1 Thessalonians 2:9 - Rendering unto Caesar



1 Thessalonians 2:9 "For you recall our hard toil and struggles, brethren. We worked night and day [and plied our trade] in order not to be a burden to any of you [for our support] while we proclaimed the glad tidings (the Gospel) of God to you." (AMP)

Luke 20:25 "And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's." (KJV)

I look back at my life, and there are things that I see that if I would have known back then what I know now, I would have avoided or done differently.

Even though I was raised with the proper values, I still found it hard to adhere to them because there before me was this incredibly inviting........shiny..........even glitzy world filled with many, many things to lure me in one direction or another.

Back then it was the lure of career...........the challenge of bringing something unique to the world...........the headiness of feeling that I *did* have a chance to do something that would make a difference. This attitude was reinforced by the culture of the '60s in America..........an "us versus them" mindset where the old was tossed out (with all its limitations........greed......insensitivity, and so on)........and the new and much better way (or so we thought) would replace it..........where everyone had the same opportunities..........where everyone was respected and loved one another (does this sound familiar?).

For me, at that point in my life it was very much what and how I would render to Caesar..........and very little about what and how I would render to God what was His.

Now my focus is where it should have been all the time............on God. And I spend most of my time trying to listen to Him tell me where *He* wants me to be..............what of Him do I bring to my job.........how do I include Him as the center of focus in my life.

I still must render to Caesar but now I know it isn't Caesar who supplies my needs.............it is the Lord..........I now know it isn't the intellectual energy of Caesar that sustains me (like it used to).............it is the vibrancy of getting to know my God and my Creator through His Word.........this is truly spectacular knowledge.

There are still some days when Caesar gets my attention momentarily, but it is always Jesus who I come back to so that I can get the help I need to sort things out.

I look forward to the day when it is *only* Him and Caesar goes the way of all things of this world.

Love in Jesus,

Jim

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"But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired." (1 Corinthians 12:18 NASB)

"Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission."


This devotional was originally posted on CCI-Devo - Daily Group Devotionals on December 12, 2003 in post #427. It was written by Jim Ross, a former United Pentecostal Church member, who attends Christian Challenge International, the sponsor of the devotional group. The devotional is the copyright of Jim Ross and is reprinted on this site by permission.


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