People of God, we were blessed Sunday to be in attendance at the Appreciation of our Bishop, the Honorable E.L. Williamson and his wife Sister F.M. Williamson, here at the Pentecostal Church of God in Detroit Michigan.
These two wonderful people of God have given their lives through their many years of service on behalf of the church of God.
The order of service was conducted by the Pastors and Assistant Pastors of the district churches which the Bishop oversees. Several of the Pastors recalled to the congregation the numerous occasions of wonderful service that Bishop E.L. Williamson has given in the name of our Lord, for His people.
The service continued with heart- felt remarks from some of the members of the Bishop's family and concluded with a soul stirring sermon delivered by Bishop Michael Duren. In his sermon, Bishop M. Duren reminded the members to stay together and love one anothor with great joy, for God cares for His church and prepares the way for His church, the people of God, to be blessed.
Our scripture is found in the Book of Romans. In this passage, Apostle Paul explained to the church how we are to honor our dignitaries (our ordained church leaders) and why we honor them:
Romans 13 (King James Version)
1Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
2Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
3For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
4For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
5Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
6For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
7Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
8Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
9For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
10Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
All power, honor and glory is ordained of God, and emanates from the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is the realm of God, where His precepts and principles exist. So it is in Heaven, so it is in the Earth. We as Kingdom citizens possess the ordinance (or law) of God with our souls, as the principles of our God exist in our souls. We love in our souls, we love from our souls. See v. 9 above.
We serve, or are loyal subjects to the higher powers from within ourselves, having a godly and clear conscience, for it is the Kingdom of God from within us which compels us to do so.
For this cause we honor our Bishop and his wife, along with all other dignitaries. We further honor our Mayors, our Governors and our President, for all powers that be are ordained of God as explained above.
Apostle Paul wrote this passage while being held prisoner by the Roman government pending his appeal to Caesar. The purpose of the epistle was two-fold. One, Paul as a leader of the church, wanted to fully inform the disciples on how to deal with the Romans government. HONOR THEM! as being ordained of God to carry out the will of God. Secondly, the epistle exhibits the nature of being subject from within our souls. This writing was inspired and written from Apostle Paul's soul, where the Kingdom of God, its ordinances, precepts and principles reside.
Paul was simply acknowledging that his incarceration, condemnation and impending execution at the hands of the Roman government was not a random set of circumstances nor an unlucky break, but was the ordinance of God, ordained by God. So he became subject with his Kingdom filled soul, with a clear conscience, confirming that God will provide better things for him.
So, Sunday we paid tribute from our souls to an Honorable man and his faithful wife. That's how we love, from our souls.
We also continue to pay our tribute to the City of Detroit through honoring our new mayor, trusting that God will provide better things for the City, for the people of God.
Thanks for reading.