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Summary: A message about asking God questions and listening to His principles of giving.

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Title: Render Unto Caesar, Give Unto God

Theme: To show the importance of giving to the Lord what is important.

Text: Matthew 22:15 - 22

Matthew 22:15-22 Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle Him in His talk. (16) And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, "Teacher, we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth; nor do You care about anyone, for You do not regard the person of men. (17) Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?" (18) But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, "Why do you test Me, you hypocrites? (19) Show Me the tax money." So they brought Him a denarius. (20) And He said to them, "Whose image and inscription is this?" (21) They said to Him, "Caesar’s." And He said to them, "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s." (22) When they had heard these words, they marveled, and left Him and went their way.

NLT 21"Caesar’s," they replied. "Well, then," he said, "give to Caesar what belongs to him. But everything that belongs to God must be given to God." 22His reply amazed them, and they went away.

(15) Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle Him in His talk.

This was a common method that the Pharisees (the religious/political rulers of the day) used speak toward Christ.

There are at least three reasons that they would ask him questions.

1) To legitimately find the answer (Nicodemus - John 3). We learn that after the death of Christ he got with Joseph of Arimathea to bury Christ.

2) To try to respond to him with their own teachings (lawyer "the greatest commandment)

Mark 12:28-34 Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, "Which is the first commandment of all?"

(29) Jesus answered him, "The first of all the commandments is: ’Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. (30) And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. (31) And the second, like it, is this: ’You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these."

Mat 7:12 NIV So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Islam: No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself. - Sunna, or, Saying of Muhammad.

Confucianism: Do not do to others what you would not like yourself.

- Analects

The sage goes on to say, "Then there will be no feelings of opposition to you, whether it is the affairs of a State that you are handling or in the affairs of a Family."

Buddhism: Having made oneself the example, One should neither slay nor cause to slay. The text goes on to clarify the maxim: "As I am, so are other beings; thus let one not strike another, nor get another struck by someone else. That is the meaning."

It is only in Christianity where we are told to take an active part. Not just wait on others to do something for us but for us to pursue opportunities to do some for them. Or as Jesus said in Matthew 5:41 go the second mile.

(32) So the scribe said to Him, "Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He. (33) And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, [62] and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices." (34) Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." But after that no one dared question Him.

3) To try to make him look bad in the eyes of people (Pharisees here, and other areas)

Some questions we need to ask ourselves:

1) Am I truly listening to God or am I just praying expecting my answer?

2) Where am I getting my values from? The world or myself.

How do we keep a balance between living in the world but not living like it? How do we keep from letting the world influence us?

Romans 12:1-3 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. (2) And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (3) For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.

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