Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 38 : Render Unto Caesar | Day 263

Render Light to Caesar!

The nation of New Zealand had a problem—rehabilitating juvenile delinquents. We worked in conjunction with their Justice Department to develop the MARC program (Making A Right Choice) that was later recognized by the Prime Minister as one of the most effective programs they had ever had.

The Philippines are facing the challenge of effectively training their orphans. We were given an opportunity to provide a six-month training program for 20 teenage orphans. Now, after a year of observing these young people, the officials have asked us to provide additional assistance in training their orphans.

In the United States, prisons face a continual battle with repeat offenders. Statistics show that in many states as many as 60-75% of those released from prison will commit another crime. As we have worked with prison officials, a six-month, faith-based program that includes the Basic Seminar and other training has been developed. Among program participants, the recidivism rate has dropped to as low as 4%!

Each of these opportunities to work with leaders has provided ways of rendering good works by serving those in authority. Through these opportunities, we have been able to let the light of Christ shine before men.

Jesus said, "Ye are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). One of the benefits of light is that it allows people to avoid obstacles that would otherwise cause them to stumble.

Many believers assume that they have fulfilled their obligations to the government by paying taxes, obeying laws, and showing honor. However, we have a much more profound debt than just this. Paul speaks of it, even in connection with a pagan empire that used tax money to put Jesus on the cross and to persecute Christians.

We are to bless those who curse us and to be light to those who are in darkness. The light will attract those who are interested in spiritual things, but it will also stir up the wrath of those who love darkness. For this reason, Paul wrote, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty" (I Timothy 2:1-2).

Anyone who is in a position of authority will be likely to experience extra pressures in four major areas: marriage, teenagers, finances, or health. If we can share with them practical, proven answers in these areas, we will become welcomed friends and advisors to those in leadership.

We have an obligation to both pray and look for ways to bless our cities, because "by the blessing of the upright the city is exalted” (Proverbs 11:11).

A pastor of a small church went to the county board and said, "I would like to do whatever I can to serve you in the community." The board explained that they had thousands of migrant workers who needed to learn how to speak English and asked if the church could teach them. The pastor asked if he could use the Bible as their English text. They said, "Certainly." This small country church of about 100 members eventually grew to be a church of several thousand members as a result of their good works in the community.

Have you ever attended a city council meeting and learned about the needs in your community? Now would be a good time to plan such a visit. Before you go, pray for your city leaders, bless your city, and ask God to open doors of ministry for you.

“Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's” (Matthew 22:21).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard