses and information groups can be formed and T-shirts and yard signs can be printed. Debates with official moderators can be organized and tickets can be sold. Each camp can march out their champion to do verbal battle within the political arena and cheer when appropriate and jeer when appropriate.

Me…I’d rather be hunting.

Romans 13:1-2 says, “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.”

When we actively debate and question rules and ordinances by our governing authority, we need to be careful with our motives. When our concerns for the decision making capabilities of our leaders becomes scorn and ridicule, we oppose the ordinances of God. When our concerns drive us to our knees, we are responding the way God intends.

Daniel 6:7-11 says, “All the commissioners of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the high officials and the governors have consulted together that the king should establish a statute and enforce an injunction that anyone who makes a petition to any god or man besides you, O king, for thirty days, shall be cast into the lions’ den. Now, O king, establish the injunction and sign the document so that it may not be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which may not be revoked.” Therefore King Darius signed the document, that is, the injunction. Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously. Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and supplication before his God.”

We know the rest of the story, Daniel was throne into the lion’s den and was preserved their by God. Here is what Daniel did not do; he did not wait on his persecutors with weapons at the ready; he did not rally an indignant mob in protest of the King’s injunction. He remained devoted and fixed on the higher authority. He peacefully continued to worship God through prayer with thanksgiving.

When Judas came with Roman cohorts and officers armed with torches and weapons to arrest Jesus…Peter reacted. John 18:10-11 says, “Simon Peter then, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slave’s name was Malchus. So Jesus said to Peter, “Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?”

Jesus understood. Peter did not. There is no authority on earth except what is granted by God. We are in subjection to this authority because it is the intention of God. Paul says in Romans 13:7, “Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.”  Sometimes we subvert this verse because we question the word “due.” We assume that we can discern whether or not our governing authorities are worthy of their “due.” We find ourselves plotting how to withhold custom, honor, and tax because we’ve decided our governing authorities don’t represent our interests. Once we get there…we have erred in our responsibility as a Christian.

Romans 12:14-21 says, “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

The debate about our governing authorities has raged and will continue to rage. Great points can be made on both sides of the issues. Caucuses and information groups can be formed and T-shirts and yard signs can be printed. Debates with official moderators can be organized and tickets can be sold. Each camp can march out their champion to do verbal battle within the political arena and cheer when appropriate and jeer when appropriate.

Me…I’d rather preach and teach the Word of God. Besides, the cup the Father has given me, shall I not drink it…?

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