Romans 13:6-7 (Amplified Bible):
For this same reason you pay taxes, for civil authorities are God’s servants, devoting themselves to governance. Pay to all what is due: tax to whom tax is due, customs to whom customs, respect to whom respect, honor to whom honor.
The Verse of the Day for March 15, 2016 could certainly seem to be an appropriate passage for “Tax Day” ( although this year Americans have been granted a reprieve until March 18), but if we also take a look at the next verse, we can see that exhortation is more than an encouragement to pay your taxes:
Romans 13:8 (AMP):
Keep out of debt and owe no man anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor [who practices loving others] has fulfilled the Law [relating to one’s fellowmen, meeting all its requirements].
In reflecting on that verse, we also recognize “The first and great commandment: To love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” Believers are further instructed to “love your neighbor as yourself.” When we love God, first of all, and then love others to the same degree that we love ourselves, we fulfill the law of love which is the highest expression of God, who is love.
God’s Word Translation offers this rendering of Romans 13:8:
Pay your debts as they come due. However, one debt you can never finish paying is the debt of love that you owe each other.
This phrase “the debt of love” also provides the introduction to this poem:
This Debt of Love
Owe no one anything except to love one another,
for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.
What can you give when all you have is not enough?
And when you have exhausted all your resources
And you still come up short as you assess the worth
Of the precious love so freely given to you?
When the last dram of oil from your vial has been poured
As a sacrifice and you have no more to give
But still feel this unction to offer all the more,
What more can you say beyond a feeble thank you
When words cannot convey all you desire to say?
Though you try to show Him as you follow His ways,
You still stumble from time to time and miss the mark,
But He looks beyond your faults and sees your intent.
As you live your life to serve, you will come to see
This debt of love so great that no one can repay.
Lamar Campbell and Praise express the essence of the message in song with “This Debt of Love I Owe.”