Faithful God, I desire to live in the light of Your Word and walk in sync with You. Thank you that You hear me.
Read Matthew 22:15-22
 Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words.  They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are.  Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?”  But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me?  Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius,  and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”  “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”  When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow interested are you in keeping the peace?
Sometimes opposing factions decide to work together to achieve a result that neither can win on their own. Here, the Pharisees, religious nationalists, have allied with those who supported the Roman rule of the Herods, a nasty combination of religious and political power. The question they pose to Jesus requires, they think, a straight yes or no, and either answer will put him in trouble!What do you do when put on the spot? Politicians might avoid being pushed into such a corner. Jesus knows their game. He doesn’t descend to their tactics; he speaks straight. Holding up a coin, he says, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” Faultless logic: give to, serve, work for, obey the current government. Uphold law and order, act appropriately but not at the expense of obedience to God, the highest authority of all. We are citizens of two kingdoms. Serving the secular one with integrity is a way of expressing honor to the eternal one. If forced to choose, you must put the kingdom of God first. We all have to interpret that by making prayerful choices, though not always easy.
Name a few ways in which the world around you is pushing you toward compromise. Ask God to bring light and help.
Help me, Lord, to seek first Your Kingdom and Your righteousness, and to trust You with the consequences.
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