Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Bible & Taxes

Capital Gains Taxes
The Capital Gains Tax, which is a tax on profits, actually penalizes a person for success the more profit you make the more you have to pay (i.e., the more profit a person makes the higher tax rate they pay on that profit/windfall from an investment). However, In the Bible, the more profit you make the more you are rewarded. Both the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) and the parable of the minas (Luke 19:12-27) conflict with the notion of a tax on capital gains. “For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.” In other words, the Bible implies that those who do well (invest) with what they have will be given more.

The parable of the landowner and laborers (Matthew 20:1-16) is applicable to the employer/employee relationship and the issue of wages. The landowner hires workers at different times of the day and yet pays each worker the same amount at the end of the day. When the workers hired first complain, the landowner replies, “Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things?” (“things” is translated as “money” in some versions) There is an implication that the landowner had a right to determine the wages his workers received, as well as an implication that the workers could accept or reject the landowner's offer of work. James 5:4 provides a balance in that the Lord hears the cries of the laborers who are cheated out of wages they are due.

Income Taxes
The current income tax structure in the United States mandates a higher tax rate or percentage the more a person makes. This tax system is contradicted by scripture, especially Exodus 30:11-15, which provided a “half a shekel” tax for everyone numbered. Verse 15 states: “The rich shall not give more and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel.” In addition, the Biblical Tithe is not applied progressively, rather it is applied equally to everyone (“And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord's. It is holy to the Lord. . . .And concerning the tithe of the herd or the flock, of whatever passes under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to the Lord.” Leviticus 27:30,32).

Inheritance Taxes
The Bible speaks to the issue of inheritance numerous times. Proverbs 13:22 states “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children” (something that is not likely with the current Estate Tax which can take up to 55% of an estate, leaving 45% to the children; when the children pass it on to the grandchildren, up to 55% of the remaining 45% can be taken, leaving only 27% of the original that would be passed on to the “children's children”). Ezekiel 46:18 states that “the prince shall not take any of the people's inheritance by evicting them from their property; he shall provide an inheritance for his sons from his own property, so that none of My people may be scattered from his property.” Other scriptures that deal with inheritance are Proverbs 19:14 Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the LORD., I Chronicles 28:8 So now I charge you in the sight of all Israel and of the assembly of the LORD, and in the hearing of our God: Be careful to follow all the commands of the LORD your God, that you may possess this good land and pass it on as an inheritance to your descendants forever., and Ezra 9:12 Therefore, do not give your daughters in marriage to their sons or take their daughters for your sons. Do not seek a treaty of friendship with them at any time, that you may be strong and eat the good things of the land and leave it to your children as an everlasting inheritance.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Lord, thank you for the rain you sent to us and the rain you are sending.

The weather for the next week does not look too promising for rain or any relief from the 100 plus degree temperatures.  Texas is in the grip of historic wildfires that have destroyed nearly 1.8 million acres of forest and grassland in the state as well as 400 homes. The almost 8,000 fires so far this year are unprecedented.

Many will see the only hope of rain and relief from the heat to be in the form of a hurricane hitting the Texas coast.  That would be bad for the people of the coast but good for those of us who would be blessed with the much needed rain.  I believe there is a greater hope. 

In 1 Kings 18:41-44, Elijah said to Ahab, “Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain.”  It is amazing that the only cloud visible to Ahab was the size of a man’s hand off in the distance yet Elijah told Ahab to ‘hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you’.  That had to be some rain for it to be able to stop a chariot.  That is the kind of rain we need now!  That is the faith we need now!

If you have been praying for rain – don’t stop.  If you have not – start.  Remember, when you pray for rain, carry your umbrella.  Show your faith.  Pray without ceasing for God to heal our land, fill up the lakes, rivers and creeks.

If you are going to pray for rain you need to carry your umbrella.

Where is your Umbrella?  Where is your faith?


God created government to protect our freedoms so we can spread the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.  By hearing God’s word and praying for our country, we can lead a quiet and peaceable life which will enable us to spread the gospel.

1 Timothy 2:1-2 states: “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”

Satan tries to work through our governments to stop believers from spreading the gospel by either limiting or eliminating our liberties.

How can we stop this?
1. Spread the gospel
2. Pray
3. Vote our convictions

Father, give us leaders after Your heart! A time like this demands strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands; leaders whom the lust of office does not kill; leaders whom the spoils of office cannot buy; leaders who possess your opinions and will; leaders who have honor; leaders who will not lie; leaders who does not use false claims and promises in order to gain power, and can withstand the treacherous flatteries without winking!

Father, give us Christian leaders who are not afraid to stand up for you.  Leaders who will do the right thing when the wrong thing will benefit them.  We thank You that we live in a Christian nation.

Father, we thank you that we and our leaders have your supernatural wisdom and the ability to make the right decisions every time.  Father, you said the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, so we thank you that you are guiding our steps and our leaders’ steps.

Father, I thank you that our leaders are strong in the power of your might and well able to do what you have called them to do.

Micah 4:5 states “All the nations may walk in the name of their gods; we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.”  Lord, we thank you that we walk in Your name.

Father, you are our judge, our lawgiver, our king and only you can save us.”  Help us to always seek you when we enter the voting booth to elect Christian leaders and help us to encourage those who we elect.

Father I pray for our government officials to recognize Your authority and rely on You for wisdom, for our country to stand strong on the principles of our Founding Fathers, and that our leaders will make wise decisions rather than succumbing to special interest groups.

Father I pray Isaiah 1:26 over our leaders. You said, “I will restore your leaders as in days of old, your rulers as at the beginning.  Afterward you will be called the City of Righteousness, the Faithful City.”

We pray this in Jesus’ name.


Friday, April 8, 2011

What Rejection Means

What does rejection mean?  Rejection keeps us at a distance from those we love, like someone with an infectious disease.

Rejection is one of our greatest fears. Being rejected by someone makes us feel small, insecure and unwanted. We lose our self confidence

The Enemy used the pain of rejection to stop you and keep you away from the call that is in your life.

Rejection and the fear of rejection did not stop Jesus! He was determined, and persistent in his ministry.

Jesus was moved by the Holy Spirit no if the people like him or not.  Jesus knows all about rejection. Jesus understands how we feel when we’re rejected because he experienced it so powerfully and personally.

God cares about you! You are Loved Valued, Accepted.  He'll never quit loving you and never will.  Expect love, love & more love.

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness." Jeremiah 31:3

"These people who survived the killing.  Israel, out looking for a place to rest, met God out looking for them!"  God told them, "I've never quit loving you and never will.   Expect love, love, and more love!  And so now I'll start over with you and build you up again," Jeremiah 31:3 Message Bible

Are you hurt?  The best medicine is God's Love + Love Others.  We need to stop being selfish in the frame that we believe others owe us anything.  We need to learn to care about other people and then the pain will go away.

Make a Decision.  Live in God's Love.

Don't allow the rejection from a few stop you from blessing others!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

What's Holding You Back?

In Luke 19: 1–9, we see that Zacchaeus had a goal; he wanted desperately to see Jesus. However, a very large crowd was in his way and being a short man he couldn't see over the crowd. Instead of him saying "Well I can't do this", "I am too short", "The Democrats or Republicans are in power", “its Bush’s fault,” Zacchaeus came up with a plan.

Zacchaeus made a decision to see Jesus through the crowd. He decided no one would stop him. No matter what, or who, Satan puts in our way, even if the doors seem closed, or barriers are in the way to accomplish your dream, be like Zacchaeus!

So Zacchaeus ran on ahead and climbed up in a sycamore tree so he could see Jesus when he came by. Zacchaeus refused to say no. "If I can't get past the crowd I will climb that tree to see Jesus."

Zacchaeus was an unlikely person to have an encounter with Jesus because he was a tax collector, he wasn't part of the "in" crowd that seemed like they should be blessed and have success in Jesus.

Jesus saw Zacchaeus when he got to the tree; he looked up and said, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” Jesus wanted it to stay at his house.

Zacchaeus expected Jesus to show up by the sycamore tree. He made a plan. He didn't allow others to dictate what he would receive from God. He didn't allow others to dictate the outcome of his dream.

Let's now examine our lives. You have a God-given dream and whatever barriers you see are only temporary obstacles. In Matthew 17:20, Jesus tells us to speak to our mountains.

It is no coincidence that the parable of the ten minas is found immediately afterwards. In this parable, the king tells his 10 servants to put the 10 minas to work – until his return.

Don't let others inhibit your God-given dreams! Make a plan, be creative, and aggressively pursue Jesus. He will pass by and He will see you. Jesus wants to stay in your house!

What are you investing in? Our King is coming again.