15 Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. 16 They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are. 17 Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax[a] to Caesar or not?”
18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, 20 and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”
21 “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.”
22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.
We give all the time – we render to people what is theirs or what they think is theirs – time, energy, money, etc. Some of us would argue that most of our lives are taken up by rendering to others. Then there is the other side of the rendering – the rendering to ourselves. While it is true we render to others, we spend a lot of time thinking about how we can give to ourselves – how we can fulfill our own desires. This pursuit of rendering to ourselves leads us inward – it leads us to depend on our own abilities and to affirm our own desires, whether they are of the Spirit or not.
This career of rendering to others or to ourselves leaves out the most important rendering of all – the rendering to Christ. Rendering to Christ is actually quite different than rendering to others or to ourselves. What Christ wants from us are things that He has already given us – He wants a tithe of what He has given us to come back to Him. When we render back to God we acknowledge Him as both the owner and giver of what we have in our lives.
What is it that God wants to render back to Him – how does this get practical. Let me suggest a few here (there are so many that you may have your own, but for the sake of space let’s only look at a few. We can render unto God our time, our energy, and our gifts. All we have in these areas have been given to us by God. These three elements are what we are so quick to exercise for ourselves or give to others. Since it is God that has given all of these to us, let us render unto Him what is rightfully His.