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Open Heavens Daily Devotionals 17th October 2019
OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL
DATE: THURSDAY 17TH OCTOBER 2019
THEME: GIVE CAESAR WHAT BELONGS TO HIM!
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. Mark 12:17
READ: Romans 13:1-7
1Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
There are some characters that portray children of God in a bad light today. For example, some of us want to enjoy the social amenities provided by government but don’t want to pay taxes. Those who manifest such behavior are only trying to reap where they did not sow. Contrary to this, Paul admonishes us in today’s Bible reading to be patriotic enough to pay our taxes and perform other civic responsibilities that are expected of us. Our obedience to civic laws should not be by coercion but voluntary, as unto the Lord. The Holy Spirit describes those who are in authority as ministers of God, looking out for our own good (Romans 13:4). It is therefore surprising that some Christians despise their political leaders through their “holier-than-thou” attitude. Christians who defraud the government by not paying their taxes are no better than the government officials whom they despise for stealing government funds. They will all definitely be judged according to their evil deeds on the last day. A government worker who is expected to put in eight hours of work but does just three and uses the rest for his or her personal activities is as guilty as those who loot the government treasury with the pen. As an employee, do you really work for the expected amount of time for which you are being paid?
What do you understand from what the Lord is saying in today’s memory verse? Many people erroneously think that giving to Caesar what belongs to Caesar means bribing their way into Caesar’s favor. This is not true! Caesar takes receipted tributes, such as taxes, dues and levies and not bribes. When you pay your taxes, God is happy with you because you are contributing to the wellbeing of the community you live in. this does not however exempt you from paying your tithes, offerings and first fruits to God. Caesar does not take tithes and offerings, but he must also not be denied his dues and taxes for the construction of roads, bridges and other social amenities. Notwithstanding, let it not surprise you as I say today that if you pay your tithes and offering but default in paying taxes, you are guilty of reaping where you did not sow when you enjoy social amenities being provided by the government you refuse to pay taxes to. If you are guilty of this, repent today and begin to go the extra mile of giving back to your community through Christian social responsibility (CRS).
Father, give me all I need to play my role in the society and in Your house, through the payment of my taxes to the government and my tithe and offering to You.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: 2 Chronicle 11-13
AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE
HYMN 3: TRUST AND OBEY.
1. When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
2. Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.
3. Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.
4. But we never can prove the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.
5. Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet,
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;
What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.
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