You Belong to God

Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s” (Matthew 22:21, NIV).

In Matthew 22, the Pharisees tried to trap Jesus by asking if it was lawful to pay taxes to Caesar.  If Jesus had said, “Yes,” then many of the Jews would likely reject him as a Roman sympathizer.  But if Jesus had said, “No,” then he would be in violation of the Roman law and could be arrested as a rebel instigator.  Jesus’s answer not only evades their trap but stumps them in the process (sometimes I wish I could think on my feet as fast as Jesus with a quick and clever reply)!

Jesus asks them to show him a coin and asks whose image is stamped on the coin. “Caesar’s,” they replied.  So Jesus tells them to give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and give to God what belongs to God.  Caesar has his little kingdom, his domain that is marked by his image; and God has his Kingdom, his Domain that is marked by his Image.  Coins bearing the image of Caesar might belong to Caesar, but human beings bearing the image of God belong to God.

As I read this, I was reminded whose I am.  Yes, I’m a citizen of the US.  Yes, I’m a pastor of LakeView Church.  Yes, I’m a husband and a dad.  But I belong to God; his image is stamped on my soul.  I should give time, money, thought, energy, and effort as is appropriate in each domain–work, home, country, etc.  But my heart and soul belong to God, and it is to God that I give my very self.

My prayer for you this week is that you would remember one very important reality: You belong to God. This week, give to God what belongs to God.

Ready for the Elections?

The presidential election is coming fast… Tuesday, November 6! Are you ready? I’m not! As I was thinking about this, I found myself asking, “What does the Bible say about governments, rulers, citizens, voting, etc?” Well, I pulled up my handy-dandy Logos Bible Study Software and, behold! they had a ready-made Bible reading plan called 21 Days on Government and Citizenship.

So, here’s my thought, let’s read it together! I’m going to start on Friday, September 14, and try to post a reflection on the reading for each day. Now, the reason I say I’m going to try to post a reflection is because I have a 2-year old and a 2-month old… enough said!

Anywho, I’d love for you to read this plan with me and share your own reflections on my blog via the comments.  (Hint: to get the plan as a pdf, click the link above.)