I am just about to do our taxes(I'm cutting it close, I know), and what does He talk to me about? Taxes.
He blows me away how practical He is. I am amazed at Him.
Let me just say, I really don't like doing taxes. I am self-employed and there are so many details I have to account for that it is usually a very tedious process even though I try to have all the needed information from the previous year collected in an easy-to-use way.
It is easy for me to want to cut corners. Not because I want to be dishonest or cheat our responsible government out of money, but because all the numbers make my head hurt.
It's not that it's so bad. I'm just kinda a baby about it. I don't like it. I don't want to do it.
But I want everything I do to be for the glory of God... that certainly includes this annual financial responsibility.
So here is the conversation about it (from my journal March 29th, 2011):
*Scriptures read follow, conversation portions highlighted*
LORD, I hear You saying...
Many have tried to catch Me in My words. No plan can succeed against Me. I perceive every thought from afar, and before a word is even formed on your tongue, I know it completely.
I know hypocrisy and evil intent. I see through duplicity.
The authorities are my servants, agents of My wrath. If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. Blessed are you when you keep My law.
Do not be afraid of man, when you trust in Me you are kept safe.
Many seek an audience with a ruler, but it is from Me that you get justice.
LORD, hear me saying...
Thank You for this reminder during tax time. Please help me to do my taxes honestly and thoroughly, above and beyond reproach and free from accusation. Especially since I am self-employed, especially since I profess You. I want to do this for Your glory, remembering what You have done for me. Please help me to seek an audience with You when I want justice. I am thankful for the gifts You give, it all belongs to You!
"Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words.They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay or shouldn’t we?”
But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. “Why are you trying to trap me?” he asked. “Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” They brought the coin, and he asked them, “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?”
“Caesar’s,” they replied.
Then Jesus said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”
And they were amazed at him."
"Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words.They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are. Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?”
“Caesar’s,” they replied.
Then he said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away."
Luke 20:20-26"Keeping a close watch on him, they sent spies, who pretended to be honest. They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor. So the spies questioned him: “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
He saw through their duplicity and said to them, “Show me a denarius. Whose portrait and inscription are on it?”
“Caesar’s,” they replied.
He said to them, “Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
They were unable to trap him in what he had said there in public. And astonished by his answer, they became silent.
1A man who remains stiff-necked after many rebukes
will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.
2When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice;
when the wicked rule, the people groan.
3A man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father,
but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.
4By justice a king gives a country stability,
but one who is greedy for bribes tears it down.
5Whoever flatters his neighbor
is spreading a net for his feet.
6An evil man is snared by his own sin,
but a righteous one can sing and be glad.
7The righteous care about justice for the poor,
but the wicked have no such concern.
8Mockers stir up a city,
but wise men turn away anger.
9If a wise man goes to court with a fool,
the fool rages and scoffs, and there is no peace.
10Bloodthirsty men hate a man of integrity
and seek to kill the upright.
11A fool gives full vent to his anger,
but a wise man keeps himself under control.
12If a ruler listens to lies,
all his officials become wicked.
13The poor man and the oppressor have this in common:
The Lord gives sight to the eyes of both.
14If a king judges the poor with fairness,
his throne will always be secure.
15The rod of correction imparts wisdom,
but a child left to himself disgraces his mother.
16When the wicked thrive, so does sin,
but the righteous will see their downfall.
17Discipline your son, and he will give you peace;
he will bring delight to your soul.
18Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint;
but blessed is he who keeps the law.
19A servant cannot be corrected by mere words;
though he understands, he will not respond.
20Do you see a man who speaks in haste?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.
21If a man pampers his servant from youth,
he will bring griefa in the end.
22An angry man stirs up dissension,
and a hot-tempered one commits many sins.
23A man’s pride brings him low,
but a man of lowly spirit gains honor.
24The accomplice of a thief is his own enemy;
he is put under oath and dare not testify.
25Fear of man will prove to be a snare,
but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.
26Many seek an audience with a ruler,
but it is from the Lord that man gets justice.
27The righteous detest the dishonest;
the wicked detest the upright.
"he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him," ESV Col. 1.22
1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.
6This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.