November 19 – Red Letters – “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s”

Read Mark 12:17

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching we start to think about the things we are thankful for. You might have even joined a Thanksgiving challenge on social media where each day in November you post one thing that you are thankful for. Your list might include names of friends, family members, maybe even your crazy Uncle Joe who you only see once a year at Thanksgiving.  Your extended list might include your pets, your school, your job, your home, and your health.

The Pilgrims on that first Thanksgiving were thankful just to be alive.  They had come through a really rough year of uncertainty when many of their friends and family had died through sickness.

Sound familiar?

Why don’t you take a minute and make your own list of things you are thankful for, if you haven’t done so already. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Now, go back over your list and put a check mark beside all the things on your list that were given to you by God.  There might be things on there that you obtained through hard work, but who gave you the ability to know what to do or the strength to get up each day to go to work?

Does your list include unseen things like your talents and abilities? How many of those talents are you giving back to God? Are you really good at explaining things?  So, are you using that to tell people about the love of God?  Are you good at talking to new people and making them feel welcome?  So, are you inviting people to church or serving as a greeter?  Are you good at music? Do you sing God’s praises in the choir or praise team?  The list of your talents could go on and on, but the question is:” What are you doing with them?”

Are you giving them back to God?

One thing that I am pretty sure is NOT on your list is paying taxes.  Nobody likes to pay taxes.  That was true back in Jesus’ time and is pretty much true today too.  Jesus looked at a coin and asked whose face was on it.  When the religious leaders replied “Caesar,” that is when He said, “Give onto Caesar what is Caesars!” In other words, pay your taxes.

Our money is similar in that on it there are pictures of Presidents and important people, but there is one thing different about our currency.  On the back is our country’s motto, “In God We Trust.” How often have you noticed it?  How much do you believe it?  Do you trust God with your life, your money and with all of the things on your list?  If not, why not?  Why not take a few minutes right now to give all of the people and things on your list back to God?  Ask Him to show you how you can start to trust Him fully with all you have including your money, your time, your talents and your life!

Then you will truly be giving unto God what is God’s!

Pat Arnold

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