Scripture Scrapbook #38: Preparing for Tax Season
Tax Prep season is here! Jesus gave this sage advice to some religious leaders who wanted to trap him:
Scripture - Matthew 22:19-21: "'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 Ceasar what is Ceasar's and to God what is God's.'"
One of the most astounding comments on this passage is this: "The power of this command comes as we realize that by giving Caesar the things that belong to him, we are actually serving God and influencing the course of a nation toward repentance and salvation. Three times in the thirteenth chapter of Romans, government officials are referred to as the ministers of God." (39 Secrets of Power for Living, p. 96).
The argument here is that you are actually serving the Kingdom of God by paying your taxes. Do you agree?
What else does Scripture command us to "give" the government? How may we show appreciation to our government and civil officers? Intercessors for America (https://www.ifapray.org) has a way you can send prayers to elected officials and it informs those who will pray for the government on key issues.
Would we have a better attitude about paying taxes if we could just go fishing and find the money? "However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for me and for yourself." Matt 17:27. (Jesus to Peter)
Would some people think this passage encourages us to look to God to provide the tax so we can spend the rest? Do you think the disappointment in this method for our everyday living would lead to disillusionment and loss of faith? Is there any of this in our expectations of God's provisions for us?
What character traits are needed to be able to fulfill the payment of taxes? Planning ahead, gratitude instead of grumbling, ability to save and not spend, and ability to plan wisely to use tax advantages like charitable giving, estate planning, college funds, etc. are necessary traits.
Prayers and praises: Breakthroughs on two counts for one friend, Bible study begun, perseverance through cold weather. We lift up those fighting cancer and other illnesses, for those who need to fight through spiritual warfare situations, and for the blessing of college and graduate ministries.
Dear Father, Help us to have a right attitude towards government, noting that Jesus paid his tax to the government that was responsible for his murder. Help us to have the character that will allow us to be prepared for the payment. Help us to pray for our elected officials and to give thanks and encouragement when appropriate. Please also give us the grace to honor our spouses as you intended. Thank you for making us in Your Image. We owe all of who we are to You.
Verse for Meditation/Memorization: Matt 22:37-38 "Jesus replied 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.'"
This month is the Ten Year Anniversary of the Scripture Scrapbook! Thank you for reading. I hope it has been a blessing and encouragement to you as we seek to walk closer with our Lord.
Challenge: Remind yourself that you are made in God's image whenever you handle change. Double meaning intended.