Friday, February 4, 2011
Render Unto Caesar
Day 217 in my "Year In My Life Through Pictures" blog series
Mark 12:17 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at Him.
Tax time. The time of year when a lot of people pull their hair out and others look forward to because they receive a huge tax return or EIC check. Me, I really just would get it over with and come out even. Well, a little back is always nice and paying in is always not. But we are to do what the Lord said and "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's", so the income tax is commanded if it is the law of the land.
But money is one of those areas that a Christian should not really be worried about. Not that we shouldn't plan on bills and such and maintain employment, but that we shouldn't be so wrapped up in finances that it becomes a focus. It's a necessity, but always be aware of where the blessing of money flows. And it's not because you speak it into existence either.
In 1 Timothy 6:10 we are told that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. What? All kinds? Yes, all kinds of evil, but we are not told that money itself is evil, but the love of money. Just as any other love that is more than you have for God. Matthew 6:24 and Luke 16:13 says that we cannot serve God and mammon (money) because we cannot serve two masters. This also is true for anything other than God that is your master, that consumes you and what runs your life. This can be some really good things too, like your kids or grandkids or a spouse, a job or the internet, Facebook or alcohol. When anything else is what drives you, then you are serving it. God does not allow that and if you truly are His child then He will take that idol away. So be wary of "things" in your life that take away from your relationship with God.
But then we go back to Mark 12:17 and see why it shouldn't bother us to pay our taxes, because it is Caesars/ the governments inscribed currency. We are to be laying our treasures up in heaven (Matthew 6:19-20) with God focused activities. What are those you might ask. Reading your bible, of course, is a given. Also there is serving others in the name of Christ while telling them of the gospel. Then there is fellow-shipping with your church family. Prayer is also a given and can be done throughout the day, every day, without ceasing. Worship God and acknowledge Him in all of your daily activities. Seek Him in every situation, lean on Him when you feel down, pick others up with words of encouragement of how God has seen you through difficult times. Just have a focus on God and everything else will fall into place.
Also, don;t forget we are commanded to pay our taxes as well. So get those forms filled out or your E-Filing completed on time. Remember that the IRS offices are available to help you prepare your returns. Maybe allowing them to do them for you would open a door for you to share the gospel with the agent.