Devotions By Jan


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Scripture for Today: Mark 12:17 “Then Jesus said to them, ‘Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.’ And they were amazed at Him.”

“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” (Benjamin Franklin 1789)  Both are thought to be inevitable.  Paying taxes has even crept into our Monopoly game!  But it is no game to wade through our extensive tax law.  The Gettysburg address has 269 words.  The Declaration of Independence contains 1,337 words.  The Bible numbers only 773,000 words.  But our American tax law has grown from 11,400 words in 1913 to 7 million words today!!

Today’s verse is the Lord’s response to a trick question from the Pharisees and Herodians.  They were trying to catch Him in His words (verse 13).  Jesus, knowing their hearts and thoughts, knew their question was insincere and full of hypocrisy.  They had asked if one should pay the imperial tax or not?  Jesus recognizes our obligations to the governing authorities.  At the same time He challenges His listeners with another more lofty obligation; to give to God what is rightfully His.  The simplicity and wisdom in His answer astounded them!

What do I owe God?  His salvation is a gift with no strings attached (Eph. 2:8-9).  But when I accept His gift I want to give to Him.  A tithe is too small.  No amount of money can repay Him for His incredible sacrifice.  A good work here and there at my convenience somehow does not answer.  What I can give back to Him is a love involving my whole heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30).  He has bought all of me at a huge cost to Himself (I Cor. 6:20).  “Jesus paid it all,” and all to Him I owe!

Lord, may I love You today with every fiber of my being!


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