The Ides of April…

We are on the eve of April 15th and usually that means that tomorrow is tax day. At least in most years – but this year, due to an anomaly called Emancipation Day, some states have until the 18th to file and even others as late as the 19th, according to reports that I have heard.

But in this election year, with all the hoopla about spending and deficits and which party would better serve the needs of the country as the conventions draw near, it is important to realize that God already knows the outcome and I think it is short-sighted to think that God will not act in the best interest of His people, even if we don’t see it that way…

There has been plenty of discussion about the country’s debt – many trillions of dollars – and there is a huge difference of opinion as to how our leaders choose to spend the money collected in taxes. Do we build the military, fix roads, improve healthcare or, in the opinion of some people, pay down the debt? Some candidates think that they can balance the budget and even reduce the deficit but others think this idea is ludicrous. I’m not smart enough to know who is correct and which way we need to go. But there are minds out there, much smarter than mine, that will be called upon to figure this out.

I admit that I get amped up as much as the next guy about the passion surrounding this election. I don’t ever recall having seen such hatred and vitriol as we enter the conventions. Whether Cruz, Trump, Clinton or Sanders – or even Kasich for that matter, winds up in the White House, the world won’t come to an end. We have seen behavior on both sides of the political aisle that would be shameful if our children were acting this way.

Yet we can’t seem to be civil to one another and on top of it all, most of us are paying big bucks to honor our financial obligation to the government. So how does the will of God intersect with our obligations to the government? Well, from a biblical perspective, we are to honor our government until and unless those laws come in conflict with the laws of God. And that’s what Jesus was teaching us all along. It is important to remember that the idea of government was instituted by God. The first semblance of this came when Moses was unable to handle all the disputes and a system of judges was initiated to help settle the minor disputes. And then things became more complex.

Eventually, the people wanted a king, although that was never the original plan. God was to be the King of the people and they were to be set aside from all the other nations. But that isn’t what happened. They wanted a king – to be like the other countries. And God honored their request. So began the idea of laws and kingdoms and the trials and tribulations of the people of God. Out of those austere beginnings, our modern governments evolved.

And while God is to be the Lord and Savior of our lives, Man wanted government to be established as well. And governments need financial support to exist. So, we pay taxes for the common good and to fulfill the will of a majority of the people in the country.  The thing that we forget is that God isn’t going to let us go down the drain. I just can’t believe that God would deal with us that way…

The verse for this evening is from the good Dr. Luke, who wrote the Gospel bearing his name. His mission was to write a narrative that was an accurate accounting of the ministry of Jesus and would be beyond reproach as far as accuracy. Luke tells us that Jesus was asked a question about the payment of taxes to Rome. His response, reported in several of the Gospels, tells us in Luke 20:22-26 (KJV), “Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no? But he perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why tempt ye me? Shew me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Caesar’s. And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.”

My encouragement this evening is that God knows our hearts and already knows the outcome of the upcoming election. Furthermore, He wants to us be good ambassadors for Him and for our children and the following generations. My prayer is that you will render unto “Caesar” this April 15th and you will have faith that no matter the outcome of the election, God will still be on the throne for us to worship. Have a little faith in the outcome – whatever it is – and have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…

 
 
 
 

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