Rendering to God
Rendering to God
Words of Faith 1-9-19
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2019
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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Keeping a close watch on him, they sent spies, who pretended to be honest. They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor.  So the spies questioned him: "Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.  Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"
 He saw through their duplicity and said to them,  "Show me a denarius. Whose portrait and inscription are on it?"
 "Caesar's," they replied.
He said to them, "Then give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."
 They were unable to trap him in what he had said there in public. And astonished by his answer, they became silent.
We have already taken a look at one side of this text-- rendering unto Caesar. Jesus was clear that we should pay what is owed to the government-- taxes as well as service and participation. But Jesus also directed that we should render unto God that which belongs to God. This was not particularly controversial in the time of Jesus while teaching in the Temple. This was not the point of the question asked by those who were trying to entrap Him. But it is part of the response that Jesus gave. We are also to give to God what is God's.
Are there some things that belong to God? Well, actually, all things belong to God. In Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). From Him and through Him and to Him are all things (Romans 11:36). So everything should be rendered to God. But are there particular things that God has asked for us to render to Him?
The most important thing that we are to render to God is our worship. Worship the Lord your God and Him only (Deut. 6:13). We owe God our praise and adoration simply because He is God. We also render our worship to God because we are forever indebted to Him for the free gift of salvation offered to us in Jesus. We are obliged to worship. Worship is not simply a set of rituals or words. In view of God's mercy, we offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship (Romans 12:1). Worship is a matter of our whole being.
We also owe God a debt of love to be paid toward other people. Paul wrote, "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law" (Romans 13:8). Because of the wondrous grace that God has extended to us, we have a continuing debt of love to be expressed to others.
Love God and Love your neighbor. These are the first things we render to God. But as we search the Bible we find several other places where this language and the word "render" are used to indicate things we are to render or pay back to God.
We are called to render tithes and offerings to God. The word "render" is used extensively in regard to financial repayment of a debt-- something owned by another and is used in reference to tithes and offerings. We are to render to God what belongs to God financially in our lives. " 'A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord" (Leviticus 27:30). The Lord declared that to take or use the tithe for some other purpose than the ministry of His house is to steal from God. "Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. "But you ask, 'How do we rob you?' "In tithes and offerings (Malachi 3:8). There is no way around this. All of what we have belongs to God and tithes and offerings the portion that He has asked to be rendered to the work of His house.
The word is also used in reference to keeping an oath to God. The Law taught that an oath to God had to be repaid like a debt (Deut. 23:21). Jesus said that we should be careful not to make such oaths (Matthew 5:33-34). We need to be careful about oaths to God. We are accountable to Him for what we promise to Him.
We also will give a rendering or an account to God for our words. "But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken" (Matthew 12:36). We need to give our words to God. We need to give our tongues to God for accountability. We are accountable for every careless word spoken.
Interestingly, the word render is also used in reference to returning a person to the care of another. In Luke 9:42 we find that "Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the evil spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father." Jesus returned the boy to his father. We are called to a ministry of returning people to a relationship with God and family. With the authority of God's Word and Spirit, we are to break the strongholds of the enemy and return people to the place God intended them to be.
The word is also used in reference to our testimony. With great power, the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all Acts (4:33). Testimony is something we give to or render to God. It is not something we give to people. We give our testimony to God.
We are to render to government certain things like taxes, service, voting, and participation.
We are to render to God our worship, our love for others, tithes and offerings, oaths, words, people and our witness.
O God, may I render to You all praise, glory, and honor. It is not about me. May I render to you the love I give to those around me. Receive my tithes and offerings. Receive my words and keep them pure. Give me the power of the Spirit to witness for You and render to You those whom You are healing and saving. In Jesus' name.