Render Therefore to Caesar

Never withhold what God says to pay or give.  Obedience to God pays off richly.

Text for Today – Romans 13:7 – Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

Here in America, April 15 is a special date.  For some, it is even ominous.  It is the deadline for filing one’s income tax return.  And what about the taxes you pay?  In our society, we hear so much complaining about taxes, their amounts, and simply the fact that we must pay them.  Allow me to give you a fresh perspective on this issue.  Heed it, and many of your perceptions can be totally changed, especially those that need to be changed.

Without doubt, the Scriptures teach us to obey the laws of our land concerning payment of taxes to our government.  According to Romans 13, those who work in and for our government are God’s ministers for our good.  I know that may be hard to believe sometimes, but here is one of those places where you must put the authority of God’s Word above any and all other thinking.  When you do that, you put God into a place of doing something for you, in and through your government.

Read the 10th chapter of Mark and you will see that kind of giving that is commanded of the Lord.  When we obey Him, blessing far greater than we gave awaits us.  While Jesus did not name a specific amount for the rich young man to give, He was, in fact, very specific.  He told him to give “all.”  In that case, Jesus stated that young man would have received “now in this life,” 100-fold of the amount he gave.  Read Mark 10 several times.  It is most informing in this matter. 

Now, how much has the Word of God commanded us to give as it regards taxes?  The answer is WHAT IS OWED.  That same principle can be applied here, if you make your tax payment an act of obedient giving on behalf of the Lord and not a grudging payment to some ogre. 

Remember, too, that the Scriptures say, :”faith worketh by love,” and love is defined in 1 John 5:3 saying, “This is the love of God, that you keep His commandments.”  Keep His commandments when paying your taxes.  Operate with integrity, being honest in your disclosures.  Whatever you owe, pay it with joy, as an act of love to the Lord, demonstrating obedience to His commands.  When you do so, don’t think of that tax money as taken from you, or gone.  Rather, think of it as a gift given in obedience to the Word of God, a specific amount for a specific purpose, and then follow up with obedience to His Word by praying for those who have authority over you.  That makes your tax payment a love gift on Father’s behalf.  The door to blessing for you with a 100-fold return opens with the attitude of loving obedience to the Lord.  Your absolute integrity will go well beyond all you can imagine.  And what’s more, this brings God into our government in a very unique and powerful manner.

Manna for Today – Mark 10:29-30; Luke 6:38; Matthew 22:17-22