Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | October 5, 2018

“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

Today’s devotion comes from Mark 12:13-17.

“Then they *sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Him in order to trap Him in a statement.  They *came and *said to Him, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and defer to no one;  for You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth.  Is it lawful to pay a poll-tax to Caesar, or not?  Shall we pay or shall we not pay?”  But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, “Why are you testing Me?  Bring Me a denarius to look at.”  They brought one.  And He *said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?”  And they said to Him, “Caesar’s.”  And Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”  And they were amazed at Him.”  Mark 12:13-17.


Do some things belong to Caesar that do not belong to God?  No, everything belongs to God!

“10 “For every beast of the forest is Mine,
The cattle on a thousand hills.
11 “I know every bird of the mountains,
And everything that moves in the field is Mine.”  Psalm 50:10-11.

“O LORD, how many are Your works!
In wisdom You have made them all;
The earth is full of Your possessions.”  Psalm 104:24.

We “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s”, not because those things do not belong to God.  Rather, we “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s”, because it is part of God’s sovereign providence.

“The LORD has established His throne in the heavens,
And His sovereignty rules over all.”  Psalm 103:19.

For example, we pay taxes and submit to government authorities, because it is part of God’s sovereign providence.

“Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities.  For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.  …  For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing.  Render to all what is due them:  tax to whom tax is due;  custom to whom custom;  fear to whom fear;  honor to whom honor.”  Romans 13:1 and 6-7.

For another example, we work six days and worship and rest on Sunday, the “Lord’s Day”.  Does only the “Lord’s Day” belong to the Lord?  No, every day belongs to the Lord!  Rather, we work six days, because it is part of God’s sovereign providence.

“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance.  It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”  Colossians 3:23-24.

In summary, we live out all of our life in obedience to God.  “… the life that He lives, He lives to God.  …  But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.”  Romans 6:10 and 17-18.

We meditate on God’s Word day and night.  “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.”  Psalm 1:2.  We pray without ceasing.  “Rejoice always;  pray without ceasing;  in everything give thanks;  for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

But, we are not legalistic.  God does not require us to live in a monastery in self-abasement.  See, for example, Ecclesiastes 9:7-9.  God does not require us to give all of our money to the church.  See, for example, Matthew 14:3-9 and 1 Timothy 5:8.  Christ has set us free, and we walk by the Spirit.  Galatians chapter 5.  “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28-30.


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