February 16, 2015

1 Tim 1_8

1 Timothy 1:1-17

By now most everyone has received their W-2, 1099 or other income statement. This means that April 15th is close and our taxes are due. Tax-time is a phrase that many of us dread. Even for those who plan ahead, we try hard to get all the deductions we are entitled to; and that is good. Paying our taxes is the law and as long as we follow the law, we can file our returns without fear of IRS audits. However, some find filing taxes distasteful. They try to fudge the numbers, conveniently forget about cash payments and file claims that they are not entitled to. Somehow, some feel that tax laws are bad and can be ignored. But this is not what Paul says in our epistle reading for today. Paul tells us “that the law is good, if one uses it legitimately”.

Luther explains that there are two functions of the law; the temporal law which guards and protects us and the spiritual law that convicts us of sin and drives us to the gospel. God has ordained both; one so that we might live in an ordered society and second that we might live eternally with him.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help us to obey the laws of the land and see your promises in the gospel that we might serve you with a quiet mind, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Today’s devotion was written by Steven King, Pastor of Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lincolnton, NC.

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