Sunday, April 15, 2012

Taxes, a Prompt to Obedience to God

“So they watched [Jesus], and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, in order that they might catch Him in some statement, so that they could deliver Him to the rule and the authority of the governor. They questioned Him, saying, ‘Teacher, we know that You speak and teach correctly, and You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?’ But He detected their trickery and said to them, ‘Show Me a denarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have?’ They said, ‘Caesar’s.’ And He said to them, ‘Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's’” (Luke 20:20-25).

“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. Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law” (Romans 13:7,8).

We pay taxes on everything we do every day, often several times on the same monies. We expend time/expense preparing our returns. Rendering “to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s,” or “tax unto whom tax is due” is not just an April 15 event, but something that happens every day many, many times.

May we dedicate ourselves all the more to rendering “to God the things that are God’s” and owing “nothing to anyone except to love one another.” Lord, may the things we give to Caesar prompt us to obey the two greatest commandments more continually, purposefully, and to a far greater degree than we do Caesar. Use something as universally disliked as taxes to prompt us to greater obedience to You in Christ for Your glory and our fellowship with each other in Christ.

“One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?’ And He said to him, ‘“YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.” This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets’” (Matthew 22:35-40).

Yes, Caesar will waste and misuse a large percentage of that which is given him and still want more and more. God in Christ wastes nothing, especially the glory owed and given Him. The Church in Christ reflects His love and so the love we give each other originates with God anyway. Again, He wastes nothing of it ultimately. May we make Caesar smaller through the glory we give to God and the love we give to each other.

No comments: