REFLECTIONS ON TAX DAY

Here’s a cheerful thought on this sunshiny Tax Day. According to the website usgovernmentrevenue.com, the governments (plural) of the United States will collect $6 trillion in revenue in 2015—$3.2 trillion for the federal government, $1.6 trillion for state governments, and $1.2 trillion for local governments. Those taxes will include income tax, social security tax, sales tax, along with fees and charges and other revenue. For a total of $6 trillion. Do you know how much that is? Neither do I. But here’s a graphic to tuck away in your mind: if you took a one hundred dollar bill and taped it end to end with another hundred dollar bill and kept doing that, how long would the taped hundred dollar bills need to be in order to have $1 trillion worth? You would need to circle the earth with $100 bills—are you ready for this?—41 times in order to have $1 trillion! Make that 246 times around the earth with hundred dollar bills in order to have $6 trillion, the annual revenue for the governments of this nation! (And be assured, the $6 trillion gets spent as fast as it is raised.) Wasn’t it Jesus who declared, “Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s” (Matthew 22:21). Just between you and me it appears Caesar is making off like a bandit. Unfortunately, for God the numbers aren’t quite as encouraging. Not that God needs our taxes. “‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts” (Haggai 2:8). And if Google is to be believed, that would be 1.4 million tons of silver (that’s ever been mined) and 170,000 tons of gold (ditto). At today’s market prices that comes to approximately $6.5+ trillion in precious metals. But then we remember that God also owns the entire planet, shooting His real estate holdings through the roof. He also owns the solar system. And also the Milky Way galaxy. And also the universe of a billion billion galaxies. Conclusion: He doesn’t need our taxes. Or even our tithes. After all, what are my nickels and dimes in comparison to His title deed to the entire universe! And yet, God invites you and me: “‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house. Test me in this,’ says the LORD Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it’” (Malachi 3:10). Apparently, tithes and offerings are more about me than they are about Him. Because if He doesn’t need them, it must be that I do. Must be that enlisting God to be my personal Chief Financial Officer is all about my trusting Him to take care of me, no matter what it looks or feels like at the time. Must also be that returning to Him 10% of my income and giving offerings as He blesses me is simply an expression of my gratitude for God’s continual care and my request for His wise 24/7 management of my life. And on top of it all He offers this stunning bottom-line: “I will throw open the floodgates of heaven and bless you so much you won’t have room for it all!” So why not take God up on His incredible offer? If you’d like to partner with Him electronically, download our free app SecureGive from your app store. It’s private, secure and as easy as 1-2-3. With the app you can return your tithe to God or give an offering to Pioneer 24/7 anywhere on earth. Look—Caesar has our taxes, but God has our lives—and I say let’s keep it that way.

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