Devotional Thought of the Day:
1 Remind the people to respect the government and be law-abiding, always ready to lend a helping hand 2 No insults, no fights. God’s people should be bighearted and courteous. Titus 3:1-2 (MSG)
13 Make the Master proud of you by being good citizens. Respect the authorities, whatever their level; 14 they are God’s emissaries for keeping order. 15 It is God’s will that by doing good, you might cure the ignorance of the fools who think you’re a danger to society. 16 Exercise your freedom by serving God, not by breaking the rules. 17 Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government. 1 Peter 2:13-17 (MSG)
13 Later they sent some of the Pharisees and some of the Herod-party to trap him in an argument. They came up and said to him, “Master, we know that you are an honest man and that you are not swayed by men’s opinion of you. Obviously you don’t care for human approval but teach the way of God with the strictest regard for truth – is it right to pay tribute to Caesar or not: are we to pay or not to pay?” 15 But Jesus saw through their hypocrisy and said to them, “Why try this trick on me? Bring me a coin and let me look at it.” 16 So they brought one to him. “Whose face is this?” asked Jesus, “and whose name is in the inscription?” 17 “Caesar’s,” they replied. And Jesus said, “Then give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God!” – a reply which staggered them. Mark 12:13-17 (Phillips NT)
67 The scene of the parable is being repeated: it is the same as with those people who were invited to the wedding feast. Some are afraid, others have their own concerns, many… make up stories or give silly excuses. They put up resistance. That is why they feel the way they do: fed up, all in a muddle, listless, bored, bitter. And yet how easy it is to accept the divine invitation at every moment, and live a happy life, full of joy! (1)
It is April 15th, the day annual tax documents are do in the USA.
It’s also a day where we should confess our sins, and be absolved for them.
For disobeying the law, not man’s law (though some of us are guilty of that!), but God’s law. The law which tells us the government is something God has established as a blessing for us.
Now some of you are thinking – but the government uses our money for evil, the government is trying to persecute the church, the government is giving our hard earned dollars to those that do not deserve it, the government is, and the slander and disrespect goes on and on, without end. Unlike Jesus on the cross – who could have called down 10,000 angels while he was hanging on the cross, we want to call down God’s wrath on those who would take our idols, our Benjamins, Franklins and Lincolns. Heck we begrudge even the littlest Lincoln upon which the government has a claim.
Dare someone quote the words from scripture above, and ridicule and scorn will shift, from the government, to the one writing them. People (and pastors too) will start justifying their actions, and especially their words and their thoughts. In do so, they deny that sin occurs in thoughts and words, beside in the things we do. We toss our theology out the window – in order to protect the “rite” to free speech. Even when that speech is sinful.
It’s time to repent, its time to realize that in keeping the fourth commandment, (honor thy Father and Mother) that includes the blessing of the government God established, the government that has the right to tax us, and to set what those taxes are. It’s time to stop stealing, stop bearing false witness, to stop coveting our governments stuff. Instead we should pray for them, bless them respect them (and not just “the office).
We’ve got a much better thing to be doing, we can revel in the presence of God, we can rejoice at His love and mercy. That’s what it means to find our place in the wedding banquet, rather than in the marketplace complaining and slandering. It is what it means to live as forgiven, baptized children of God – to do things (like obeying the government) that we do – for God’s sake.
It’s a time for us to hear our sins are forgiven, that God has rescued us, that we no longer need to protect our idols.
It’s a day to know God’s mercy so well, the we show it to others….
May our Lord Jesus Christ walk with us this day, and may the Spirit of God, dwelling within us, empower us to keep these words above.
I am tired of it.
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 500-505). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.