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.” – Matthew 22:18-23
When those evil men came to trap you on Tuesday before you died, they wanted you to pit our allegiance to you against our allegiance to our country. You saw through their foolishness and showed us the truth about life under government. We live in two kingdoms, the kingdom of this world and the spiritual kingdom under you and your heavenly rule. We are to live with appreciation and loyalty to both kingdoms. I love being in your heavenly kingdom of grace where I am free from guilt and slavery to the law. But I also love living under the earthly kingdom you chose for me in the U.S.A. because it is a kingdom built on the concept of religious and civil freedom from oppression and persecution. It allows me to live wherever I chose, to worship you without interference and to spread your word without legal hassles. It gives my peers and me amazing opportunities for economic growth and possibilities for generosity. The U.S.A. is like receiving grace on top of grace. On this day when we celebrate her birth as a nation I say with you, “I am proud to render to my Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” With both salvation and American citizenship, you have gifted me beyond the imagination of any generation from heretofore.
Pastor Don Patterson
Loving God and loving this country is easy when you think of the blessings that both have afforded you.