|Theme:||What do we owe to God? We owe him our all. Proper 24 (29)|
|Object:||A coin with a picture of your president, king, queen, etc.|
|Scripture:||Then he said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's." Matthew 22:21 (NIV)|
I have some questions to ask you today. Now, listen carefully, here is the first question. If it takes twenty minutes to hard-boil one egg, how long does it take to hard-boil two eggs? Who knows the answer? The answer is twenty minutes. It doesn't take any longer to hard-boil two eggs than it does to hard-boil one egg. OK, here is another question. A farmer has 15 sheep and all but nine of them die, how many sheep does he have left? Who thinks they know the answer to that question? The answer is nine. I told you all but nine of them died! I tricked some of you on those questions, didn't I?
Do you ever ty to trick someone? Has anyone ever tried to trick you? Sometimes tricks can be mean and sometimes they are meant to get someone else in trouble. Did you know that some people tried to trick Jesus? They asked him questions so that he would get into trouble with one group or another no matter how he answered.
The people in Jesus' day were required to pay taxes to the Roman government. That was not very popular with the people. One day a group of religious leaders came to Jesus and asked him if he thought the people should pay the taxes . They were actually trying to trick Jesus, because they knew if he said, "Yes," the people would be angry. But if he said, "No," he would get into trouble with the Roman authorities.
Jesus saw right through their plan and he did a very wise thing. He asked them for a coin, then he said, "Whose picture is on this coin?"
They answered, "It is Caesar." Caesar was the Roman ruler and all taxes had to be paid to him.
Jesus then said to them, "Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God."
Look at this coin. Whose picture is on it? It is a picture of George Washington, our first president. What does it say right above his picture? It says, "The United States of America." Well, I guess that means that this coin belongs to "George" and we will have to use it to pay our taxes whether we like it or not. (This paragraph will need to be adapted to fit your own situation.)
But what about God? Jesus also said "Give to God what belongs to God." The Bible says that we were created by God and that we were created in the image of God. If we are created by God, and we were created in His image, we must belong to Him. That means we must give ourselves to Him!
Dear Lord God, help us to give you what is yours. Help us to spend our hours in acts of love and our days in doing acts of kindness. May we always obey you and give you the praise that is due. Amen.
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