"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen

5/4/09

Monday Manna - Fired

Welcome to Monday Manna. The purpose of this meme is to get together and get to know Christ more through His Word. On the first and third Monday of each month, anyone who wishes can post their thoughts on a verse I introduced at my blog the Thursday before. It doesn't have to be a long post -- just a few thoughts, a picture you feel helps express it, a poem, a short story, a devotional.

Anyone is welcome to participate. Just post to your blog and link up at the bottom of this post in the Mr. Linky gadget.

This Monday's verse is found in different forms, in a few of the gospels.
Then Jesus said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." And they were amazed at him. Mark 12:17
My thoughts are below:
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My eight-year-old son tried to fire me the other day. You see, he didn't like the way I was reacting to his behavior (or misbehavior, to be more precise), so he figured, it seems, he'd be better off with a different woman in charge.

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My joblessness didn't last too long, though. Our conversation went something like this:

Frustrated Son: I want to fire you, Mom!
Me (holding back a giggle): Really? How exactly do you plan to do that?
pause
FS: Um...I dunno.
Me: And who will drive you to school every day? (a particularly pertinent question, since we were pulled over on the side of the road on our way to that very location)
pause
FS: Just kidding!

This whole scene tickled me for a good long time--and then slapped me between the eyes. How often had I tried to "fire" the Lord because I wasn't happy with how He handled a situation I was in the middle of? How often had I acted like He wasn't in charge just so I could do what I wanted to do?

And it's not just God I have this problem with. I "turn off" the preacher's message because I don't want to hear it, much less heed it. I disobey laws that are inconvenient and grumble about "unfairness" when I get caught. I neglect submitting to my husband because I'd rather have things my own way.

This is not solely a modern issue. Take, for example, the Pharisees of Mark 12.
Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words. They came to him and said, "Teacher, we know you are a man of integrity. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay or shouldn't we?" Luke 12:13-15
Of course, they didn't really want to know the answer to this question. It was meant to incite trouble. If Jesus said they should, the Jews would be mad. If Jesus said they shouldn't, the Romans would have been none too pleased with Him.

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In a way, this was the Pharisees' declaration of their desire to "fire" their authority, isn't it? They didn't want to pay taxes to Caesar, or to follow the Lord. They wanted to avoid being under anyone's thumb. Their own rules were the only "rule" they planned to follow.

And Jesus knew this. Watch his response.
But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. "Why are you trying to trap me?" he asked. "Bring me a denarius and let me look at it." They brought the coin, and he asked them, "Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?" "Caesar's," they replied. Then Jesus said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's."And they were amazed at him. Mark 12:15-17
And these men were doing neither. Nor, for that matter, was my son. All of them were seeking a "boss" more to their liking. And neither of them, by the way, got what they wanted: spiritually OR governmentally. (and I can thank the Lord for that!)

Heavenly Father, help us to truly know that there is NO ONE who can love us, rule us, and take care of us better than You. Help us to trust You enough to accept our circumstances without trying to take You off Your throne. And, Lord, help us to honor the government, on whatever level it may be, with our obedience as well. We so want to give You, and "Caesar," what is due. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen

Thanks for reading! Be sure to link up below with your own thoughts on this verse, and read the other folks' contributions as well. I guarantee you will be blessed!


6 comments:

  1. Great example! Great post!
    Following the Big Boss today,
    Laurie

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  2. Jesus cut right through to the heart of the matter--how's your relationship with God? I'll bet you could have heard a pin drop when he answered their question.

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  3. Hi! So sorry. On number 2 I entered in my info. and added an extra letter. Could you please remove it? Sorry. (My right info. is in number 3.)

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  4. This is a great post and today I shared my own

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  5. I love this illustration, Joanne! (LoL--and the pic!!) I've done the same thing, and just as quickly decided it wasn't such a hot idea after all.
    Huggles!

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  6. Aww...those moments with sons are precious, aren't they? Well, maybe not at the time, but what a great illustration of our attitude toward God at times. Thanks for the smile and the great lesson, too. And thanks for the excellent verse to ponder.

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Thanks for stopping by. I would love to hear your thoughts - please share them!


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