15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to trap him by what he said. 16 So they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are truthful and teach truthfully the way of God. You don’t care what anyone thinks nor do you show partiality. 17 Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” 18 Perceiving their malicious intent, Jesus said, “Why are you testing me, hypocrites? 19 Show me the coin used for the tax.” They brought him a denarius. 20 “Whose image and inscription is this? ” he asked them. 21 “Caesar’s,” they said to him. Then he said to them, “Give, then, to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.
Jesus cuts to the chase. There is no doubt with Him. Give the temporal coin to Caesar, but give your life to God. So today, what is our relationship with the government as Christians who are first citizens of the Kingdom of God?
There are other passages that more clearly articulate expectations for our relationship with the government, but this one gives the foundation. Throughout the scripture, we read of God’s plan for His people to be His representatives to the nations. We are identified as being like salt and light, having their affect in the world. How is this possible? It begins when we give to God what is God’s.
This year has challenged our relationship with the government like no other in recent history. The government has mandated restrictions on our freedoms in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Police actions have been closely scrutinized and charged with racial bias. Governments have failed to protect business and property owners from violent protesters. In the midst of all this is the most divisive political climate we have experienced in our lifetime. As Christians, how do we respond? Remember, we represent God and His Kingdom to those around us.
By the time you’re reading or hearing this devotional, another political event will have taken place: our four-year national election. Whatever the result, we will have elected our representatives for the next 4 to 6 years. How do we as Christians respond to those results? If there ever was the need for the salt and light of Christ followers, and for the children of God to come together in unity as ambassadors of God’s Kingdom, now is the time!
Since our foundation is giving God what is God’s, we have placed our confidence and well-being in living according to His plan and not in our government. Our government cannot solve our problems. The only way is God’s way. Brothers and sisters, let us live with confidence in our position as dearly loved children of God, praying for our government and its leaders, loving our neighbors, acting justly, loving mercy and walking humbly with our Lord!
Questions to Ask Yourself
- Are you giving to God what is God’s and living in the SHALOM of God—the peace and confidence that God is in control and all is well for you? If not, take this time to give to God what is God’s.
- As the election is at the forefront of our thoughts, remember we are first citizens of the Kingdom of God, members of God’s family, and ultimately strangers and aliens in the kingdom of the world. Live out the values of our Christian family as you make your response.
Ask your family to define Teacher. Definition of teacher- helps other acquire (receive) knowledge
Ask each of your family members to either act out a teacher or describe what they would teach to a group of people. Jesus is referred to as teacher 45 times in the four Gospels. He is the teacher of life and gave us the knowledge of how to live to honor Him. Remember to always pray to Him and ask for wisdom and knowledge.
Pray for missionary doctors and health care workers around the world. Pray for their physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional health as they work daily to bring healing of all kinds. Pray that the patients and their families will respond to the gospel.