It’s Tax Day, 2014 – the day when our income taxes for the year 2013 are due to the IRS and the respective state governments where our income was earned. Each year, millions of Americans deal with the reality of paying taxes to cover the costs of social programs, infrastructure and a host of other expenses that we, as Americans, have enacted through our representatives and senators.
As I get older and closer to retirement, I guess I resent the exorbitant expenses that seem to plague our country year after year – and instead of balancing the budget and reducing the deficit, our leaders are spending us further into the red and it will become an insurmountable burden for our children and grandchildren to handle. We must get our arms around this issue of spending and realize that if we managed our personal finances the way we manage our national expenses, we would be hopelessly in debt with no chance of ever becoming debt free.
The Bible is quite clear on the topic of money. We are told that the borrower is servant to the lender, that those who will not work will not eat and if you count them, there are approximately 2352 verses on the topic of money in the Scriptures. In fact, there are some people who say there are more than 4000 verses on the subject. Either way you look at it, that’s more than any other topic – including prayer, love, kindness or any other issue that Jesus spoke about.
We know that we can’t serve two masters – God and money – and we know that Jesus did not have any money, save the small amount the disciples collected during their travels and from their periodic work. They couldn’t afford to feed the 5000 and Jesus performed a miracle as a result. Any many people will tell you that their own lives were better when they were poor and struggled to achieve the things they acquired.
Nonetheless, God established governments and Jesus was quick to point out that we are to give God the things that are God’s and we are to pay the government the taxes that we owe. That’s where today comes in. It’s the day that we even up with the government – paying the debt that we owe. And if we don’t like the way the country is being run that we have the option to replace the officials that serve us. It sounds great in theory but it is more difficult in practice. It’s probably easier to trust God to bring us through the problem and realize that we really can’t do anything in our own power.
Of course, the verse for this evening is from Mark 12:17 (KJV), “And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.” My encouragement this evening is that God wants us to be obedient to him and that can be very rewarding. My prayer is that you will be a good steward of the resources that God has entrusted to your care and that you will save for the future. After all, we all have generations coming behind us that expect us to act responsibly with money and the rest of God’s possessions. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…