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"...in this world nothing is certain but death and taxes!" So wrote Benjamin Franklin in 1789.

TAXES are a sure thing! Since the beginning of civilization, people have paid taxes. Taxes are seen as a burden. We try every tactic to avoid paying taxes. We hate to pay taxes. We are prosecuted if we do not pay our taxes! Yet, taxes are the price we pay for keeping our government functioning, the price we pay for all those social services we feel are necessary and important to us. So, we cannot escape paying taxes. Taxes are a sure thing!

DEATH is a sure thing! Every one of us, since Adam and Eve, have faced death. No one can escape it! Death is the salary we receive for living a sin-filled life. Sometimes death comes as a result of our own sins -- we break God's laws, we disobey God's commands, we live a selfish life instead of a godly life. We are sinners; we deserve the punishment of death! At other times, death overtakes us because of someone else's sins. Perhaps we are innocent bystanders; yet, death snuffs out our life. Finally, death is a result of the evil at work in our world. The collective sins of every man, woman and child pollute the very air we breathe; everyone who breathes this poisonous air breathes in death. We are never totally prepared for death's coming; death surprises us. Death overpowers innocent children, vivacious young people, adults in the prime of their lives, and older adults who are finishing their life-race. We never know when death will knock on the door of our life and make us an offer we cannot refuse. Death comes when we are least prepared. Death is a sure thing!

GOD'S LOVE is a sure thing! I would add a line to Ben Franklin's saying: "...in this world nothing is certain but death and taxes, AND God's love!" God created us, breathed into us His own holy breath. And God said: "What I've made is extremely good! I will love them forever!" Even after we had sinned, even after we had been banished from Paradise, God continued to watch over us, care for us and love us! And to show us clearly just how much He loves us, God sent His Son to suffer and die on the cross to pay the enormous debt of our sins. Finally, God has promised us that nothing in heaven or on earth will ever keep Him from loving us! Our sins will not keep God from loving us! Our selfishness and pride and anger and hatred and greed will not stop God from loving us! Nothing we have said and done in the past, nothing we say and do in the present, nothing we will ever say and do in the future will prevent God from loving us. God's love for us is a sure thing. So, let's rejoice and praise God!

-- Don Kuehle is a retired United Methodist minister who lives in Jackson. Opinions expressed are those of the author.

Religion on 04/12/2018

Print Headline: Three Things Are Certain!

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