Imagine if someone came to your house and offered to cancel all your debts – no more mortgage, car or credit card payments – making you debt-free!!! I bet you’d sign up, if you thought the offer was genuine.
These days too many are discovering that debt can sometimes become like a deep hole that is impossible to get out of no matter how hard you try. Sadly, sickness, broken relationships, and even suicide can sometimes result from money troubles, but this doesn’t have to be – especially when there are organizations willing to give free financial counseling.
In Matthew 18, Jesus uses a story about debt to show what really matters to God. ‘A man had an enormous debt that he could never repay. His creditor confronted him and threatened him with jail. When the man cried out for mercy, he had a change of heart and cancelled the man’s debt, making him debt-free. The man didn’t deserve this but was really relieved at his good fortune. Later that day, the man whose debt had been cancelled, had another person put in jail because they owed him a small sum of money, but could not pay. When the creditor heard about it he was furious at the man’s attitude –especially when he had been forgiven so much. He decided to reverse his decision and have the man arrested.’
In heavens economy, our sin is like a debt that all the money in the world could never repay. Yet, God in His love and generosity has made forgiveness possible through Jesus. When we celebrate Easter or take Holy Communion we remember with gratitude that Jesus (God’s Son) paid the debt for our sins by dying on the cross.
Jesus said, “God so loved the whole world that He gave His only begotten SON, so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” He also said, “He who is forgiven much, loves much.”
When we truly grasp and begin to appreciate just how much God has forgiven us and loves us, we will surely be moved to want to show that same love and forgiveness towards others. That’s what believing in Jesus is all about.
Next time you recite the Lord's prayer, take special note of the line that says
"forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors'
IT sounds very much like forgiveness is not only a benefit of discipleship, it is also a fruit - something we are expected to practice as followers of Jesus.