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'Render unto Caesar...' - Chester Cook

Today, most people are feeling a big sigh of relief. Our taxes are filed, and a great, stressful burden has passed.

Most of us also feel a lot poorer.

The taxes imposed by our governments are nothing new. During the Great Depression, real estate values plummeted and unemployment skyrocketed, while the cost of government remained high.

As a result, taxes doubled from an average of 11.6 percent in 1921, to 21.1 percent in 1932.

In colonial days, an excessive tax on tea, 10 percent, led to the Boston Tea Party revolt.

And finally, in ancient times, the question of whether it was lawful for Jews to pay taxes to Caesar, prompted this response from Jesus: "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's" (Matthew 22:21).

The matter of interpretation follows in the response, "Who's name and image is on the coin? ... Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and give to God what is God's."

All money (whether dollars or other currencies) have temporal values that fluctuate. But our lives are made in the image of God, and, therefore, have an eternal value.

Faith in God is a value that accesses the limitless resources and riches of a Heavenly Father, who gives good gifts to His children.

Faith is a trust in God that creates an endless source of supplies to help us face every circumstance of life.

The faithless put their trust in money, materials, stocks, bonds, and the government. The faithfilled put their trust in God.

To paraphrase the Bible: He will supply all of your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Phl 4:19).

This is Lesson One in life: God desires each of us to place our trust in Him. That is one reason why our money says, "In God We Trust."

If you have any comments on this column, please contact me at chaplain@airportchapel.org.