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Paying Taxes…Bearing the Cost pt 1

October 4, 20110 Comments

“I’M A TAX PAYING CITIZEN…” or  “I PAY MY TAXES TO LIVE HERE.”  I’m quite for sure that you have heard one or both of those statements a time or two in your life.

In the United States it has been sarcastically said that there are two certainties in life, to pay taxes and die!  Unfortunately there is a measure of truth to that. However, Lets shift over to being a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven, which you are if you have been saved by grace through faith.(Eph 2:8) As Colossians says, “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love” (Col 1:13).  All saints are citizens of His kingdom.

The question today is, are you a cost bearing citizen of heaven?  Or rather are you bearing the cost of your new citizenship?  This is not about tithing, this is about the world you’re living for!   This is not about becoming a citizen in His kingdom, Ephesians 2:8 takes care of that. This is about living as a citizen of heaven, while physically present in St. Louis, or Chicago, or Maryland, or where ever you’re at now.

Taxes keep the government and services running, but bearing the cost of the Kingdom is how we show forth the reality of whats unseen.  You might not see the IRS today, but don’t pay your taxes, first the mail will come, then the investigator and depending on the situation maybe jail.  The Kingdom of heaven is real, eternal and right now unseen, but for those who live bearing the cost they show forth its reality, making the unseen viable.

There are three costs of the kingdom that I will discuss that are unmistakable, and rarely imitated that Kingdom citizens should bear that show forth the kingdoms reality.

Cost#1: Bearing the shame for following Jesus

Jesus was crucified outside the gates bearing the shame…(Mat 27:33-38)

Christians have always faced persecution in some form or another, there has always been the element of being looked down upon or looked at suspiciously for being a Christian.  In our day and age, it’s ramping up, the suspicion is intensifying and to be a devoted follower of Jesus is equated to being unintelligent, archaic and unprogressive!

Disclaimer: You can say you follow Jesus and still do and practice as the world and you’ll escape the shame, but to follow Jesus in word and deed is a sure recipe for shame and the world disowning you!

Jesus came and bore the shame of the cross; a death for criminals, and the rebuke of the religious officials who called Him “Beelzebub”!  He also endured the continued questioning from the different religious sects, lawyers and wayward people, all while being God in the flesh,and lastly being shamefully condemned by those He created.

He who conquered this world says to those who are coming of age conquerors,

A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.  It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master.  If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household! (Mat 10:24-25 Italics added)

Follow Jesus in word and in deed.  Live for Him now, in public, in private and from the heart. This is not a call to “Jesus Activism”, but a call to not be ashamed of Him. A call to not deny Him in our words, actions or by omission where we just don’t mention Him when we should!  Bear the shame!  Remember what our Lord said, “…It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher…”. 

Questions to ask yourself

Do you witness for Jesus? Or is that for the fanatics only!

How do you feel when you think about telling someone about Jesus?

Do you hesitatingly mention His name? Or do you just say “something” led me to do this or that!

Do you listen and look to show Jesus to others as the answer?  Or is He just Lord on Sundays?

Do you follow Jesus to the exclusion of the practices of this world?

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