Immanuel Lutheran Church
                     of Almelund, Minnesota


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The Pharisees, who were trying to discredit and intimidate Jesus, asked him a loaded question about whether or not it was proper to pay taxes to Caesar. Responding to the Pharisees, Jesus said,

"You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax."

After receiving the coin he said,

"Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription? Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s." (Matthew 22:18-21).

In his response, Jesus conveys to us our dual responsibilities to our country and to our God. We are to give to our country what belongs to our nation and give to God what belongs to him.

What belongs to our country? What are our responsibilities to our country? Certainly, we are to support our nation with our words and deeds. If need be, we are to serve in the military. We are to pay our fair share of the cost to run our country through our taxes. We need to be obedient to its laws.

What belongs to God? As Christians, we know that it all belongs to him. Everyone and everything is his. Our first responsibility to God is to love him above everything else. We are to serve and obey him. We are to obey his commands, and we are to return a portion of our money to him.

Unfortunately, it seems that our nation gets a better shake than our God does. Our nation threatens, and we obey. God commands our obedience, but we often ignore his com-mands. Our country requires us to pay our taxes. God wants us to give generously to him; however, we often neglect to give generously to our church. Because our offerings are voluntary, they can be seen to be less important than our taxes.

As Christians, our commitment to our Lord must be even stronger than to our country. God has a claim on our lives, and we need to respond to that claim by giving to and serving him with our time, our abilities, and our money.

Blessings on your stewardship journey!

Your Stewardship Committee


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