Tuesday, April 15, 2014

tax day & an important week

How blind!  For which is more important—the gift on the altar or the altar that makes the gift sacred?

It is tax day, also better known as April 15th.  Many people loathe this day and are scared to give what is due to the government, yet being a citizen of the USA means we are to pay taxes.  Yet I also remind you of the importance of this week.  It is Easter week where we remember the altar of the cross our Savior, Jesus, was murdered on and where He allowed His blood to be spilled for our good and for our forgiveness.  That fact makes this an important week.

Mark 12:17  NLT
“Well, then,” Jesus said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.”  His reply completely amazed them.

We really are blessed to live in America where we can worship as we please and pursue our dreams.  Having to pay taxes doesn’t make us weak or hold us back.  We may not agree with all that our government does, but we have a government that helps us in many ways.

For too long many of us have cried about the woes happening in Washington DC or in our state capital, yet we must remember and share how God has blessed us and blessed this country for a long time.  Furthermore, don’t allow what you are upset about or what you disagree with keep you from focusing on what really matter.

Jesus matters.  God is the one who placed us where we are and with the people we are with.  Family is a gift from God.  Our freedom is a gift from God.  I’ve noticed that there are many, many times when we allow what is inferior to block what is superior.

In other words, don’t allow the fact that it is tax day to dim the fact that Friday is the day we remember Jesus’ death and Sunday is the day we celebrate His resurrection.  What an incredible time this is.  We have much to celebrate.  I am glad that we are about to see the church stand up once again to allow Jesus to be who Jesus is. 

Did you know that on Easter more people attend church than on any other day of the year?  Statistics tell us that 82% of the people asked to go to church with a friend or family member on Easter will go to church with them, but don’t forget another statistic… 100% of the people you don’t invite to church won’t go to church.  Answer this one: who will you ask to go to church with you?  That answer needs to include the fact that this person, or these people, need to see how good our God is.

Who are you going to invite to church?  Ok, after you go to the post office to mail your taxes or to the tax preparation place, who will you ask to go to church with you?  Don’t take this too lightly.

There are so many things that distract us and not just on the week of Easter.  The first verse above asks a question that we ought to take a few minutes or few hours to think through.  Why we do we allow what is least important to consume our lives?

A friend often reminds me of this truth with a statement his dad used to make often: eternity is at stake; lives are in the balance.  Thanks Seth and Gary for reminding us all of this truth.  Lives really are in the balance of heading to heaven or hell.  People are going to hell unless we help them see how good our God is.

May this week our lives and our words point people to what really matters, and may God bless our country.  God is good … all the time!

Psalm 33:12  NASB
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.

The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God.

Our church wants to share food with local churches that has community meals.  If you church would use this food, please contact me at The Community (at 276-647-8231).  We are planning the construction of our new campus beginning with a huge mission team the end of May.  Please pray for wisdom, finances, and open doors as the process begins.

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happy birthday, Julie

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